Simply Tasty Chicken n Dumplins

All You Need:

For the Chicken part:
Pot (or Instant Pot)
Chicken (whole or boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
Chicken broth
Water
Salt (to season to taste and to mix drop dough)
Pepper

For the dumplings:
2 cups All purpose flour 
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt 
1 cup milk
a couple spoons and a mixing bowl

What You Do:

To cook your chicken, either place in Instant Pot or pot and cook thoroughly. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on method. Here's a quick run-down of my favorite methods:

Using boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed):
     Cut into 1 inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute in pot until browned. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Best done when time is short, as chicken will be kinda tough (since it's just breast meat) but it still hits the spot.

Using whole (thawed) chicken:
      Place in Instant Pot with 4 cups chicken broth. Set to high pressure cook for 50 minutes. Allow to naturally release. Once done, allow to cool, then debone. This takes a little over 2 hours, start to finish. But, you get a fuller tasting broth and buttery soft chicken. You can also use a frozen chicken to start, but you'll want to add 10 minutes to your cook time. Since it'll take a good bit longer to get the frozen start up to pressure, this method can take quite a lot longer, but you'll get the same results as using a thawed whole chicken.

Once your chicken is cooked, you can either use the cooking liquids (preferred) or not, but you'll want to put your cooked chicken in a wide pot (or Dutch oven) that has ample surface area. Make sure there is enough liquid covering the chicken and that there is about 2-3 inches of liquid above the chicken. This is where your dumplings will expand and cook.

Bring your broth up to a rolling boil. While your broth is heating, mix your flour, baking powder, salt and milk in a bowl. The mixture will be very thick and gluey. Once the broth is boiling, use two spoons to transfer spoonfuls of dough to the pot. Scoop with one spoon, and use the other spoon to scrape the dough off into the pot. I use two tablespoons from my cutlery drawer, and they make a biscuit sized dumpling. 

Note: If you can't use two spoons, Make sure you use a silicon handled (or otherwise heat-protected) spoon, because you'll need to dip the dough into the pot to get it to release from the spoon. 

Once the dumplings have all been "dropped", season lightly with salt and pepper and place a lid on the pot, reducing the heat to make sure it doesn't boil over. Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, and cook for another 15 minutes, or until the tops of the dumplings dry out a little. 



The Wordy Bit

Chicken and dumplings has been one of my favorite foods for as long as I can remember. I have always preferred the biscuit-y dumplings to the noodle-style ones...but if they're the only ones available, I definitely won't turn them down. Some people add veggies to their chicken and dumplings, but I don't. I find that alters the taste too much for me--especially carrots, as they make the broth and dumplings too sweet. 

I've tried several dumpling recipes over the years. For the longest time, I used an altered biscuit recipe. The last couple of years, though, they turned with an almost artificial butter taste. And that just wouldn't do. So, I started tinkering with variations that required no shortening or butter. This one is close to the same flavor and texture one gets when they use Bisquick, but without that taste that Bisquick has. Let me know in the comments what variation you like best (I'm always looking out for ways to improve!).

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