I wanted to share an act of kindness that had a huge impact on me last night. I have been under the weather and like anyone who is ill around Christmas, it starts to get pretty frustrating. With room mom responsibilities not to mention doing fun activities with my own children, I am starting to feel like I am letting everyone down. Last night when my husband came home from work we decided we couldn’t go see Santa and of course I had no dinner plan. There was a text on my phone ten minutes later from my sweet neighbor saying she had made us dinner and was brining it over. Sigh of relief and immense gratitude.
1951 Vogue Paris “Fashionably Sick in Bed” via Clover Vintage
The gesture of thinking of our family and making something so delicious for us really had a huge impact on me. They say chicken soup is good for the soul, but when it’s an unexpected act of kindness it is transformative. She delivered the Classic Chicken and Dumplings Soup with warm bread and sparkling apple cider.
CLASSIC CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Serves 6 | Hands on time 30 minutes | total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds) * see adaption below
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for serving
photo by david meredith
ONE: Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brown in batches, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; reserve the pot. Add the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, and garlic to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken, bay leaves, and 10 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken to a plate; let cool. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and return it to the pot (discarding the skin and bones).
TWO: Add the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, and garlic to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken, bay leaves, and 10 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken to a plate; let cool. Shred the chicken with 2 forks and return it to the pot (discarding the skin and bones).
THREE: Whisk together ½ cup of the flour, 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the flour mixture back into the pot and simmer until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
FOUR: Make the dumplings: Whisk together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk in the butter, buttermilk, and parsley. Reduce heat to low and drop the mixture into the broth in 8 large spoonfuls. Simmer, covered, until the dumplings are firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
By Dawn Perry via Real Simple
*Adaptations: The best part about having a friend make this first is that they find great tips that work. Meghan used a rotisserie chicken, shredded off the usable meat, then simmered the rest in the water and vegetables to make homemade broth.
I can’t wait to pay it forward. I thought it would be nice to pass the recipe along that she used in case your family or a neighbor could use a little TLC. I think it worked as today seems to be much better! Enjoy your day, all.
Oh friend! I hope you feel better very soon! I feel your pain. Both babies with Croup and now mama is out for the count. I will send prayers for speedy recovery before Christmas! xoxo
Oh no! So so hard when the babies are sick but when mama is it’s even worse. Praying for you all to be back to your cheery selves. Miss you. xo
Allison A. says
How sweet and so thoughtful of your neighbor and what a dear friend. Nothing like yummy comforting chicken soup when you’re sick. Glad you’re feeling a bit better. I’ve been thinking about you. Big healing hugs to you!
Thank you, Allison! Nice to have some energy back again. How are you feeling? And yes. . . best neighbor/friend ever. We can never move because we love our neighbors so much. Have a great evening.
I always browse the web for new recipes to try. Your recipe sounds delish. I can’t wait to try it.
Oh it was so yummy! And so healing! xo
Just found your blog and loved the blog, also the recipe. Sorry you are not feeling the best and send my best for a quick recovery!
blog: Maison de Jardin, by Sandra
Thank you so so much! I really appreciate it. Happy you found this little spot on the web. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Sounds delish, but I must know, where are your dishes from? That bowl looks nice and deep and we are looking for a good set of white dishes!