Life is busy and very messy, and sometimes we just need a little helping hand cleaning it up! I know I need a hand more often than not! So I’m helping out this month and doing two Secret Recipe Club assignments! This one is the “bonus” one, and I’m so thankful that I got to make this incredibly delicious recipe!
So let me introduce you to Lynsey! (Nice to meet you, Lynsey! ) She has a wonderful blog called, “Lynsey Lou’s – Making Your Days Delicious” ! Like me, she’s more of a down-home southern-style cook, but likes to experiment with different cultural cuisines and styles of cooking sometimes as well! She, too, loves to entertain, and her kitchen is the heart of her home! She learned the same way I did, by watching and helping in the kitchen growing up, and simply by trial and error! She’s married to the love of her life, has a darling little boy, and loves to fish! Be sure to pop over to her blog to see her recipes, and don’t miss seeing all the gorgeous fish she caught while you’re there! They were keepers and must’ve made for one heck of a fun fish fry!
Her beautiful blog is stocked full of wonderful recipes to choose from, and her photos are truly magazine quality! Just stunning! I really enjoyed poking through her recipes and had a hard time deciding what to make! Like a kid in a candy store, I wanted EVERYthing! Her Goat Cheese and Roasted Poblano Guacamole sounded amazing, the Jalapeño Hushpuppies with Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce had me trying to reach right into the screen for one, I almost made her Irish Coffee Blondies but I decided I’d wait until it was closer to St. Paddy’s Day for that, her Buffalo Chicken Twice-Baked Potatoes made my mouth water – – literally! – – , and her Salted Caramel Apple Cider may still make an appearance on Thanksgiving Day while I’m basting that turkey!
So, before my tummy growls any LOUDER from all of Lynsey’s fabulous recipes, on to what I chose to make! My hubby and I have been craving a pot of this for weeks now, and I was thrilled beyond to see that she had a recipe on her blog for it! Is there anything that warms the heart and soul more than a pot of homemade Chicken and Dumplings? Right? I’m telling’ ya! I made out like a bandit!
(Only I didn’t buy a precooked rotisserie chicken and stock-in-a-box. Not that those are bad things! I use them all the time and have some purchased stock all ready to go for a few holiday dishes that I’m making for Thanksgiving! But it was a Saturday. And I had all day to play! So play I did! I hope Lynsey won’t mind.)
I still to this day, ever since I was a child, find it mind-boggling how a simple chicken stewing in a pot on the stove can smell so good that it makes your knees weak! Then add another hour of smelling the stock reduce to nothing less than a pot of gold is always just plain pure torture!
Torture I tell you!
So I had a few beers while waiting!
Just don’t add any of that stuff to the stew. A nice dry white wine would be a much better choice.
And don’t worry, I drank every drop. None made it into the pot.
(Aaaanaad this is why I will never be a professional photographer. )
I guess while I was venturing out to the garage for another beer, I also forgot to get a shot of the GORGEOUS dumplings. (I was so disappointed when I downloaded the photos! They were so pretty, all floating like clouds on top!) But most of the steps are there for you to see, and when you make a pot of this yourself, and I KNOW you WILL, you’ll then get to see how pretty they are with your very own eyes.
This takes a little longer to make than Lynsey’s way, so do check out her recipe too please.
—-> Especially if you’re looking for something fun to do with some of that leftover turkey!
But if you’d like to go the extra mile, I can tell you that this was worth every single extra minute!
I cannot tell you how pleased we both were with this, as this just plain rocked! THE BEST chicken and dumplings I’ve ever, ever had! I only improvised a tiny bit, in that I didn’t use a rotisserie chicken and did my own chicken and stock, and I was out of baking soda. (Who runs out of baking soda??) I could NOT believe it. So I just added 2 tsp. baking powder, (plus just a touch of parsley and sugar), and it worked just fine! Those dumplings were feather light and drop-dead gorgeous, fluffy little pillows of HEAVEN.
I had to literally, NOT kidding you, guard the pot because I was afraid that when my hubby went for his second bowl, that he would go “fishing”. That was NOT going to happen! (We’ve already discussed, in massive strategic detail, how I’m going to double the dumplings, make more of the stew, and do this in my old heavy-bottomed, antique oval roaster that’s stovetop friendly. Oh yes indeedy.)
