In his American Classics series, cooking guru Scott Peacock offers the inside scoop on making this comfort food recipe.
The ideal chicken and dumplings recipe features silken chicken, flavorful broth, and billowy dumplings. See the following slides for chef Scott Peacock's treasured recipe and step-by-step instructions for getting it right.
Poaching the chicken in broth makes for a richer, more intensely flavored final dish. "Onion and a bit of celery enhance and contribute to the flavor of the chicken without covering up and diluting the taste," says Scott.
"The dough looks unpromising at first -- sticky and elastic -- and should be allowed to rest at least a half hour before rolling," says Scott. Use regular all-purpose flour to make the dumplings. Unbleached flour yields a batter that's too sturdy, resulting in a less-tender dumpling.
Removing the chicken breasts from the poaching pot early prevents them from becoming stringy and tough. "It's important to allow all the chicken to cool before picking it into large pieces," says Scott.
The surface for rolling dumplings should be generously floured. "Roll the dough with a quick, light touch, flouring as needed, until very thin, less than 1/16 of an inch," says Scott.
A pastry wheel or pizza cutter makes quick and orderly work of cutting the dumplings into equal sizes.
"When you roll the dough thin enough, you should be able to almost see through the dumplings," says Scott. "Don't shake off excess flour -- it thickens the broth and gives the dish body."
"To avoid sticking, shake the pot side to side from time to time," says Scott. "Stirring can break the dumplings."