My mom didn't cook much when I was growing up. When she did, it was usually outside on the grill. But every once and a while she'd surprise me with what to this day remains to be my all-time favorite dish ever...Chicken & Dumplings. Whenever I saw my mom take out a can of Cream of Chicken soup and the box of Bisquick, I knew I was in for a treat.
When I grew up and got married, I continued to make Chicken & Dumplings the same way my mom did. But then we moved to Mexico. No canned cream of chicken soup to be found here. And no Bisquick either. So, I was forced to learn to make Chicken & Dumplings from scratch. This was before there was internet access in our small town. And without the help of a cookbook. Remember, I gave away all of my cookbooks before we moved down here.
The most important part of any Chicken & Dumplings recipe is of course the actual dumplings. There are two kinds of dumplings that can be used for Chicken & Dumplings: fluffy biscuit dumplings that puff up once they hit the broth, and the flatter noodle-like dumplings that are rolled out with a rolling pin before adding them to the hot broth. Both are quite delicious, but I'm partial to the biscuit dumplings, because that's the kind my mom made.
Another little thing I do differently from the more traditional Chicken & Dumpling recipes is that I don't use canned cream soup, nor do I use a roux to thicken my broth. My secret to a silky smooth and creamy chicken broth is Mexican crema! If you can't find Mexican crema at your local grocery store, you can substitute sour cream or heavy cream.
I've told you mine, now tell me yours. What is your favorite Comfort Food?
Creamy Chicken & Biscuit Dumplings
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite-size pieces
- 5 to 6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in 1/4-in diagonal pieces
- 2 ribs celery, cut in half or thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, cut in half
- 6 to 8 cups water
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
For the Dumplings:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- In a large (4 to 6-quart) stockpot, combine the chicken, carrots, celery, and onion with 6 to 8 cups of water, depending on how much broth you want/like. Season with salt and pepper. Cover stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let chicken soup simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the carrots are tender.
- While the chicken is cooking, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, stir the Mexican crema into the broth. (Important note: If you have picky eaters like I do, remove the celery and onion BEFORE adding the Mexican crema.)
- Finish making the dumplings, by mixing the butter into the flour mixture using a potato masher or a fork, until no large pieces of butter are visible. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the dumpling dough into the hot broth. DO NOT STIR! Let the dumplings cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, then cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls. Enjoy!!!
For more Comfort Food recipes, be sure to check out what my #SundaySupper friends are serving up in their kitchens!