Welcome to my kitchen, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into a timeless comfort food that warms the soul and brings back fond memories of family gatherings and cozy evenings. Yes, you guessed it right – we’re talking about the iconic Cracker Barrel Homemade Chicken & Dumplings. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting your culinary journey, this recipe is for everyone who appreciates the heartwarming goodness of traditional home-cooked meals.
For Whom and Why It’s Great
This recipe is perfect for anyone who craves a taste of classic American comfort food. Whether you’re cooking for your family, friends, or simply treating yourself to a comforting meal, these chicken and dumplings will not disappoint. This dish has stood the test of time for its ability to bring people together and provide a sense of nostalgia with every bite. The combination of tender cooked chicken and fluffy dumplings swimming in a rich and flavorful broth is simply irresistible.
Kitchen Equipment Needed
Gathering the right tools for the job is essential to ensure a smooth cooking process. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mixing bowl
- Fork or pastry blender
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter or knife
- Small spatula
- Large pot
Tips and Shortcuts
- If you’re short on time, consider using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to speed up the cooking process.
- For a shortcut, you can use store-bought biscuit dough as a dumpling alternative. Simply tear the biscuit dough into pieces and drop them into the boiling broth.
- Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and use vegetable broth instead for a hearty vegetarian version of this dish. You can also add a variety of vegetables like carrots, peas, and celery to enhance the flavors.
- Herb-Infused Dumplings: Mix chopped fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley into the dumpling dough for an aromatic twist.
1. Can I freeze leftover chicken and dumplings?
Absolutely! Let the dish cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer-safe bags. When reheating, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm on the stovetop.
2. Can I use gluten-free flour for the dumplings?
Yes, you can experiment with gluten-free flour blends, but keep in mind that the texture may differ slightly.
Food and Drink Pairings
Pair your Cracker Barrel Homemade Chicken & Dumplings with a crisp green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette. For beverages, a glass of iced tea or a comforting cup of hot apple cider would be perfect companions.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 3 cups cooked chicken
Prepare the Dumpling Dough: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk using a fork until a soft dough forms.
Roll and Cut the Dumplings: Flour your work surface generously and roll out the dough using a floured rolling pin. Dip your pizza cutter or knife in flour and cut the dumplings into approximately 2x2-inch squares. Don't worry about making them uniform; the charm lies in their rustic appearance.
Cook the Dumplings: Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot. Drop the dumplings into the boiling broth one at a time, stirring gently as you add them. The extra flour on the dumplings will help thicken the broth. Cook the dumplings for about 15 to 20 minutes until they are cooked through and no longer taste doughy.
Add the Chicken: Once the dumplings are ready, add the cooked chicken to the pot. Gently stir to combine and let the flavors meld together for a few minutes.
Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls and savor every spoonful of this comforting dish. It's like a warm hug for your taste buds!