I don’t know about you, but fall has a way of sneaking up on me. Not those first few days, it seems like I wait FOREVER for those, especially in the sweltering summer days of Washington. But it always seems like just as I’ve gotten into the swing of fall, the leaves are off the trees and Christmas is just around the corner.
This weekend, I finally took some time to relax and enjoy my favorite season before it slips away by driving through the Shenandoah National Park. The weather was perfect–bright and sunny, with a bit of bite in the air. After hiking around and enjoying the fall colors with all of the other leaf peepers, we were in the mood for something hearty and comforting, and at that moment, nothing sounded better than my grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings.
Before you run away in the comments explaining to me how this is not an authentic recipe for Chicken and Dumplings (like you might find in the south or in the midwest), might I remind you that we are from Alaska…
You can go ahead and file this recipe for Chicken and Dumplings under 101 things to do with a rotisserie chicken, or with Thanksgiving leftovers. Also, if you are trying to cut back on your dumpling consumption (we’ve all been there) but are wise enough to know that the soup is really just a vessel for the dumplings, which are obviously the best part, you might consider lightening the recipe up by excluding the noodles. I’ve also added bok choy, kale, cabbage, and other random vegetables I had on hand to liven it up a bit. A quick word about the cayenne–we like it spicy! Omit if you wish, or add just a sprinkle at a time. If you don’t have chicken stock on hand, I frequently rely on Better than Bouillon chicken or vegetable base.
- 2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large carrots (diced)
- 2 stalks of celery (diced)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 cup shredded chicken (cooked)
- 2 cups egg noodles (optional)
- 16 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- cayenne pepper to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make dumplings, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Rub in butter with your fingers until the mixture looks like sand.
- Add buttermilk and stir until all the flour is incorporated (but no more!). Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot (with a lid).
- Add onions and garlic, sprinkle liberally with salt.
- Add carrots and celery and cook until they just begin to become tender.
- Add chicken broth, bay leaf, paprika, and salt/pepper/cayenne to taste and bring to a boil.
- Add chicken and noodles, reduce to a simmer. Remove bayleaf.
- Using a large spoon, gently spoon apricot sized dumplings across the top of the pot and cover for ten minutes.
- Remove lid and cook for another 10 minutes.