Chicken And Lemon And Herb Dumplings

By • March 2, 2013 • 46 Comments


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Author Notes: Chicken and Dumplings was created during the Great Depression: money was tight back then, and it's an excellent way to stretch ingredients so that the meal feeds a crowd. It's a simple and basic recipe that is economical and can be elegant as well. The dumplings are basically a biscuit dough that are dropped into boiling chicken stock. To update this classic dish, I added herbs to the dumplings to give them an extra layer of flavor. I used chives, thyme, marjoram, and lemon zest. This will serve a crowd, and is a wonderful meal that is filling and delicious. Nothing fancy here -- just basic food. I spent very little, the chicken being the costliest component but still a bargain when you think about the breakdown on a cost per person basis. Almost everything else used in this recipe is something most of us have in our refrigerator or pantry.
The total cost for the meal was approximately $20 making it less than $5 per person and the ingredients for dumplings were already in my pantry. You can adapt this dish to your own needs and taste.
sdebrango

Food52 Review: This is a very satisfying dish, and a good reminder that old-fashioned meals of the sort Grandma grew up on can stand the test of time. I was pleasantly surprised by the stew's gentle savor, and most especially its hint of sweetness from the parsnip and carrot. The lemon zest and chives in the dumpling batter added zing. And yes, we had plenty of biscuit dough left over for tomorrow's breakfast. A winner.Kukharka

Serves 6 to 8, depending on serving size

For the Chicken and Vegetables

  • 1 whole chicken, approximately 3 to 5 pounds
  • 8 to 10 cups water (if you happen to have stock, you can use that instead of water)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds or at an angle
  • 1 large onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into rounds or at an angle
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash the chicken and place in a pot or dutch oven. Pour in water, season with salt, and bring to a boil on high. Reduce heat to medium high, and keep at a low boil until chicken is tender; it takes approximately 1 to 2 hours. Note: if using water, I boil the chicken for about 2 hours so that the broth is tastier.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool; pour broth into a container. Add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of the pot, add the onion and saute until they soften. Add the celery, carrot, and parsnip, and saute until the vegetables begin to soften. The onion will be translucent. Add the broth back to the pot and simmer for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, just until the vegetables are tender.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking in the broth, remove the meat and skin from the chicken. Set them aside, covered, and start the biscuit dough.

The Dumplings and Finishing the Dish

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter (I used salted, but unsalted is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk (whole is preferable, but 1 or 2% is fine)
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, herbs and lemon zest. Cut in the vegetable shortening and butter until it resembles peas. Add the milk and mix just until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead for a minute or two, and pat into a disc approximately 1/2 inch thick. I use the smallest biscuit cutter or a cordial glass to cut the dough into small, round shapes.
  2. Bring the broth and vegetables to a boil and drop in the dumplings. Don't overcrowd, as you don't want the dumplings to absorb all the liquid (you can always bake the remaining biscuit dough or make pot pies from the leftovers). Boil the dumplings in the broth for approximately 10 to 15 minutes; they will thicken the soup substantially and will partially break down a bit.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the chicken, and serve. I like to garnish with chopped parsley and/or a few snips of chives.
  4. NOTE: I normally would not knead biscuit dough -- as a matter of fact, it is supposed to be handled as little as possible. But for this recipe, I wanted to develop the gluten so the dumplings don't fall apart when cooking. I found that about a minute of gentle kneading helped hold the dumplings together.

Comments (46) Questions (0)

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27 days ago Horto

2 hours will not overcook chicken?

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27 days ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I said 1-2 hours and no it will not over cook it it's like making chicken soup or stock same principal. It is fine to let it cook that long.

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3 months ago Lisa

I can't wait to try this - the perfect thing for this polar northeast weather. One question - any suggestions for replacing the veggie shortening? I am really trying to de-Crisco my life. Thanks!

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3 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Lisa; Thank you and I hope you enjoy, you can use butter instead of the shortening, I use a healthier version of Crisco, Spectrum. You can also use leaf lard instead of the shortening.

