Soup of the Week: Chicken/Turkey & Fluffy, Fluffy Dumplings

Ok, I may be playing fast and loose with the term “soup” in applying it to chicken and dumplings, but when I last served this dish to my son, once we had finished arguing about his disliking of dumplings (how does the fruit of my loins dislike dumplings?!?!) he said “but the soup part was really, really good!” So guys, on his dumpling-hating authority, it’s soup, ok?

Glad we got that sorted.

My recipe does tend to be more soupy than stewy because, once again, I let the potatoes do all of the thickening work and use no roux at all. The reason for that is all down to getting those fluffy, fluffy dumplings: letting the dumplings do their thing in a pot of really thick gloop just leads to burning and burning just leads to tears and not deliciousness, even if there is fluffiness.

One more thing: I can’t think of this dish without getting this tune in my head. So please listen while cookin’:

What you need: 

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 yellow cooking onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 large russet potatoes, thoroughly scrubbed or peeled and roughly cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 celery stalks sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 large carrots, sliced down the middle lengthwise and cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 2 cups poultry or veg stock
  • 1 cup water + more for topping up the pot
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 batch of your favourite biscuit recipe (should make 12 biscuits) + 2 tbsp milk or buttermilk (not gonna lie, if we have bisquik in the house, I will often use that)
  • A large, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid (I use my dutch oven for this)

What you do: 

  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a  over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and the nutmeg and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly so they don’t stick to the pot.
  4. Add the carrots, celery, stock, water, and seasoning.
  5. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Prep your dumpling batter and don’t forget to add the extra two tablespoons of milk/buttermilk.
  7. Add the meat, parsley and evaporated milk and enough water to bring the liquids up to about half an inch above the veg and meat.
  8. Bring the pot to a low simmer again, still over medium-low heat.
  9. Taste test and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  10. Gently spoon the dumpling batter over soup so each spoonful rests just on top of the meat and veg. If you let them go right into the liquid, they do not fluff.
  11. Lid the pot and let it cook for 20 minutes. DO NOT DISTURB. DO NOT PEEK. ABSOLUTELY DO NOT STIR.
  12. After 20 minutes, the dumplings should be cooked through and nice and fluffy and the veg should be nice and tender. If it needs more time, lid it up and check again in 5 minutes. There shouldn’t be any danger of unfluffing the biscuits once you’re past those first 20 minutes, just don’t go dunking them into the soup in the search for test veg.
  13. Serve immediately while piping hot.
  14. If you need to store leftovers, consider storing the dumplings separate from the rest of the soup so they don’t get soggy.
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