Chicken and dumplings


Chicken and dumplings
A bowl of chicken and dumplings with vegetables

Chicken and dumplings (also called Chicken and pastry) is a popular comfort food dish, commonly found in the Southern and Midwestern United States, that is also attributed to being a French Canadian meal that originated during the Great Depression. A dumpling in this context is a mixture of flour, shortening, and water or milk or flour and stock, which is then formed into a ball or rolled out flat. Chicken and dumplings as a dish is prepared with a combination of boiled chicken meat, the broth produced by boiling the chicken, multiple dumplings, and salt and pepper for seasoning. In some areas, this meal is known as chicken and sliders.

Various commercial preparations of chicken and dumplings are available, including canned and frozen versions of the prepared dish. Frozen raw dumplings, typically very flat strips about 1x4 inches, can be cooked in any broth. The consistency of the prepared dish, whether homemade or purchased, varies from a thin soup to a very thick casserole-like consistency, easily eaten with a fork. Thicker preparations are made by boiling the dumplings longer and/or adding flour or another thickening agent directly to the broth. Flour tortillas or canned biscuits, rolled thin on a floured surface, cut into strips, are a quick and easy substitute for homemade dough. Butter may be added to the recipe for added richness.

Since chicken meat would become dry and tough if is boiled long enough to cook the dumplings and thicken the broth, the chicken or parts are removed from the broth before adding the dumplings. While the dumplings are cooking, the meat is separated from the bones. When the dumplings are done and the broth seasoned and thickened, the chicken is returned to the broth. The dish is then ready to be served, but may be kept on low heat so as to not further cook the chicken.

The name of the dish is sometimes printed on menus as "chicken n dumplings," "chicken 'n dumplings," or "chicken-n-dumplings." "Dumplings" is sometimes spelled "dumplins" in this context.

International versions

Although the dumpling has been around for many generations, each culture has its own way of individualizing the basic dumpling recipe. There are other international versions of chicken and dumplings. For instance, the Chinese culture has the Wonton,[1] which is similar to the chicken and dumplings dish as we know it today. Additionally, the Iranian-Jewish dish, called Gondi, includes matzah ball dumplings, which are also common in Central European food.

Since the creation of the dumpling, various meats aside from chicken have accompanied it, such as beef, lamb and pork.

See also

  • Chicken soup, a clear broth, often served with small pieces of chicken or vegetables
  • Dough, a paste made by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid
  • Kreplach, small dumplings filled with ground meat, mashed potatoes or another filling, usually boiled and served in chicken soup

References


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