Creamy Chicken and Fluffy Dumplings
3 to 4 pounds chicken parts
8 cups water
3 medium carrots, diced
3 medium celery ribs, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespooons butter, softened
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
Makes 4 - 6 servings
1. Cover the chicken with water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the chicken is completely cooked.
2. Strain and save the broth and let the chicken cool.
3. Remove the chicken meat from the bones. Discard the skin and bones, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
4. Skim the chicken fat off the surface of the broth and discard.
5. To make the dumplings : Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork until well blended.
6. Mix the egg and milk together in a small bowl. Add to the flour mixture and knead for a few seconds, until just mixed. If the dough is sticky, add more flour.
7. Heat the broth to a simmer in a large pot. Add the carrots, onion, celery, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
8. With a large spoon, pull the dumpling dough apart into rough shaped balls the size of a walnut (do not press to form). Carefully drop the dumplings into the broth.
9. Cover and reduce the heat so the broth is barely simmering. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through. Overcooking will make the dumplings mushy.
10. Place the cooked chicken into a large bowl or glass baking dish and ladle the hot broth, vegetables, and dumplings over the top. Serve immediately.