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Potato Flakes Are The Secret Shortcut To Thicker Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings in a gray bowl
Chicken and dumplings in a gray bowl - Rudisill/Getty Images

Chicken and dumplings remain an underrated comfort dish that we will never get tired of. Eaten for generations, the chewy balls of dough simmered in an aromatic stew is a classic Southern dish. One of the best parts of the meal tends to be the broth, particularly when it's rich and hearty. But it can be tricky to achieve. If you're struggling to thicken your chicken and dumplings, instant mashed potato flakes are the answer.

The base for chicken and dumplings involves building on flavors via multiple steps. After pan-searing the chicken until it's browned, onion, garlic, celery, and carrots lend their flavors to the remaining juices from the poultry. From there, you add the butter and flour to create a pasty roux. There's no set time on how long this takes, but if you want roux with a velvety texture, it's usually around 15 minutes. Once the roux is thickened, you'll add your broth to the pot.

When you add potato flakes, the stew for chicken and dumplings thickens instantly. Since they're used to create instant mashed potatoes, pouring the broth and potato flakes at the same time immediately creates the creamy texture needed for chicken and dumplings. This helpful technique saves on time while bolstering the classic dish with an even more comforting taste from the potatoes. While butter or fat isn't needed with the potato flakes present, it can still be added to infuse the dish with richness while ensuring it doesn't taste too much like potatoes.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Can You Use Potato Flakes To Make Dumplings?

Top-down view of a bowl of instant potato flakes
Top-down view of a bowl of instant potato flakes - Michelle Lee Photography/Getty Images

The dumplings in this classic dish are typically made with flour, but with recipes like shortcut chicken and dumplings that rely on gnocchi, potato flakes can definitely be used for chicken and dumplings. Using potato flakes for the dumplings rather than the stew itself keeps the aromatic flavor intact while creating luscious balls of dough akin to mini potatoes floating around in creamy chicken soup.

Adding potato flakes to the dumpling batter follows the same steps as how regular dumplings are made. Simply add flour, baking powder, and potato flakes to a bowl and whisk milk and oil into it until it produces dough. The dumplings will still take around the same time to rise -- about 10 to 15 minutes. Just like potato flakes transform the broth, the spud brings a hearty flavor to the soup.

A mix of flour and potato flakes shouldn't taste overwhelmingly like the latter ingredient, but if it does, spruce up the dumplings with your favorite herbs and spices. Before adding the milk and oil to the mix, add dried herbs like parsley, sage, rosemary, or oregano to enhance the dumplings while lightening the potatoes' rich taste.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.