Kathleen Purvis Q&A

What’s the right way to make chicken and dumplings?

kpurvis@charlotteobserver.comApril 2, 2013 

Q: I have found conflicting advice on the proper way to cook chicken and dumplings. Should the dumplings be cooked in a rolling boil or a slow boil? Should you stir them? Do you keep the lid on?

You see conflicting advice because there are so many versions of chicken and dumplings. It’s typically a handed-down family recipe. Even the dumplings vary, from flat dumplings that are rolled out and cut to drop dumplings that are more like biscuits.

Typically, you make the chicken stew and add the dumplings toward the end. For a rolled dumpling, which might be pushed down into the stew so it’s wet on both sides, you would cover the pot so the steam would help cook the dumplings through. For a drop dumpling, you can leave the lid off so the top gets a little crispy or you can cover it so the top stays soft.

In either style, you usually add dumplings to a stew that is at a slow boil. If it’s boiling too fast, it might tear the dumplings up. You also don’t stir them so they don’t break apart.

Email questions about cooking and food to Kathleen Purvis at kpurvis@charlotteobserver.com.

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