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Do You Remove the Skin When Cooking Chicken & Dumplings With a Whole Chicken?

by Brynne Chandler

Serve homemade chicken and dumplings alongside a salad tossed with creamy dressing for a special weekend meal tradition your children will grow up to remember fondly. When you're cooking chicken and dumplings, remember that boiled chicken skin is a nuisance to remove from the pot and unappetizing on the plate. Roasting the chicken with the skin on and then removing it offers some of the extra flavor of skin-on chicken. Stewing the chicken with the skin off is the best solution for one-pot recipes.

Chicken and Dumplings Facts

Traditional chicken and dumplings is a stew made of shredded chicken and vegetables in a creamy broth, with flour dumplings steamed on top at the end of the cooking time. Start by sauteeing onions and celery, adding the chicken first and then fresh vegetables as you prep them. Chicken and dumplings is a rich and hearty meal that's the epitome of comfort food. Using a mixture of white and whole-wheat flour for the dumplings to make them fluffier. If your dumpling recipe calls for buttermilk, try substituting buttermilk ranch dressing for half the amount for extra tasty dumplings.

Chicken Skin Facts

Chicken skin is delicious when roasted or fried so that it's crispy. However, it becomes flabby and unappetizing when it's boiled or stewed. Remove chicken skin before adding it to a stew. The bones, however, add not only flavor but also minerals and nutritious ingredients like gelatin to a slow-simmering dish. Leave the bones on as your chicken cooks. Take them off before adding roasted chicken to to the stew. If you're doing a one-pot meal, simmer the chicken with the bones, and when the meat comes off easily, remove the chicken from the pot and take it off the bones.

Oven-baked Chicken

Chicken roasts best in a hot oven with no liquid added, so preheating to 400 F is a good way to get started. Season the chicken with poultry seasoning or just coarse salt and cracked pepper. Kids like to sprinkle spices on, so get them involved. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached 165 F before taking it out of the oven. Let the chicken cool, peel off the skin and pick off all the meat. Continue with your recipe, confident that you have all the flavor and tenderness the skin provides with none of the extra calories and fat.

One-Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Boiling a chicken like you do for soup lets you cook everything in one pot, cutting down on clean-up. Cook the chicken in just enough water or stock to cover it. Toss in some wine, onion and spices, like poultry seasoning or your favorite dip mix for extra flavor. Simmering takes about 45 minutes if you're using only breast meat, or one and one half hours if you're including other parts like thighs. Prepare vegetables and add them as you go; even little kids can help by washing them. Add water or stock as needed after you remove the chicken to pick the meat off the bones so you'll have enough broth to easily cook the dumplings.

About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.

Photo Credits

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