Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
There’s nothing quite like my mom’s Homemade Chicken and Dumplings. They are absolutely awesome. I make wonderful homemade egg noodles in a rich, chicken broth from boiling off a whole chicken. The noodles are seasoned to perfection.–And, did I say HOMEMADE noodles? Not yucky refrigerated biscuits masquerading as noodles, nor store bought noodles that are tough and flavorless.
There’s just no substitute for real, homemade noodles. Yes, they take a little extra time, but they are so worth it. Once you get the knack of rolling them out and acquiring the right texture, you’ll never want to go back to store bought noodles again when you can have these.
Mom actually always called this recipe Chicken Pot Pie. But it isn’t pot pie in the traditional sense. This recipe actually makes dumpling noodles so that’s how I’ve referred to it over the years. The funny thing about this recipe is that I almost never got it. When I moved away from home after graduation from high school at 17, I collected several recipes from Mom.
But the Pot Pie recipe she gave me never ended up tasting like what I remembered growing up. It was okay, just not as good. It wasn’t until I was visiting one of my older sisters for the Thanksgiving holidays several years ago (after Mom had died), and we wanted to make Homemade Turkey and Dumplings that I realized I’d never gotten the correct recipe.
I started looking at my sister’s recipe and noticed it had eggs, and the whole recipe was different than what I had in my collection of recipes from my mom. Phillis made a copy of the recipe for me and I’ve been making the BEST, most succulent Homemade Chicken and Dumplings ever since! I really don’t think Mom’s recipe can be beat.
I’ve made Homemade Chicken and Dumplings for company and I’ve served it to new mothers. No matter if the person eating this great dish is young or old, everyone always loves it. I served Homemade Chicken and Dumplings along with Double Crust Peach Cobbler and Mandarin Orange Almond Salad a couple of weeks ago to friends when they were needing a place to stay because they had an early flight the next morning and wanted to cut down on their drive time to DFW. I think everyone had two large bowls of the Chicken and Dumplings not to mention salad and Peach Cobbler!
Truly it’s a labor of love making this recipe. I usually cook off a whole chicken in the crockpot overnight so it’s ready in the morning. I allow the chicken to cool a few hours and then I debone it. Don’t throw away the chicken broth. You will need every drop of it. That’s why I usually cook this in my largest, 7-quart crockpot so that there is plenty of broth available for the recipe.
I usually start making the dough for the noodles about three hours before dinner time. First, I mix the ingredients. Then, after kneading, the dough has to rest about 10 minutes. After that I roll the dough out into large, thin rounds. Finally, I use a pastry wheel and cut the dough into one-to-two-inch squares. They don’t have to be perfectly shaped. That’s part of the delight in this recipe.
The noodle dough has to dry out for about an hour before using. After I’ve waited about 45 minutes for the noodle dough to dry, I heat my broth to boiling. Because I always use a double or triple batch of dough when I cook off a whole chicken, I use my largest stock pots. I’ve actually made this in one that’s larger than the pictures shown here before, but it’s made from aluminum and I’m trying to cut back on cooking with aluminum.
Once the broth is boiling I begin adding the individual noodles. I try to spread them around as I drop the dough into the boiling broth so they don’t all stick together. Because there’s so many individual noodles and I drop them in individually, it takes me almost a half an hour just to drop in all the noodles!
Then I cover the noodles with a lid and allow them to cook. They usually take about 45 minutes to an hour to cook–depending on how thickly I rolled out the noodle dough and how many batches of egg noodles I’m making. You will need to stir every now and then, so the noodles don’t stick to the bottom of the stockpot. If you make a double batch of noodles like I usually make, then you will need about a 12-quart stockpot to make this recipe.
If I can provide any suggestions for those of you who are not used to making homemade noodles, it would be this: don’t be afraid to use plenty of flour when you roll out the noodles. You MUST have a heavily floured surface in the areas where you roll out your dough. I roll the dough pieces out to about 24 inches by 24 inches. So that is a large surface area.
Whether you use an island, countertop, or your dining room table, the biggest thing is that you have plenty of flour under the dough as it’s rolled out. That will make it a lot easier to lift the noodles off the surface when you’re ready to drop them into the boiling broth. It will take a lot more time digging dough out of your counter top if you fail to put enough flour underneath.
I hope I haven’t scared you off yet. If you have a day with plenty of time on your hands and don’t mind getting your hands all floured up and messy, this is the recipe for you! If you’re salivating for the taste of real “from scratch” homemade noodles to die for, then give Mom’s recipe a try sometime.
We served this in the middle of a hot, Texas summer and no one minded at all! Certainly, this is a marvelous recipe for cold winter nights, but it’s just too good to limit serving Homemade Chicken and Dumplings to one time of the year. It’s an old-fashioned stick-to-the-rib meal that everyone just loves.
Making dumpling noodles, kind of like homemade pie crust and homemade bread from scratch, is not something you need to fear or be intimidated by (even though I was for years!) Practice really does make perfect. Keep trying if the first attempt isn’t the greatest. Start with just a single batch. The more you make the dumplings the better you’ll get at the whole process and what works for you.
We love these dumplings so much that I purposely cook a lot so we have leftovers even though there’s usually only the two of us when I make them. I love to have a hot bowl of Homemade Chicken and Dumplings for lunches during the week. While I normally make this with a whole chicken cooking one off and reserving the broth, I also have directions on what to do if you want to make up a batch with a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken.
