September 22, 2020

CHICKEN BUTTERNUT AND DUMPLINGS

4 Comments

Get a taste of fall comfort with this easy one-pot Chicken Butternut and Dumplings. It has a creamy broth, tender shredded chicken breast, sweet butternut squash, herbaceous sage, and pillowy soft dumplings. Serve alone or with biscuits to amp up the comfort level even more!  

Pair this dish with my Garlic and Herbs Boursin Biscuits for a cozy home cooked dinner.

Chicken Butternut and Dumplings
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We recently embarked on a home improvement adventure (by “we” I meant my husband since he has done 95% of the work, hee hee). The main level of the house is getting new floors and a fresh coat of paint. Best of all, we are FINALLY taking our kitchen out of the 1980’s and into the 21st century!!! Woo hoo!

2020 has been a bit of a downer, but this endeavor is one good thing that will come out of it. I’m so thrilled that my  husband and I finally took the plunge into a long overdue reno!


He is working on the kitchen in phases. Phase one: painting all the kitchen cabinets and adding hardware is complete. It looks like a new kitchen already!! 

Luckily, I have been able to cook the entire time. Since fall has arrived, and with a string of cool days and chilly nights, I have been yearning comfort food. This chicken and dumpling dish is the satisfying, cozy kind of meal that I crave. 

I also love that it’s easy to make. And with the added butternut squash for a vegetable component, this is truly a one pot meal!

Chicken Butternut and Dumplings








By the way, the finished dish has a little more broth than these photos depict. I removed some of the liquid to make the other components more visible. So, if you’re a broth fan, no worries. There is plenty to enjoy!


What cut of chicken is best and how long to cook it?

Use what you like! Both dark or white meat work equally well, but cooking time will vary depeding on the chicken part and size.

This recipe utilizes boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. I chose them simply because they are the quickest to cook and easy to shred. The breasts are brought to a boil, then simmered for 12-15 minutes. 

If you use bone-in breasts halves, it will require a longer cook time...between 15-18 minutes for average size breasts. 

Bone-in dark meat...like thighs and legs require the longest cooking time, with estimated simmer time of of 25-40 minutes, depending on the size.

For all cuts, use an instant read thermometer to determine doneness when you are in doubt. Chicken is cooked through when the internal temperature reaches 165° F.



How to make dumplings:

The process of making dumplings from scratch is simple. If you have never attempted it before, there is no need to be intimidated. Here’s the rundown:
  1. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, two knives, or work with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add milk. Work dough until mixture comes together.
  3. Shape into a ball or rectangle. 
  4. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface.
  5. Cut into bite size pieces using a knife or pizza wheel.
flour, butter, and a pastry cutter in a glass bowl

dumpling dough being mixed in a glass bowl

dumpling dough being mixed in a glass bowl


dumpling dough and a rolling pin on a pastry mat

Rolled out and scored dumpling dough

bite size dumpling dough on a baking sheet

Tips for the most tender dumplings:

  • Start with measuring the flour correctly: Fluff the flour with a fork before measuring. Use knife to level it across the measuring cup. Do not pack the flour down.
  • Replace some flour with cornstarch: cornstarch does not contain gluten. For each cup of flour, replacing 2 tablespoons with equal amount of cornstarch will make the dough tender.
  • Do not overwork the dough: Once the milk is added to the flour mixture, work the dough just until it comes together. Over-mixing it will result in production of gluten, which causes the dumpling to be dense and tough.
Chicken Butternut and Dumplings

Recipe highlights:

  • Make dumplings. Chill until ready to use.
  • Cook onion, oil, and pinch of salt for 4 minutes.
  • Add garlic and half of the sage. 
  • Add broth, salt, pepper, paprika, and chicken. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 12 - 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken. Allow to cool slightly then shred.
  • Bring heat back to high. Add butternut and sage. Bring to a boil.
  • Add dumplings, one at a time to prevent sticking.  
  • Stir gently and work dumpling into broth. 
  • Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 12  minutes.
  • Whisk cornstarch into heavy or light cream. Add to pot.
  • Add shredded chicken. Cook for a few minutes to reheat.
  • See recipe card for detailed instructions.

