|Classic home cooking at it’s best!|
Rustic, old-fashioned, made with love comfort food. The kind your grandma used to make. That’s what this meal is all about. Sunday dinner on a chilly fall evening with the fireplace lit, cozy and warm. I have loved making this recipe again and again because it’s such a classic hearty meal in a bowl, streamlined and foolproof. The timeless combo of chicken simmering with farm fresh herbs and veggies on the stove is the iconic turn of the century American meal. Add home made dumplings cooked right in the pot and you’ve got yourself a steamy bowl of goodness and love in every bite!
Alright, fluff aside, this recipe is a step above beginner, but can be accomplished by anyone who is willing to spend a little more time in the kitchen to chop fresh veggies and shred chicken :0)
Bone-in, Skin-on chicken pieces are first browned in a dutch oven to render chicken fat for use later. Browning the skin to a deep golden color adds tons of flavor to the meal. The chicken fat is poured off and saved for the dumpling dough, which also adds flavor.
Then the veggies are sauteed and the stew is built, adding in the chicken that was browned earlier to cook in the broth. Once done cooking, the chicken is shredded and added back into the pot. The bone-in chicken is super hot and will retain heat for a long time. I get impatient waiting for it to cool enough to shred by hand, so I take a knife and fork and cut the pieces open along the bone, even separating whole chunks of chicken off the bone to cool faster. There’s a reason for using bone-in though, the meat stays more moist and tender.
At this point, you can turn this recipe into a make ahead. I highly recommend this~ you can store it in an air tight container for 24 hours if needed. This is so great because the excess chicken fat on the top of the stew will solidify and is easily spooned off. Otherwise, you’ll need to get a large spoon and try to spoon it off of a hot stew, without spooning the stew out with it.
Side note: I once kept a sweet family we had invited over to dinner waiting almost 45 minutes for this dish! I had forgotten how long it takes to let the chicken cool before shredding and was so late getting this on the table (sorry Holbrook’s!) I was thoroughly embarrassed. My advice is if you’re making this for a crowd, definitely make it the day before. Warm it up 30 minutes or so before you wish to serve it to give yourself time to cook the dumplings.
While the chicken cools, I go ahead and make up the dough for the dumplings. Now there are all kinds of different ‘dumplings’ out there in the world, and this recipe may be different from any you’ve tried. They’re made from a very sticky dough, scooped right out into a small ball and dropped into the stew to steam cook. I recommend a small scoop like a melon baller or a tablespoon for this. Whatever you use to scoop and drop, spray it with cooking spray. The dough won’t stick and will come right out in a more pleasing round shape. The finished dumplings double in size and should be light and flavorful. If they are gummy on the inside, they are underdone.