Chicken and Dumplings with Squash

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

INGREDIENTS

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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Season each side of the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 4 ½-quart soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the flour and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  5. Add the chicken broth and half-and-half in small splashes, stirring continuously and scraping up any remnants from the bottom of the pot.
  6. Bring to a gentle boil and let it simmer, uncovered, while you make the dumplings.
  7. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  8. 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.
  9. Add the chicken back to the soup along with any juices from the plate. Stir to combine and reduce heat to low.
  10. Use a small cookie scoop and carefully place the dumplings over the soup in an even layer. Spoon a little liquid over each one.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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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