Chicken Stew with Biscuit Dumplings
When I was was in college I lived with my grandmother, who was born and raised in Missouri during the Great Depression. Chicken and Dumplings was one of those homey, comfort foods that she taught me to make that we loved to share on a chilly, rainy night. Below is the recipe she taught me.
Years later I had Chicken and Dumplins at a Cracker Barrel restaurant and I thought it was all kinds of wrong! I later learned that Cracker Barrel’s version is much more common that the version I was taught… chunks of biscuit dough cooked throughout the chicken stew, not just on top. I’m actually not a fan of that dish as I feel the “dumplins” taste like they are undercooked.
Chicken pot pies are quite popular in my house, and since the flavors and texture is similar, I thought I’d give this a try and see how my five-year-old liked it. He was very skeptical at first and even brought out a jar of jam from the fridge when setting the table. “Mommy, you said the biscuits are on TOP of the soup??”
Thankfully, he loved the dish and it’s requested often these days. My husband and I love it on cold, snowy nights too.
To make dinner prep go quickly, I usually cut up chicken pieces from a whole roasted Costco chicken. Sometimes they sell just legs and thighs from those chickens for the same low price.
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cups cooked, diced chicken
4-5 red or Yukon gold potatoes, cleaned and cut into small chunks (peeling is optional)
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons corn starch
4 tablespoons water
3/4 cup whole fat Greek yogurt or sour cream or heavy cream (optional)
1 1/4 cup Bisquick mix (or whatever biscuit mix you use)
2/3 cup milk
In a pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until they are almost cooked completely. You should be able to stick a knife in them, but they shouldn’t be falling apart. This was about 7 minutes at a full, rolling boil for me.
In a heavy pot over medium heat, cook the carrots, celery and onion in a little olive oil for about 7-10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the carrots have softened. While this is cooking, add the salt, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper.
Add the chicken broth, potatoes and chicken pieces and bring the soup to a boil. In a separate small bowl, mix the water and corn starch together until the starch has dissolved completely and there are no chunks. Then pour it into the soup. Let it boil for a couple of minutes, stirring to keep anything from scorching on the bottom. Then bring the heat down to a simmer. Doing this will thicken the broth and make it feel much more stew-like.
Adding the Greek yogurt or sour cream or heavy cream is optional, but we like the creaminess it can add. After the stew is no longer boiling, stir the cream or yogurt in and let it melt and get happy in the stew.
In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick and milk until a dough forms. Don’t overmix, it’s okay if it’s a little lumpy.
With your hands, form balls about the size of golf balls.
Drop them into the simmering stew. I like to tap on the top of each one to make sure some of the broth covers each dumpling for a bit.
Cover and let the dumplings steam for 10-12 minutes. Once the biscuits are cooked through, it’s ready to serve. Man, it is satisfying to take the lid off and see this beautifully, bubbling, biscuit-y goodness!
This usually gives us leftovers for a day or two that we are all are happy to have for lunch the next day.