Chicken & dumpling soup for dumpling haters
Chicken and dumplings sound good to just about everyone — in theory. You’ve been there. Someone mentions them on TV and the craving starts. But you know you don’t like them. Eventually, you give in, purchasing them at a restaurant, or worse, spending all day slaving over a hot stove, only to remember when you take that first bite why you usually opt for chicken noodle. Why would anyone want to eat a chewy ball of what tastes like undercooked biscuits?
Never again! This comforting recipe, with a solution inspired by Asian cuisine and all the rich flavor of the South, will satisfy dumpling lovers and haters alike!
Chicken & dumpling soup for dumpling haters recipe
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 6 cups water
- 1-2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 2 cups celery, chopped
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 16 wonton wrappers (approximately)
- 1 egg white
- In a slow cooker (or in a large pot on the stove), combine chicken stock, water, Herbes de Provence, garlic, bay leaves and parsley. (Do this first if you’d like to taste the concentration of Herbes de Provence prior to cooking — just remember, they’ll get stronger as the mixture cooks and you can always add more at the end. Also, do not salt the stock until the end of cooking.)
- Gently place the chicken in the slow cooker and turn the device on high. Allow it to cook for about 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender and shreds easily. Do not overcook the chicken, as it will be placed over heat in another step.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Use tongs or 2 spoons or forks to crush the garlic. (If you’re doing this on the stove, bring the liquid to a rolling boil, and then place the chicken in the liquid and allow it to cook in the same manner).
- Taste the stock to ensure you’re still happy with the salt levels. Add water (a half a cup at a time) if it’s too salty. Place the carrots, celery and onion in the slow cooker and continue cooking on high until the vegetables begin to soften (about an hour). If you need more than an hour, you can turn the device to low or medium.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken as finely as possible using 2 forks (or your fingers if it’s not too hot) and over medium heat, melt the butter in a small skillet or saute pan with sage and rosemary (and pepper and salt if desired) until it begins to brown.
- Place the chicken in the herb butter and toss to coat. Add flour to thicken the sauce it creates and toss it in the pan until the flour is cooked (when in doubt, taste it — if it tastes like flour, continue cooking). If desired, put a couple of tablespoons of the soup liquid into the chicken (if it seems a bit dry). The sauce should only be enough to coat the chicken. It shouldn’t be soupy. When the flour is done, take the chicken off the heat and allow it to cool until you can handle it.
- For the dumplings, create an egg wash by mixing the egg white with an equal amount of water.
- To create your dumplings, lay a wonton wrapper out flat on a cutting board or other flat surface. Keep the unused wontons covered with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Using your finger or a small pastry brush, run a line of egg wash (about the width of your index finger) around all the edges of the wonton wrapper.
- Place about a tablespoon (use less if you’re having trouble folding the dumplings or they won’t seal without holes) of the shredded chicken in the center of the square. Pick up 1 corner of the wonton wrapper and fold it over to the opposite corner to create a triangle. Seal it by gently pressing the air out from around the chicken and pressing the edges together (the egg wash will help seal it).
- You can use any traditional means of folding the wonton, but the easiest is to press a small indentation into the center of the long edge and bring the corners of that edge together so they’re parallel (making the indent first will help it fold). Put a little egg wash on both sides of each of the corners you’re bringing together, place one corner on top of the other, press gently to seal and fold the tip under. The resulting dumpling will have an ovular appearance with a tip at the top. (See the photo below for a step-by-step guide to how the dumplings should look after each phase of folding.)
- Place the completed dumplings underneath 1 flap of a second damp cloth to keep them from drying out.
- How many dumplings you can make will depend on how large your chicken breast is. If you have enough dumplings, but still have leftover chicken, you can just put the extra chicken in the soup.
- In the last 10 minutes of cooking your soup, you’ll cook the dumplings in the same pot. Before dropping or steaming the dumplings, taste the soup 1 last time to check the salt level and the Herbes de Provence. Add more hot water if the soup is too salty, more chicken stock (or a bit of salt) if it’s not salty enough and more Herbes de Provence as desired.
- To cook the dumplings, either use the slow cooker’s steaming tray to steam the dumplings (laid on top of some leaves of lettuce to prevent burning or sticking) or carefully drop the dumplings into the soup to cook. They should cook for about 5 or 10 minutes or until they’re no longer doughy and they have an al dente-like bite.
Tip: If you like your chicken and dumplings with a creamier broth, add a splash or 2 of heavy cream when you add the veggies. We didn’t find that the heavy cream added much in terms of flavor, though it does make it a bit sweeter and the broth a bit thicker. But we advise saving the calories for dessert!