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A young lady I know has informed me that "Chicken & Dumplings" is amongst her favorite dishes. I have only attempted this a few times with only marginal success. Mostly my dumplings end up too bland and too loose. I have tried both of Alton Brown's recipes and (sorry Alton, I'm sure it is my fault and not your mothers') I am still not happy with the results.

I would greatly appreciate any sage advise from the readers here.

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Were both of Alton's recipes too bland and too loose? Can you provide links to them? – Jefromi May 30 '11 at 1:33
I want to be clear that I expect there was something I did that made the recipes fail.... Alton's Dropped Dumplings are here:… And his rolled dumplings are… – Cos Callis May 30 '11 at 2:19
America's Test Kitchen did a show on this. Their recipe is involved, but easy to follow and very tasty. – dmckee May 30 '11 at 4:43
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'm not sure about the texture (looseness), especially since those are two different methods. My best guess would be that it's just a flour measurement thing - moisture content in flour can vary, so the best thing to do is look for hints in the recipe about the desired texture (like "It should tear slightly as it falls from the beater"), and increase or decrease the flour to match.

The primary flavors here are salt and chicken, so first just check the amount of salt in both dumplings and broth. For the chicken, you're getting all the flavor out of it by making broth. So make sure you used enough chicken (and not too much water), and that you cooked it long enough. Those recipes use a pressure cooker - if you don't have one, it takes way longer to cook, of course.

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+1 for flour - it varies by brand and even batch. – ElendilTheTall May 30 '11 at 8:47

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