Chicken and Dumplings

This is the most amazing comfort food, ever! This is love on a plate. Rich, creamy, full of chicken and gravy with soft, tender dumplings. This had a 9- stamp of approval; my whole family loved it and yours will, too!
Make this on your home day. There are short cuts you could make to this recipe, but I'm going to share with you the delicious long version that made the house smell amazing and everyone crazed with anticipation for dinner. Well worth it. Serve with a delicious side salad.

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Roast your chicken:
1 fryer chicken
fresh thyme and bay leaves
onion, halved
2 carrots
2 celery stalks

Wash your chicken and pat dry. Stuff your chicken with the onion, carrots and celery. Take a couple sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, and a pat of butter and stuff under the skin of the chicken breast by gently pulling the skin away from the breast all the way to the neck. Drizzle the bird with olive oil and sprinkle course salt and cracked black pepper. Place in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 45 minutes. The internal temperature should be at 165 degrees and allowed to rest. The temperature will rise about 5 degrees more while resting.

Take your chicken out of the oven when finished cooking and let cool enough to handle. Take all the meat off the chicken, tearing into small pieces) and put in a bowl. Wrap with plastic wrap and keep in your fridge until ready. Reserve the bones to make stock.

Make your stock: 
one onion, halved
2 carrots, halved
2 garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, halved

Take your bones and put them in a pot and fill with cool water to cover. Put on your stove top on high and let it come to a boil. Meanwhile put your onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the pool. Once up to a boil, turn oven down to a simmer and simmer for about 2-3 hours. 
This is where the nice aroma comes in! Let this stock simmer down and create a full-body flavor from the bones of the chicken and the vegetables.
Once done, place a colander in a large bowl (large enough to fit all the liquid) and pour out your stock straining all the bones and vegetables.
Take out the colander and you've got your stock ready to use for the chicken and dumplings.

Homemade Dumplings:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon parsley flakes, if desired
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup milk 

Mix flour, parsley, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk.

Take the dough, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.
Chicken and Dumplings Assembly:

In a clean stock pot, melt 4 tbsp. of butter
Add 1/4 cup flour and stir to make a roux
Whisk until incorporated and nice, white, and creamy
Pour in your reserved chicken stock. You should have about 4 cups
Begin to whisk incorporating the roux with the stock until it is nice and creamy
Add salt and pepper to taste
Bring it up to a boil 

Get out your dumpling dough out of the fridge and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Take a knife or pizza cutter and cut into 1-inch squares. 
Once the thickened soup has come to a boil, plop in (about 6 at time) of the dumplings. They will float when done. Scoop out with a strainer and place on a paper towel lined plate. Keep adding the dumplings to the soup until all the dumplings are done or however many you want to add. Once done, put all the pulled chicken, and dumplings together in the pot to warm. 
Serve in individual bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.


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