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12 months ago julietzeta

Thank you for this recipe! Instead of kneading the dough and patting it into a disc, could I do a drop biscuit with the dough?

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12 months ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Juliet, yes you certainly can. I wanted to develop the gluten a bit but you absolutely can drop the dough in, as a matter of fact that is the way I usually do it. Thank you and I hope you enjoy, When you drop the dough in they tend to break apart a bit but thats fine it just makes a really thick broth.

Azi

about 1 year ago Fig and Quince

Yay! So not surprised by the win for community pick, I have this on my must-make list. Congrats Suzanne!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Azita!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This was RIDICULOUSLY fantastic!!!! Thank you, Suzanne!!!!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Em, so glad you liked it. It really means so much to me,

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about 1 year ago jgleitsmann

Can you freeze this after the biscuit dough has already been dropped in, or freeze it before that and add the dough when you are ready to eat it?

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have never tried freezing it but I imagine it would freeze well, I also think it would be fine to freeze the broth separately from the dough, Either way I think it would work well.

Will

about 1 year ago William Widmaier

This is delicious! A must make for anyone needing some comfort food in their lives!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

William, thank you so much!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks fab, Suzanne! I'm going to make it tonight!!!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Em, hope you like it!

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about 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

How lovely to come home after a verrrrrry loooooooong day and see a photo of your instantly recognizable dish. I only wish I had the oomph to make it for dinner tonight, but I'm looking forward to making it over the weekend while glued to basketball.

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much B, big basketball weekend and chicken and dumplings sounds awfully good to me.

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about 1 year ago Kukla

Many congratulations Suzanne on the CP!! Aren’t the old-fashioned meals that our Moms and Grandmas used to cook still the best?

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much Kukla, yes you are so right. I love reworking and making the recipes that my Mom and Grandmother made. I love the simplicity, simple ingredients and deep rich flavors. They are just so good and should not be forgotten.

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about 1 year ago healthierkitchen

This looks really delicious!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much!

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

Congrats Suzanne on the CP! I love chicken and dumplings but don't have a good recipe. Now I do! So thank you! : )

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you Emily, I hope you like it!

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about 1 year ago creamtea

mmmmmmm.....

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much creamtea!

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about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yay! Glad this is a CP! Such a beautiful and flavorful recipe. And so good for those of us still just dreaming of spring...

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, I am dreaming of spring, it can't come soon enough.

Azi

about 1 year ago Fig and Quince

Ha! I *knew* this was going to make it. Congrats!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you!

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about 1 year ago lapadia

A comfort food feast!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Linda, comforting for sure!

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7 months ago lapadia

DITTO!

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about 1 year ago krusher

Winter is a few months away here and the nights are getting cooler in the southern hemisphere. This is my idea of comfort food. Friday nights are gathering times with friends after a busy week and a few hours before I morph into a busy realtor. Your dish would be absolutely perfect and would have wide appeal. Yum!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I forget sometimes you are on the other side of the world, I have visions of summer produce dancing in my head right now! Thanks so much and it is really a terrific meal on a cold winters day!

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

I'm going to make this this week, and maybe add some frozen peas to it. I've got some lurking around, and I think they'd work here.

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I hope you like it, I am still eating leftovers and I froze a container too! I made 2 pot pies and added the peas to that and it was wonderful, I think the peas are a fantastic addition. Thank you so much.

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

Woohoo! Community Pick! Congrats. I made this last week, and it was excellent. It had the honor of being my last "winter" meal this year :)

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about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

This is a beautiful looking pot of soup! Delicious!

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you so much, i just love re-visiting old recipes that you just don't see much anymore.

Jampro

about 1 year ago Bevi

This also brings back memories for me. I always helped my grandmother with the dumplings. Such a comforting dish.

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about 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks Bevi, my Mom never made this but I did after I left home. It's not a dish that I make often but it's so delicious and total comfort food.