This, as I’ve probably mentioned before already but stressing, would also be an excellent way to use up some of that future leftover turkey, too! (All part of our master plan! ) I used a lot of baby carrots, as I have learned from experience to do, or my hubby and I fight over who got more like kids in a sandbox! But you can add however many you prefer. You could also add an extra vegetable or two such as sweet baby peas, lima beans, small diced potatoes, or even some sliced fresh mushrooms! But I didn’t want to stray any further from her recipe than I already had, and keep it as close to as it was written as possible! And it was just wonderful just as made!
Those dumplings are light as a feather and delicate as antique lace! The thickened broth made it more like a rich stew, and the chicken was melt in your mouth tender! A perfect meal on a bitterly cold autumn day! You’ll definitely want to make a pot of this soon, too!
So I hope you all have enjoyed this extra recipe from The Secret Recipe Club courtesy of Lynsey from Lynsey Lou’s – Make Your Days Delicious! This truly is a keeper! Many thanks, Lynsey, for a most delicious and heart-warming supper on a cold Saturday autumn evening!
Take care, and I’ll see you all tomorrow! ~Kelly
- For Chicken and Stock:
- 1 whole chicken, cold water to cover plus an inch or so
- 2 ribs celery, (great use for the "not so pretty outer ones")
- 8 baby carrots
- ½ tsp. onion powder (or half of an onion cut into wedges, either way works)
- 2 extra-large bay leaves (3 medium or 4 small)
- Soup Ingredients:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 (16 oz.) bag baby carrots, sliced chunky into 4th's and 5th's (minus the 8 used above)
- 1 large stalk celery, medium dice or thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, run through garlic press or very finely chopped
- 2 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- ½ tsp. coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, pull leaves and add leaves only (1/2 tsp. fresh leaves)
- 7½ cups of the chicken stock from stewing the chicken (*this was all of it from the pot after reducing)
- 1 Tbl. butter
- For the Dumplings:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. dried parsley
- 1½ Tbl. cold butter, cubed very small
- ½ cup cold milk
- Thicken at End With:
- 1½ Tbl. cornstarch
- 1½ Tbl. cold milk
- (*Thickening is optional, but I very much recommend it)
- Place whole chicken (innards removed), into a medium to large stock pot, cover with cold water plus an inch or so, add rest of stock ingredients and place on stove. Bring to a boil, reduce heat with lid on tilted, and low boil over medium-low heat for 1½ hours. Remove chicken to a large bowl, cover with stock pot lid, set aside. (*Chicken will be fall-off-the-bone tender, so check bottom of pot for any bones or pieces that may have fall off when removing chicken from pot.) Bring stock and veggies to a rolling boil over high heat and reduce by half. (Will take about 1 hour.) Strain out veggies with perforated or slotted spoon. Discard veggies.
- While stock is reducing, chop veggies for soup. Pull chicken from bones leaving in nice, large bite-sized pieces discarding skin, bones and fat.
- When stock is ready, add rest of soup ingredients. (Not chicken yet.) Gently boil over medium heat for 10 minutes until veggies are tender.
- While veggies are cooking, whisk together dry ingredients in medium bowl for dumplings. Cut up butter into tiny pieces, add, and pinch to mix in with fingers, tossing, until a fine crumb. Stir in milk until moistened but not over mixed.
- When veggies are tender, drop the dough, one spoonful at a time, into the boiling broth using two eating teaspoons (silverware.) Reduce heat to low and cover tightly with lid. Cover and low boil over low heat for 13-15 minutes, then add the pulled chicken and carefully fold in. (*I simmered the dumplings for 15 minutes and they were perfect! I got 15 dumplings, but you can make them smaller. If making much smaller, reduce simmering time to 10 minutes.)
- *If you prefer to thicken: Before adding chicken and after dumplings have cooked, mix the cornstarch with the cold milk well. Drizzle into simmering stew and gently stir in. Simmer 1 minute, gently stirring occasionally. Then fold in chicken last.
- Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot with salt and pepper on the table for those who might like a little more.