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Course: Soups & Sandwiches
Keyword: Chicken, Chicken and Dropped Dumplings, Comfort Food, Fall, Southern, Winter

Chicken and Dropped Dumplings

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Fluffy Northern drop-style dumplings, aka "swimmers," don't require very much time at all because there's no drying phase involved (like that employed by Southern-style Chicken and Rolled Dumplings).
So, a typical procedure goes like this: Boil the butter and liquid together, add the flour, beat until the mixture is cool, then work in the eggs.
Remind you of anything? If you answered pate a choux (or choux paste), give yourself a nice big hug, because that is exactly what my mama's dumplings really are, which means that they're as French as Chanel No. 5, only they taste good.
This application first appeared in Season 14 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 1 (5- to 5 1/2-pound) chicken, giblets removed
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 7 to 9 cups water (to just under the max fill line)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Specialized Hardware

7-quart pressure cooker
Electric hand mixer
Kitchen shears
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • Put the chicken and 3 teaspoons of the salt in a 7-quart pressure cooker. Add enough water just to cover the chicken; do not fill above the cooker's "maximum fill" line, or 2/3 full. Cover and lock the lid. Bring to pressure over high heat, about 20 minutes.
  • Once the pot reaches pressure, reduce heat to low, so that you barely hear hissing from the pot. Cook for 45 minutes.
  • Following the manufacturer's instructions, release the pressure using the cooker's release device, or cool the cooker by running cold water over the lid for 5 minutes. Open carefully. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside to cool. The meat should be tender and falling away from the bone. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones in small pieces, cover, and set aside. Discard the skin and bones.
  • Set a cheesecloth-lined colander in a shallow, wide, 6-quart pot, and strain the broth, discarding the solids. Taste and season the broth with additional salt, if desired.
  • Put 1/2 cup of the broth, the butter, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a 2-quart saucier, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, add all of the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to come together, about 1 minute. Decrease heat to low and continue stirring until the mixture forms a ball and is no longer sticky, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and mix with an electric hand mixer, on low speed, until mixture is cool and there is no more steam rising, about 5 minutes. Continue to mix on low, and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is completely incorporated before adding another. You may need to stop occasionally and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Before adding the last egg, check the mixture for consistency: It should tear slightly as it falls from the beater, creating a "V" shape. Transfer the dough to a 1-gallon zip-top bag. Cut off 1 corner of the bag to make a quarter-sized opening.
  • Bring the broth to a slight simmer over medium heat. Pipe 1 inch of the mixture and cut with kitchen shears directly over the broth. Repeat with the remaining batter. Cook, covered, until the dumplings are cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the meat, and wait for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Serve in bowls with freshly ground black pepper.
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