Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

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Imagine a cozy evening, the kind that beckons for comfort, warmth, and a meal that feels like a hug from the inside out. That’s where this copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe steps in, a dish so steeped in homely goodness, it’s like returning to your childhood kitchen where love simmered in every pot on the stove.

This recipe isn’t just food; it’s a journey back to simpler times, wrapped up in a bowl of tender chicken, soft, pillowy dumplings, and a savory broth that melds everything together into a symphony of flavors. It’s the meal you turn to when you need to feel grounded, connected, and utterly content. And the best part? It’s remarkably simple to whip up, requiring just 40 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect for those nights when you’re craving something deeply satisfying yet straightforward.

Cook Time: 35 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

6 cups of chicken broth for that rich, umami base.
2 ribs of celery, halved, to infuse the broth with a subtle, earthy flavor.
1/2 a medium onion, kept in a chunk, because it’s all about the essence.
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved, ensuring every spoonful has a tender bite.
3 cups of all-purpose flour, the foundation of our hearty dumplings.
1 Tbsp of baking powder, because we adore our dumplings fluffy and soft.
1 1/4 tsp of salt, to bring all the flavors together harmoniously.
1 cup + 2 Tbsp of milk, which transforms the flour into a magical dough.
Salt and pepper, adjusted to your heart’s content.

Instructions:

Begin this culinary adventure by bringing together the chicken broth, celery, and onion in a welcoming stockpot or Dutch oven. Nestle in the chicken breasts and let the pot simmer away, partially covered, as the ingredients get acquainted.

While the broth is bubbling and the chicken cooks tenderly, it’s time to turn your attention to the dumplings. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually stir in the milk until a shaggy dough forms, promising future bites of dumpling delight.

Flour your surface and roll out this dough to a whisper of its former self, about 1/4 inch thick. With a pizza cutter in hand, craft the dough into strips or squares, each destined to become a bite-sized piece of comfort.

Once the chicken is perfectly cooked, transfer it to a cutting board. Bid farewell to the onion and celery, as their job is done. Introduce the dough to the simmering broth, and watch as it thickens to a gravy-like consistency, the dumplings cooking to perfection.

Shred or chop the chicken and invite it back into the pot, where it belongs amongst the dumplings. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve this dish of comfort warm, straight from the heart of the kitchen to the table.

Variations and Notes:

Feel free to get creative with pre-cooked chicken (like that from a rotisserie chicken) if you’re pressed for time. Simply add it towards the end to warm through, following the same heartfelt process with the dumplings and broth. This recipe is forgiving and versatile, welcoming tweaks and personal touches that make it uniquely yours.

Nutrition Information: (Yield: 6 servings) Each serving is a comforting embrace of 418 calories, balanced with nutrients and flavors that nourish both body and soul.

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