Lucinda's Chicken and Dumplings
What’s better than cozy comfort food, straight from the American heartland? This one-pot meal yields a savory and satisfying dinner, and it’s perfect for a large family of boys who need stick-to-the-ribs food. Halfway between soup and stew, crowned with light and fluffy herb-flecked dumplings, it’s the best of both worlds. I love adding parsnips and turnips, but if you’re root vegetable averse you can leave them out and substitute cut-up raw potatoes. Many recipes from the American South even call for adding a sliced-up hard-boiled egg to the pot! Serve this with a green salad dressed with Green Goddess Ranch Salad Dressing (see page 98).
FOR THE CHICKEN
- 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
- 1 onion, halved but root end left intact
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 1 turnip, trimmed and chopped
- 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
- 8 to 10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
FOR THE DUMPLINGS
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or parsley
- To make the chicken, place the chicken into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, turnip, and parsnips to the pot and barely cover with the water.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 50 minutes. Lift out the chicken and vegetables. Discard the onion halves and parsley sprigs. Continue to simmer the broth for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salt. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred into large pieces. You’ll have 4 cups of shredded chicken. Use 2 to 4 cups as desired.
- To make dumplings, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk and dill or parsley to combine.
- Drop the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time onto the simmering broth. Cover and cook until the dumplings have cooked through 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully return the shredded chicken and the vegetables to the pot. Reheat for 1 minute. Serve in wide bowls with big spoons.