We’ve had some record-breaking cold weather here in the northeast this past week and with another winter storm today I decided I really needed some comfort food. Something that would take hours to cook. Something delicious.

I decided on chicken and dumplings even though I’d never actually made it before. I’ve made chicken soup, chicken and biscuits, chicken and waffles… but never chicken and dumplings. Until today.

I bought chicken broth at the store this morning, but decided that since I had to cook the chicken anyway, I may as well make some homemade chicken stock too. If you use premade, this will go much faster for you. You could even use premade stock and a rotisserie chicken to whip this up pretty quickly. My process was long but that’s exactly what I needed today.

Chicken stock:
4 chicken breasts (with bone)
1 head of garlic, sliced in half
1 1/2 yellow onions, quartered
6 carrots, chopped in large chunks
4 stalks of celery, chopped
A handful of kosher salt

Chicken Stew:
4 carrots, sliced thinly
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped into small pieces
5 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup half and half

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup half and half

Make the chicken stock:
Put all chicken stock ingredients into a big stock pot/dutch oven/whatever big pot you have. Bring it to a boil and then cook it on medium heat for 1.5 – 2 hours until it smells amazing and the chicken is tender and almost falling off the bone. Take out the chicken breasts and drain the stock.

Make the stew:
In a dutch oven, place the carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, and butter. Saute on medium heat until onions are translucent and carrots and celery are starting to become tender. Sprinkle flour over vegetables in dutch oven and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken stock and simmer while you remove the chicken from the bone and shred it with a fork to be placed back into the stew.

Make the dumplings:
Put flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and mix gently with a fork. Cube shorting and mix in with flour mixture using your hands to mix together until shortening is in tiny pieces throughout the flour. Beat one egg and add to flour, then the half and half. Again, mix with your hands until combined. Dough will be very sticky.

Add shredded chicken back into stew, and add the 1/3 cup of half and half. Then, using a spoon, drop small balls of dough into the stew. Dumplings will cook fairly quickly and will rise to the top as they cook so just spread them out over the top of the stew. Place lid on dutch oven and simmer for 3 minutes.

Like I said, it’s kind of a long process but that’s what I did today. Tomorrow or next week I might decide to use premade chicken broth and a rotisserie chicken and that would be fine too. Today it was perfect and exactly what I needed on this snowy Saturday.