onion, garlic, and sage in a pot

2 chicken breasts in broth in a pot


2 cooked chicken breasts in broth in a pot

chicken breasts being shredded on a cutting board

cooked dumpling and butternut in a pot

Woops! After taking the above picture, I got distracted and forgot to take photos of the last couple of steps. What a scatterbrain!! Please pretend there is also picture of the stock being thickened with light cream and cornstarch, and a picture of the shredded chicken being added to the pot :)


Recipe shortcut: 

Swap out raw chicken for store bought rotisserie chicken. This will cut down on time since there is no need to wait for the chicken to cook. You could infuse the broth with more chicken flavor by adding 1 packet of sodium free chicken bouillon to the broth, but this step is entirely optional. 

Chicken Butternut and Dumplings

Other one-pot meals to try!

CHICKEN BUTTERNUT AND DUMPLINGS

Chicken Butternut and Dumplings


INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
15 fresh sage leaves, chopped and divided
3 (14.5 ounce) cans less sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/3 cup heavy or light cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch


For the dumplings
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup corn starch
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into large chunks    
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk, more if needed


INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Prepare dumpling as instructed below.
  2. Preheat a large pot on medium low. Add oil, onion, and a pinch of salt. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add garlic and half of the sage. Sauté for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add broth, salt, pepper, paprika, and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 12 - 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. It is done when it registers 165° F on an instant read thermometer. 
  5. Transfer chicken to a platter. Allow to cool slightly. 
  6. Turn heat to high. Add butternut and the remaining sage and bring to a boil. 
  7. Add dumplings, one at a time to prevent sticking. Stir gently with with a non-metal spoon to work dumpling into broth. Bring back to boil.  
  8. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 12  minutes.
  9. Meanwhile shred chicken using two forks or with hands.
  10. Whisk cornstarch into heavy or light cream. Stir gently into pot to thicken broth. 
  11. Add shredded chicken. Gently stir into broth. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes to reheat.
  12. Salt and pepper to taste.

To Make Dumplings
:
  1. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, two knives, or work with your hands until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add most of the milk, working dough with a fork until mixture comes together. Once the dough forms large clumps, switch to working with a rubber spatula and or hands. Add more milk if it’s too crumbly and dry. It also should not feel wet and sticky. Do not overwork dough.
  3. Turn dough onto a floured work surface. Knead 2-3 times. Form into a ball or rectangle. 
  4. Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Work on parchment paper or a silicone mat, if you can, for easy removal. Dust work surface with additional flour if dough sticks.
  5. Cut into bite size (roughly 1”x2”) pieces using a knife or pizza wheel
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet. If the back side of the dough is sticky, lightly flour the baking sheet prior to transferring. Lightly flour the top. (The excess flour will help to thicken the broth.)
  7. Cover and chill until ready to cook.

Makes 6 servings.
 




Recipe notes:
  1. Use rotisserie chicken for a shortcut. Add one packet of chicken bouillon to the broth to add more chicken flavor, optional.
  2. Do not cut butternut smaller than 3/4-inch thick. It will will be too tender and become mushy.
  3. If using bone-in chicken, make sure you have enough to yield 5 to 6 cups of unpacked shredded chicken once deboned.


Great finds for the home and family! Any commission made on purchases help towards the running of this blog.



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4 comments:

  1. I love this soup! A few years back I created a recipe that had sage after trying it in a chicken soup we ate out--it's so good in chicken soup. And the butternut is genius!

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    1. Thank you Inger!! I thought butternut would make a perfect fall version of chicken and dumplings. I don’t use a lot of sage, but I’m with you...it’s so good in soup style chicken dishes.

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  2. This truly does look like a comforting meal. Thank you for the tips on preparing the dumplings, especially about replacing some flour with cornstarch. I'm sure you are so excited about your home projects, they sound great. BTW, I've been working on being able to once again comment on your blog, hope this goes through.

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    1. I’m so glad you are able to comment Karen! I’m sorry that you have had so much trouble with them in the past on. I like using the cornstarch trick to make the dough tender. I’m so happy with the reno so far. We are waiting for the new floors, but it looks so much better already :)

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