So whichever way works for you is what you should aim for. I also have a recipe for Homemade Turkey and Dumplings and a gluten free version as well. Both are sensational. Prepare to be licking your lips after a bowl of Mom’s Homemade Chicken and Dumplings.
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings is one of the best soup recipes you will ever taste. It’s amazing.
While this recipe is a lot of work, it is truly worth it.
This close up shows you the texture of the noodles. They are so mouthwatering.
Here’s what I did.
Place flour, salt, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. I always used unbleached flour, but all purpose will work as well.
Add water and stir to combine.
Here the dough has been combined. It is very sticky at this point.
Place a lot of flour on your countertop and place dough onto the surface. With your fingers, work the flour into the dough until it gets to the point where you can knead it a little. Knead a few minutes and allow dough to rest in a bowl ten minutes.
Divide dough in half. (I made a double batch, so I divided the dough into fourths). Roll dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Sprinkle more flour in a two foot by two foot square than I have pictured here. You need a lot under the dough to be able to lift the noodles off the surface easily before cooking them in boiling broth.
When you roll out the dough, start from the middle just like you would for pie crust. Then roll out in every direction from the center of the dough. If you’ve kneaded the dough correctly you will find after a couple of hard rolls with the rolling pin, the dough becomes elastic-like in texture and you just need to keep stretching it in all directions until it’s pretty thin.
Here I’ve flipped the dough over once and smoothed some more flour under the surface before I began rolling again. When you flip the dough over – that’s your time to make sure there is plenty of flour underneath the dough. This will make removal of the noodle dough a lot easier when you’re ready to boil the egg noodles.
This is what the dough looks like once I finished rolling it out. You will have two this size for a single batch of noodles, or four for a double batch. I never make a single batch. I figure if I’m going to go to all this work, I’m going to have PLENTY of noodles.
Using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into strips.
Allow the dough to dry at least an hour. When you’re ready to cook the noodles, lift under each one with a small spatula or knife. It’s really important that you not clump all the noodles together or they will stick together and become a big mess. They must be dropped into the stock pot individually so they don’t stick together.
Start with your deboned chicken and all of the broth from cooking the chicken. Add water or more broth if necessary. Your pot needs to be about two-thirds full of liquid.
I added a couple teaspoons of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, a couple of tablespoons of parsley. You can also add about a teaspoon of garlic powder and other seasonings if desired. We usually keep it pretty simple.
Once the broth comes to a rapid boil, begin dropping the dough into the broth. As I said earlier, when I have a double batch, it may take me a half an hour to get all the dough actually into the pot. If you don’t flour your counter enough you will have to pry the noodles up which will take even longer.
Here all the noodles have cooked about 45 minutes. If you want your Homemade Chicken and Dumplings a little thicker you can add a little bit of flour stirred into water, but I don’t usually do this. The flour from the noodles is usually enough to thicken it enough.
To serve Homemade Chicken and Dumplings, garnish with fresh parsley and freshly cracked pepper, if desired.
We served hot bowls of these wonderful dumplings with homemade bread.
Here’s the recipe.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
(Recipe adapted from my mom, Helen Mattis, Titusville, FL; as given to me by my sister, Phillis Gleason, Colorado Springs, CO)
- [b]MY VERSION MAKING MY OWN HOMEMADE CHICKEN BROTH:[/b][br]
- 1 whole chicken
- enough water to fill your crockpot while cooking the chicken
- salt and pepper to taste[br]
- [b]QUICK VERSION USING LEFTOVER CHICKEN OR TURKEY:[/b][br]
- 3 qts. water
- 6-8 beef or chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 cups cut up chicken or turkey pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place chicken in crockpot.
- Fill with water as far as possible, but not so full that the broth will overflow while cooking.
- Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper.
- Allow chicken to cook over night on low in the crockpot (or about six hours on high).
- Allow chicken to cool about an hour before removing.
- Reserve broth.
- Debone chicken.[br]
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add bouillon, chicken, salt and pepper.
- Simmer while making egg noodles.
- 2 cups UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (bleached flour toughens baked goods)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. salt
- ¼ to ½ cup water
- Mix together and add water as needed to make dough for a ball.
- Turn dough on a well-floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Cover, let rest 10 minutes.
- Divide in half.
- Roll out flat and thin and using pastry cutter, cut dough into 2 to 3” squares.
- Let dry for about 1 hour.
- Place one at a time into rapidly boiling bouillon broth.
- Can remove chicken to allow room and add back later.
- Use a fork to make room to drop each square in after all noodles have been added.
- Lower temperature until dumplings are done about 30-45 minutes.
- If necessary, add enough flour to thicken broth a little and add chicken back and simmer or serve.
- To serve: ladle chicken and dumplings into bowls and garnish with fresh, snipped parsley and cracked black pepper.
If you’re used to making a lot of things from scratch, you will love this recipe. And, if you’ve never made homemade dumpling noodles before, consider giving this recipe a try. The dumplings are melt-in-your-mouth, old-fashioned goodness.
A little homemade bread with your dumplings works really well, too.
This is one of those recipes that everyone just loves. Yes, it is a lot of work, but in the end it’s really a simple recipe. Perhaps that’s why it’s so wonderful.