“Chicken and dumplings meets cream of chicken soup” is how I describe this dish. The dumplings, very similar to a gnudi, are lighter than most traditional ones. Also, they are 100% food, unlike some recipes that call for using that awful refrigerated dough product. The cream of chicken soup is roux based so it really holds up to storing and warming for later enjoyment if need be.
Most classic recipes call for simmering a whole chicken to make the stock. While that works, I simply don’t have the time to do this when cooking multiple dinners at once for my clients. A pressure cooker would be great to speed that process up however, I only own one and it’s typically being used for dishes that take much longer. So, I use boxed stock. I prefer Trader Joe’s low sodium organic chicken broth. Not exactly stock, but works well and is one of the most flavorful that I’ve tasted. I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. If you follow me, you’ll notice I use thighs a lot. I feel it is the most flavorful part of a chicken. I opt for boneless skinless in this one since it’s finished with rich cream and uses butter in the roux. I use the skin-on bone-in thighs for dishes that can use the extra fat like chicken pozole and chicken noodle (coming soon!).
As always, the recipe is just a guideline. Always have more stock on hand if you like your soups thinner or if it reduces too much. A little extra cream could help too. Season with salt every step of the way. Don’t hate me if it makes more than enough for eight. It stores and reheats very well. Trust me, I just finished eating the bowl in the picture and I made the soup yesterday. I heat it on the range. One, because I feel warming over the fire slowly is better than a microwave and two, because I don’t own a microwave.
Cream of Chicken Soup with Ricotta Dumplings
Yield: 8 servings Time: about 40 minutes
4 oz butter
1.5 C yellow onion, small diced
1.5 C celery, small diced
2 T garlic, minced
2 T fresh thyme, chopped
3 T AP flour
1.5 qt chicken stock
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 ½ C AP flour
½ C parmesan cheese
2 t salt
2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 C heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, cook the yellow onion, celery, garlic, and thyme in the butter until onions are translucent.
Add the flour and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes. If the flour starts to stick during this process, add a little amount of the stock and scrape the bits of the bottom.
Add about 1/3 of the stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Repeat this process until all the stock has been added.
Bring the soup to a boil, add the chicken thighs, return to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, flour, egg, parmesan, and salt until a loose dough is formed. Place the dough into a piping bag (if you do not have one, a plastic bag will typically work) and reserve for later.
Once the chicken is cooked through and pull-apart tender (about 20 minutes), remove it from the soup and let cool to a touchable temperature.
Meanwhile, bring the soup back to a boil. Cut the tip off the piping bag (if necessary) such that it creates about a 1/2” round dumpling when piped out. Using the back of a small knife of butter knife, pipe out about 1” long dumplings directly into the soup until all dough has been used. Bring the soup to a boil until the dumplings are cooked through (about 2 minutes) then back down to a simmer.
Pull apart or chop the chicken thighs as desired for the soup and return it to the pot. Add the cream and adjust with salt and pepper to taste.
If time allows, it is always best to test the dough before putting it into the piping bag. To do this, drop a small piece into boiling water or the soup if the chicken is removed (it will be difficult to find if not) and remove it when done. Taste for salt and consistency. If it falls apart easily, a bit more flour should create a sturdier dumpling.
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