CHICKEN + DUMPLINGS + BABES

I started learning to cook when I was very young. We were living in Florida and my Mawmaw welcomed me into her kitchen with open, flour-dusted arms. She didn’t care that I unorganized her alphabetized pantry or dumped flour all over the floor, or at least she didn’t let on if she did.

I absorbed a love for the kitchen from her. A love for gathering people around a table to share a meal, to talk, pray together, to love selflessly. She taught me to put your very best self into that loaf of bread or that pot of dumplings because it isn’t just flour and water and seasonings… it is your heart extended to the ones you are feeding.

One of the first things she taught me how to make was traditional southern chicken and dumplings. There is something so rewarding about coaxing a few simple ingredients into a magical pot of comfort. And this right here is comfort level #4329!

I always knew I would start teaching my babies to cook when they were young as well. But, as per my usual, I was dragging my feet because other things always seemed to take priority.

That all changed when my son allowed something to come out of his mouth one day that he immediately regretted. He wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich one afternoon and I was in the middle of something that I couldn’t step away from at that particular moment. When I told him to go and make it for himself, (he was 8 years old for Pete’s sake!)  he looked at me like I had grown an extra nose.

He fussed. He said he couldn’t do it. He said he didn’t know HOW to do it. He said he didn’t NEED to know how to do it because one day he was going to have a wife to do it FOR HIM.

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Obviously, my head spun around a few times and then I glared at him with a look that would make the strongest of men melt into a puddle of apologies and groveling. He knew what he said was a mistake and he immediately began trying to shove the words back into his little mouth.

But it was too late.

NEW PLAN! Our new regular Monday night cooking lessons went into the calendar. Written in pen.

And you know what? We LOVE this time together. We have fun… we listen to music… we make amazing food that they are proud of…

If you grew up in the south, Chicken and Dumplings are in your blood. If you did not grow up in the south… well, then I’m sorry about that. But it’s ok – because I’m here to try and rectify the situation with this post. These days you can buy pretty amazing frozen pre-made dumplings and I admit to the fact that I have used them before. (I am the tiniest bit ashamed, let’s just keep this between us, ok? And please don’t tell my Mawmaw) However, there is NO reason to cheat anymore! This recipe is SO easy!

*full recipe details at the bottom of this post!

Gather your babes and make some messes in the kitchen this weekend!

First, cut up some celery, carrot and onion and throw into a pot with some chicken, bay leaf and a little kosher salt. Cover it with water and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pot and allow to cool. {also remove the bay leaf and discard} Then you can get to making your dumplings! This is the fun part that my kids LOVE!

Teaching your children a love for homemade food and for gathering around a table with the ones they love is one of the best gifts we can give them. If you don’t have any littles around, gather some friends and make a mess anyway! {and you can drink some wine while you cook with grown-ups so, SCORE!}

I sure do love you all! (especially YOU!)

WHAT YOU NEED

Serves 4
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
4 ribs of celery, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 bay leaf
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt (for dumplings)
1 cup cold water
1⁄4 cup half-n-half or heavy cream
Freshly cracked black pepper

 

WHAT YOU DO

Active time: 1 hour
1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, add the celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf, 2 tsp kosher salt and chicken breasts. Cover the chicken with water and place over medium high heat until it reaches a boil. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
2. Skim off any gunk that floats to the top as the chicken is cooking.
3. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard.
4. While the chicken is cooling, make your dumplings!
5. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt and then drizzle about 1 cup of cold water over the flour mixture. Starting at the center and working out, use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix the water into the flour until it comes together.
6. Flour a counter or board and turn out the mixture. Knead until it forms a smooth ball.
7. Roll the dough out as thin as you can get it. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide and 2-3 inches long.
8. Place the dumplings into the simmering broth a few at the time. Try not to place dumplings directly on top of each other. Simmer the dumplings until they are fully cooked and have absorbed some of the broth.
9. Remove the skin from the chicken and then shred the meat into bit-sized pieces. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir carefully.
10. Add the cream and stir carefully. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

11. Add a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

0 thoughts on “CHICKEN + DUMPLINGS + BABES

  1. Steph says:

    Oh sweet, and precious Lord….Mawmaw’s dumplings!! Mmmmmm!! Thank you for sharing. Love to you and your super cute babies.