Is there anything more comforting than chicken and dumplings? This hearty dish will clear up the dark-and-chilly season blues in a flash. Chef Michel Nischan's family struggled with hard times. When his mom made chicken and dumplings, it was so comforting and fulfilling, they always felt rich.
- 1 whole chicken, about 3-1/2 to 4 pounds
- 2 quarts chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup large dice carrots
- 1 cup large diced onions
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons plus hot chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon melted chicken fat
- 3 cups pulled cooked chicken meat such as leftover fried, roasted or rotisserie chicken.
1. Remove the giblet and neck packet from the inner cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken and contents of the packet well, and place in a stock or sauce pot large enough to hold the chicken with some room left. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and skim well. Simmer the chicken 10 minutes, then add the carrots and onions. Continue to simmer 30 minutes more. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let stand until the chicken is cool enough to handle, but still warm.
2. Remove the chicken and as many vegetables as you can from the cooking broth and set aside. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull all the meat from the bones and set aside. Discard the bones.
3. For the dumplings, combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, blend the egg, chicken stock and chicken fat and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and stir with a fork until just mixed together. It is important not to over mix the dough or it will become tough. Transfer the dough to a well floured cutting board and spread the dough out as thin as you can by hand. Keep your hands and fingers well dusted with flour so the dough does not stick. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and finish rolling to a thickness of about 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch.
4. Return the stock and vegetables to the stove and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cut the dough into noodle shapes the size you like and drop them into the simmering stock. Be careful to drop a few at a time and to stir the stock to prevent the dumplings from sticking together. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through and tender. Add the pulled chicken meat, then cook one minute longer. Turn off the heat and let stand 3 minutes before serving.