The term ‘comfort food’ gets thrown around so much on food blogs that I think it’s lost some of its meaning. A true comfort food is not only delicious, it should actually make you feel comfort from the inside out. There is usually a story that goes with it or a memory that a taste of it evokes, it’s emotional eating in (what I think is) the best way possible.
My ultimate comfort food is my mom’s chicken and dumplings. I believe this recipe comes from my grandmother and it’s pretty much the same as her mother made it. There are different ways to form the dumplings, I grew up with them spooned in in fat round clumps, and I have modified how I cook the chicken for times’ sake, but basically this is the way I remember eating it. When I crave comfort, I crave this dish. As soon as the weather is even a little bit cool out I make it and I love the leftovers for lunch in the days to come. Every family get together you can usually find this on the menu for one of the nights, it’s a great dish to make after a day of skiing and feeds a lot of people.
For the chicken- my mom boils and cubes an entire chicken, then saves the broth. I usually take a couple of boneless breasts and thighs and season them with salt and pepper. Then I brown them in my soup pot before adding water and letting them simmer for about an hour. It’s probably not as flavorful as the whole chicken, but it’s easier and faster and I think it’s still really good. Add in chicken stock or boullion cubes if you need to add more liquid after cooking for extra flavor!
For the dumplings:
3 cups flour
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Work the mixture, adding extra flour, until it’s dough like (not too sticky). You can stop here and just scoop the dough into the soup or you can roll out the dough and cut it into small rectangles. Let it sit out a bit to dry. (I usually do this and then take out my chicken and shred or cut it and add more water/broth if needed while this is happening)
Heat the broth back to boiling. Put in the dumplings and cook at a slow simmer for about 30 minutes. Add in your chopped or shredded chicken for the last 10 minutes.
Pour in 1-2 cups of milk, don’t boil!, and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy!