Chicken and dumplings is the kind of recipe that begs for personalization, but in its purest form, it’s a one-pot meal that tastes much more complicated than it really is. The key is using the best chicken available; one that can stand up to a boiling without losing flavor. To help boost the flavor of my stock, I added four chicken feet, but neck bones or even chicken bouillon work just as well.
- In a stockpot or large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and cook vegetables until fragrant. Add the chicken and feet then cover with water. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 30-45 minutes. Remove chicken and strain solids. Reserve liquid.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and pepper. Chop butter into 1/2-inch cubes and cut in butter a few pieces at a time, using fingers or a pastry blender to smash the butter into the flour until the mix is cohesive but crumbly. Make a well in the center of the flour and add ice water a little at a time, kneading until dough forms a shaggy ball. Roll dough into a rectangle, about the thickness of a pie crust, thicker for fluffier dumplings. Cut rolled dough into four-inch strips.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven, add vegetables and garlic and cook until soft, then dust with flour, stirring until coated. Slowly stir in reserved stock before adding Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and add dumplings. Lower heat and allow dumplings to simmer about 30 minutes or until cooked through. They should be soft but not gummy.
- Debone boiled chicken and add to soup. In a small bowl, whisk one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon heavy cream and add to soup along with remaining cream and two tablespoons butter. Return to a boil until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.