I grew up with a large family. Five brothers, two sisters, and my parents. So when one of us caught something, the house was basically turned into a hospital with stuffy nosed kids hacking up all the time. My mom (the trooper that she was) would take care of us all even though she needed some help herself.
My favorite recipe that she would make for us during times like those is chicken and dumplings with mushrooms. It was a pot of home cooked comfort, that gave us a little bit of our sanity back. It has a delicious savory bacon and mushroom flavor that is a twist on the classic chicken flavor that you would be expecting.
For the most part it is a really simple recipe. It’s just, bacon, chicken, mushrooms, a few herbs and spices, and some simple dumplings (which are insanely easy to whip up by the way). As always organic is the way to go when finding your ingredients.
Even though my mother’s chicken and dumplings with mushrooms tastes absolutely fabulous, that is not why we made it. What we really wanted was the healing properties that it had.
For starters, the mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, which assists in the strengthening of bones and with important bodily functions as well.
The chicken broth is also a huge part of the nutrition you get from this recipe. It contributes gelatin which is great for promoting healthy hair and nail growth, and supporting proper digestion. Gelatin also assists a healthy immune system, and helps all of your organs function smoother. The protein from the chicken, chicken stock, bacon, and eggs from the dumplings also help your body to to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin.
It’s really good for you, but it’s also simple enough to make. Let’s get down to how it’s done.
Crisp bacon in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Keep the bacon fat in the pan.
Cut the chicken horizontally, along the cutting board.
Then cut the chicken down the middle from the top, resulting in four chicken strips.
Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, in same pot over medium heat until deep golden brown and crisp (flipping halfway through), 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Still using the bacon fat, saute the mushrooms, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add the herbs and white wine to the pan and bring it to the boil. (If you already know you don’t like sauces and soups made with cooking wine, then just leave it out. It will still be amazing, but the wine gives it a much more intense flavor.) Continue to boil until half of the wine has evaporated.
Tear up the chicken into bite sized pieces, and put it in the bottom of a dutch oven. Add the bacon, mushroom mixture, and chicken broth to the pot as well. It should be quite thick, but still completely covered with broth. Give it a good stir and bring to a boil before simmering on low for 30-45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
In a small bowl, mix together all of the dumpling ingredients and drop teaspoonfuls into a saucepan of salted boiling water. The dough does expand a lot when it cooks so don’t overcrowd the pan.
Boil the dumplings for five minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon and placing them in a bowl. Keep the dumplings and stew separate until you are ready to serve.
To make this dish ahead, you could make this recipe up to the point where you simmer everything together, and mix it up in a slow cooker where it would simmer on low for several hours. I’d suggest doing this before work in the morning so it is hot and ready when you are ready to eat dinner.
You can also make the dumplings up to three days ahead, and have them sitting in the fridge until you need them. Then you would just allow them to reheat in the stew before serving.
Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms
- 6 oz. slab bacon, cut into ¼” pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 chicken legs (drumsticks with thighs; about 2 lb.)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds mixed mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Dumplings And Assembly
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- Crisp bacon in a large heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
- Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, in same pot over medium heat until deep golden brown and crisp (flipping halfway through), 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Cook mushrooms in same pot, seasoning with salt and pepper and stirring occasionally, until brown, 5–8 minutes. Add onion and garlic to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 5–8 minutes.
- Add wine to pot; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, bacon, thyme, bay leaves, and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is falling off the bone, 2–2½ hours. Add mushrooms and simmer until flavors meld, 10–15 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Dumplings And Assembly
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, pepper, and ¾ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs and milk (batter will be slightly lumpy). Reduce heat until water is at a strong simmer. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter into water; cook until the dumplings are cooked through and doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; add to stew just before serving.
- Do Ahead: Stew (without dumplings) can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
What’s your favorite dish your mom used to make for you?