I recently discovered that Chicken Pastry is the same thing as Chicken n’ Dumplings. My best friend requested this recipe and I was like “wtf is chicken pastry??!”
Turns out it’s chicken n’ dumplings. We grew up in the same town and so did the folks that raised us, so I guess it’s more familial than regional? I’m not sure.
This is a pretty simple recipe, just a tad involved and takes some time. It’s important to note that the water amounts greatly vary; I think tasting as you go works better than measuring for this one.
If you don’t feel like making your dumplings from scratch for whatever reason I recommend buying Anne’s Flat Dumplings if you can find them. Here in North Carolina, most stores carry them in the freezer section.
I use Butcher Box chickens for my Chicken Pastry, and their chicken is free-range and organic, and the whole chickens average around 3-5 pounds.
If you cannot find a chicken this size, just use 3 pounds whichever chicken parts you want – with skin and with bones. Boneless skinless chicken is just not flavorful enough for Chicken Pastry.
Tender chicken and dumplings cooked together in a savory broth.
3 lb chicken (cut into pieces if needed)
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons chicken boullion
4 quarts water
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
Place your chicken in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and add enough water to just cover the pieces. Add your peppercorns and salt the water generously. Not like pasta water generous tho, don’t go crazy.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat slightly. Boil until the chicken is cooked through; about 45 minutes, then remove from the pot and set aside to cool.
Remove about 3/4 of a cup of broth from the pot and set aside. Strain the remaining broth and return it to the pot.
When the chicken has cooled enough to handle debone it and remove any excess fat. Shred the meat while your hands are already messy and set it aside.
Add the skin and bones back to the pot along with just enough water to cover. Stir in your chicken bouillon and some black pepper. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat while you prepare the dumplings.
In a medium bowl sift together flour and approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste). Pour in the chicken broth we reserved earlier and combine into a moist dough. It’ll be just slightly sticky.
Turn your dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to your desired thickness. Most do about 1/8″. Cut the dough into your desired shape and sized dumplings and transfer to parchment paper. Allow to rest on the counter for at least 45 minutes to an hour.
After the broth has been simmering for about an hour, remove the skin and bones. I like to strain it again here, just to make sure I don’t miss anything. Add about half a cup of water – just enough to offset any reduction that occurred while simmering. Then add your onion powder and celery salt. Adjust seasonings to taste as needed.
When the dumplings are ready to cook, bring the broth to a low boil, then add dumplings one by one. Do not stir them or drop them on top of each other.
After you’ve added all of your dumplings and they’ve puffed up and are floating at the top (2-3 minutes), gently stir and add your shredded chicken. Crack in some more black pepper, cover the pot halfway and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
The dumplings should be tender and not at all doughy. If you like a creamier pastry, you can stir together 1 tsp of cornstarch and 1 tsp of cold water, and add that into the pot during the final cooking. Keep in mind that the dumplings will thicken the broth naturally as it sits.