The stick-to-your-ribs appeal of chicken and dumplings deepens as the evenings cool down. This version adds the vegetal sweetness of acorn and butternut squash, coaxed into full flavor with farm-sourced carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, and onion.
Chicken and Dumplings with Squash Recipe
2 lb bone-in skinless chicken breast or thighs
1 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp butter
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and diced
1 acorn squash, thinly sliced and roasted with salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs thyme
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks celery, diced
1/3 cup flour
4 ½ cups chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon, optional
1 ½ cups half-and-half
FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sugar
¼ cup cold milk
¾ cup cold sour cream
4 tbsp butter, melted
- Season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 4 ½-quart soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes per side, until a little bit of a brown color has developed. The middle will still be uncooked. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then dice into bite-sized pieces.
- Melt the butter in the same pot over medium heat and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot. Add the squash, diced onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, cinnamon and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the chicken broth and half-and-half in small splashes, stirring continuously and scraping up any remnants from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer, uncovered, while you make the dumplings.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Add the milk, sour cream, and melted butter. Use a folding motion to combine and form a dough, but don’t overmix or they will be dense.
- Add the chicken back to the soup along with any juices from the plate. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low.
- Use a small cookie scoop and carefully place the dumplings over the soup in an even layer. Spoon a little liquid over each one.
- Cover tightly and increase heat slightly to bring it to a gentle Set a timer for 15 minutes; don’t lift the lid during this time, the dumplings need to steam.
- Open the lid and insert a toothpick into the middle of a dumpling to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. If not, cover and simmer for a few more minutes.
- Once the middle is set, garnish with thyme and roasted acorn squash.
Recipes and Styling by Anna Calabrese / Photography by Dave Bryce / With Support from Buy Fresh Buy Local Western PA
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