This post updated Oct 2015 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add pretty photos to pretty amazing recipes. 😉
Happy Veteran’s Day weekend! I’m not sure it’s necessarily something to celebrate, as the circumstances that make one a veteran are ugly, but it’s a good opportunity to say thank you to those who are brave enough to face the ugliness of combat so we can enjoy the freedoms we do.
My veteran and I will spend this year together, a luxury I am so incredibly thankful for as two years ago we were notified that we had 10 days to prepare for a 7 month deployment, and almost 9 months of separation. It’s part of the job though, and he is happy.
We may actually start decorating Meo’s nursery soon (a combination of Mary and Leo, get it? A friend in Georgia coined it ages ago). I’ve been working on a rather large art project for the wall and promise I’ll share a picture once it’s up. Baby girl is getting a travel-themed nursery and I’m so excited to see it come together.
Most of my recent nesting has actually been very kitchen-focused. As you know, we try to avoid overtly processed foods and try to make most things from scratch. This is partially because it’s healthier, but primarily because there is nothing that compares to the way a “from scratch” dish tastes, especially when it comes to comfort food. I adore chilly weather as an excuse to make delicious comfort food from scratch, and we were on quite the Southern kick a few weeks ago. I blame it on the cabbage in the crock pot shredded pork post. After we had some pulled pork, we “needed” chicken and dumplings.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a weeknight dinner, but if you already have some cooked chicken on hand, it’s a nice way to use leftovers and provides a comforting one-dish meal. I do add vegetables to ours, but we also usually add some salad or healthy vegetable side to round out the meal and put some color on the plate.
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup lard or butter
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 6 cups of chicken stock homemade or store bought
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- tsp ½ freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon chicken base
- 4 cups cubed chicken breast
- 1 medium onion diced
- cup ½ chopped celery
- Fresh parsley for garnish
If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, place about 3 chicken breasts on a foil-lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper if desired, and bake at 425 F for about 45 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool until you can cube.
For the dumplings, pull out your food processor and pulse together the dry ingredients. Add the butter or lard and pulse 4-5 more times until the fat is cut into pea-sized chunks.
Pulse again and add the buttermilk slowly until the dough just comes together. Place on a well-floured surface, knead briefly, then form into two balls and set one aside to rest.
Roll the other into a very thin sheet, sprinkling the top with flour as needed. Roll this thinner than you think you’ll need, the dumplings will puff in the stew and you don’t want them to end up doughy. Cut in rows and then columns with a pizza cutter so you end up with squares that are roughly the same size.
Start the stew by melting the butter in a large pot, add the onions, garlic and vegetables. Cook until soft. Add the flour, stirring constantly.
Once the mixture is smooth and thick, drizzle in the milk, continuing to stir constantly. Then add the broth slowly and bring to a simmer. Add the spices and chicken base.
Add the first batch of dumplings. Then roll out the second batch in the same manner as the first and add the second batch to the pot.
Cover and cook about 10 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through. Add more liquid if desired, but as we prefer a thicker stew, we found 6 cups was perfect.
Add the cooked chicken and stir until the chicken is warm. Serve immediately.