Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings (2 ½ hours prep)
4 chicken breasts, bone in w/ skin on
10 cups water
12 chicken bouillon cubes
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion, small dice
1 cup celery, small dice
2 cans refrigerated small buttermilk biscuits; 10 biscuits per tube
1 cup flour
6 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped (stems discarded), fine diced
½ tsp black pepper
Maggi (umami), to taste
You’ll need 2 large pots. One for boiling the chicken breasts (so you can preserve the water it’s boiled in) and one to cook everything together in (use something with a large top surface opening like a Dutch oven; I use a 7 qt Calphalon Dutch oven).
Place the chicken breasts in the pot and cover with 3 quarts of water. Cover and bring to a boil, continue boiling for 12 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water with tongs and spread it out on foil or a bake sheet to cool. Set the pot aside, reserving the water. Cook the chicken breasts and set them out to cool before continuing with the remaining steps; they need to cool for about 30 minutes before de-boning.
Pour 4 cups of water from the boiling pot into a one-quart container. Place all the bouillon cubes in the water and stir periodically as they dissolve. Add the pepper, thyme and Maggi. Set aside.
Melt the butter in the Dutch oven and sauté the onions and celery until soft. Add the bouillon mix and 6 more cups of water from the boiling pot. Bring to a simmering boil.
As the bouillon is heating, clean and break down the chicken breasts, tear into bite size pieces. Add into the bouillon.
Open 1 can of biscuits. Using a rolling pin, roll out each biscuit on a floured surface into about a 5”x5” circle; cut in half with a pastry cutter and then cut each half into thirds. Lower each piece into the bouillon, keeping each piece separated to prevent sticking together (having a sous chef is very helpful for this process). Repeat quickly with each of the remaining biscuits from the can. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until the dumplings start to sink. Open the 2nd can of biscuits and repeat this process. Continue cooking for about another 5 minutes, stirring periodically, until all the dumplings just begin to appear translucent. Enjoy.