This Easy Chicken And Dumplings Is Your Perfect Comfort Food This Season
If you’re not familiar with the term “Pennsylvania Dutch,” it’s time to learn. The term comes from the early settlement of German immigrants in Pennsylvania and describes the unique language, religious customs and — yes— food of the group. Having been born and raised in central Pennsylvania, I know the cuisine like the back of my hand. Fresh produce, whoopie pies and warm, cozy dishes with mild flavor are all a part of the cuisine, but in my personal opinion, a particular dish stands out as one of the greats. Enter chicken and dumplings.
You can interpret “chicken and dumplings” in many ways, but this dish is essentially a chicken soup with homemade dumplings. To clarify even further — because Pennsylvania Dutch food is super weird — the dumplings are sort of like biscuits that you cook in the pot with the soup. I know, it’s strange.
If you look up a traditional chicken and dumplings recipe, you’ll see it likely includes not-so-healthy ingredients and involves roasting a whole chicken for hours, simmering the broth, rolling out dough, etc. My recipe is lightened up, significantly reduces the number of steps and cuts the time down to 30 minutes without compromising anything. The best part? It’ll taste like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day to make it.
Bottom line: this soup will warm you up like the biggest hug you’ve ever had without sending you into a sodium coma. The broth is rich, the chicken is tender and the dumplings are hearty. What more do you need on a cool day? Absolutely nothing.
Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
- 3 celery ribs, thinly chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 4 cups low-sodium or no-salt-added chicken stock
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup 1 percent cottage cheese
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside. Add vegetables, stock, salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
In the meantime, make your dumplings. Beat egg whites and cottage cheese in a large bowl until totally incorporated. Add water, salt and flour and mix until your dough is all the same consistency. You should have slightly wet sticky dough.
Uncover the pot and drop dumpling dough in small spoonfuls over the soup. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through. You’ll know your dumplings are done if you stick a toothpick through the center of one and it comes out clean.
Serve immediately, or stick in the fridge or freezer for later. This soup holds up well after being frozen, so feel free to make a big batch to save for especially cold days. Whatever it takes to warm your soul.