I first made Chicken & Dumplings for my friend Megan DeWeerdt, right after she had her son Vincent. It seemed like a comforting meal for a new mother, and something that would be easy because it’s a one-pot dish. Megan loved it, and I’ve been making it for my “new mommy” friends ever since. Although Chicken & Dumplings can be rich, this version is light and healthy. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or an early Sunday supper, and can be frozen and reheated easily. In the winter I sometimes add diced celery root or parsnips to give it more winter flavor, and in the spring I use fresh peas or asparagus – but don’t be afraid to use frozen peas, they’re great. If you want a richer version, add a little heavy cream to the broth before serving.
Active Time: 45 minutes
8 cups chicken broth
3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 large sweet onion, diced (about 1¾ cups)
2 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1½ cups)
3 celery stalks, diced (about 1½ cups)
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon whole milk
2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
Fresh dill for garnish
Pour the chicken broth into a large pot. Add the chicken breasts to the broth, cover and bring the broth to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chickeis almost cooked through, but still a little pink inside. Let the chicken cool, then remove the meat from the bones. Dice the meat and set aside. Discard bones. Add the onion, carrot, celery and thyme to the broth and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are al dente. While the vegetables are cooking, make the dumpling batter.
Whisk the flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the dill and stir until incorporated. The dumpling batter will be the consistency of pancake batter.
Remove the thyme sprigs from the soup pot and discard. Bring the broth to a slow, rolling boil and gently drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the broth. Wait a few seconds between each drop to give the dumplings time to cook a little bit. This will ensure that they don’t all stick together. Once all of the dumplings are in the pot, add the chicken and peas. Stir gently, then let the pot warm over medium heat for a minute or two.
Ladle the chicken and dumplings into shallow bowls and top with fresh dill.