chicken and dumplings, or what happens when a nashville girl finds herself living in upstate new york

This is apparently what happens when a nice, normal, essentially vegetarian girl from Nashville, Tennessee moves to upstate New York and finds herself in a place that is freezing cold and where people don’t know what dumplins are. She starts to cook things she has never cooked before but that have been lying dormant within her for years and are now starting to emerge….

I have also been telling John to “get him some [whatever].” As in, “Hey sweetie, why don’t you get you some hot tea to drink?”  Now, I grew up in metropolitan (that’s right) Nashville.  I don’t have a southern accent.  My parents never said “get you some [anything]” and actually spoke with perfect grammar at all times.  But now that I live in Ithaca, I find myself sort of slipping into the role of southerner in a way that I never have before, as if by making gravy and black-eyed peas and dumplins I will somehow retain an essential part of myself that I fear may slip away into the cold nothingness of the northern winter….

Ahem.  Identity crisis aside, back to the recipe. this is for chicken and dumpling purists.  You can obviously add some carrots or parsley or whatever else you feel like, but tonight I made it just as plain as plain can be and it was amazing.  Especially with a recipe this simple it is important to use the best ingredients you can afford (i.e., organic chicken!).

I do believe from start to table this took less than half an hour.


1 onion, finely chopped (plus some minced garlic if you aren’t as lazy as I was tonight)

2 c. chicken broth plus 4 cups water, (approximately– just add those liquids in whatever proportion you feel like until you have about as much soup liquid as you want!)

1 cup chopped pieces of roasted chicken

For the dumplings: Mix 2 cups flour with 1 t salt and 4 t baking powder (stir to combine). Add 3/4 c. milk (I used soy milk) and 4 T oil (I used EVOO) and mix until a moist dough has formed.  Make into dumplings any size or shape you want!

1. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a stock pot.  Bring to medium heat and cook onions for 5-10 minutes, preferably until they start to brown ever so slightly. You can also add as much minced garlic as you want towards the end! I was lazy tonight and just poured some garlic powder in instead! (While the onions were cooking I started making the dumplings so they would be ready to throw in)

2.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth (I used 1 cup of homemade gravy plus 1 cup water).  Add 2-4 cups more water and chicken and cook on med-high heat for 10 minutes, adding the dumplings at any point.  Once the dumplings are in, cook for about 10 minutes more.

3.  Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.  (Optional: remove from heat and let the soup rest for 15 minutes or so before serving)


7 thoughts on “chicken and dumplings, or what happens when a nashville girl finds herself living in upstate new york”

    1. yes! it is another theme! i have to go around tomorrow and ask car places how much it will cost to get studded snow tires on my car!!! where am i? and, in the words of david byrne, “well? how did i get here?”

  1. I loved the recipe! I also loved that when I read Upstate New York, I was dying to find out which part of the state you were in. Us Central NY’ers (in Syracuse) love the geographical implications that come with the different people living here :). Enjoy Ithaca! I love the area. 🙂

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