Introduction: Serving Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is a classic comfort food that has been a staple in many households for generations. The warm, savory dish is made with tender chicken and fluffy dumplings, cooked in a rich and flavorful broth. While the dish is delicious on its own, it can be even better when paired with the right sides and beverages.
Whether you’re looking for classic sides, Southern-style fare, hearty options, seasonal pairings, international influences, or lighter options, there are plenty of delicious pairings to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best sides and beverages to serve with chicken and dumplings, so you can enjoy a perfectly balanced and satisfying meal.
Classic Sides: Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
If you’re looking for a classic pairing for chicken and dumplings, you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes and green beans. The creamy, buttery potatoes and crisp-tender beans are the perfect complement to the rich and flavorful broth of the chicken and dumplings.
To make mashed potatoes, simply boil peeled and chopped potatoes until they’re tender, then mash them with butter, milk, salt, and pepper. For green beans, steam or sauté them until they’re tender-crisp, then season them with salt, pepper, and a little bit of butter or olive oil.
Southern Style: Collard Greens and Cornbread
For a Southern-style twist on chicken and dumplings, try serving collard greens and cornbread on the side. The hearty greens and sweet, crumbly cornbread are a perfect match for the rich and savory flavors of the chicken and dumplings.
To make collard greens, simply sauté chopped onions and garlic in a little bit of bacon fat, then add chopped collard greens, chicken broth, and seasonings like salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Let the greens simmer until they’re tender and flavorful. For cornbread, mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, eggs, and melted butter, then bake until golden brown.
Hearty Options: Roasted Vegetables and Salad
If you’re looking for a heartier option to serve with your chicken and dumplings, try roasted vegetables and a side salad. The roasted veggies add a depth of flavor and texture to the meal, while the fresh salad provides a refreshing contrast.
To make roasted vegetables, simply chop up your favorite veggies (like carrots, potatoes, onions, and Brussels sprouts), toss them with olive oil and seasonings, and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. For salad, use your favorite greens and veggies, like mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots, and dress with a simple vinaigrette.
Comfort Food: Mac and Cheese and Biscuits
For the ultimate comfort food meal, serve chicken and dumplings with mac and cheese and biscuits. The creamy, cheesy pasta and fluffy, buttery biscuits are the perfect complement to the warm and comforting chicken and dumplings.
To make mac and cheese, cook your favorite pasta (like elbow macaroni) according to the package instructions, then make a cheese sauce with butter, flour, milk, and shredded cheese. Combine the pasta and sauce, and bake until bubbly and golden. For biscuits, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk, then bake until golden brown.
Seasonal Pairings: Sweet Potatoes and Cranberry Sauce
If you’re looking for seasonal pairings to serve with your chicken and dumplings, try sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. The sweet and savory flavors of the sweet potatoes and the tart and tangy flavors of the cranberry sauce are the perfect complement to the warm and comforting chicken and dumplings.
To make sweet potatoes, simply peel and chop them into bite-sized pieces, toss them with olive oil and seasonings, and roast in the oven until tender and caramelized. For cranberry sauce, cook fresh or frozen cranberries with sugar, water, and orange zest until they burst and thicken.
International Influences: Rice and Naan Bread
For an international twist on chicken and dumplings, try serving rice and naan bread on the side. The fluffy rice and warm, pillowy naan bread are the perfect complement to the savory and aromatic flavors of the chicken and dumplings.
To make rice, simply cook your favorite variety (like basmati or jasmine) according to the package instructions. For naan bread, mix together flour, yeast, salt, sugar, yogurt, and water, then knead and let rise before cooking on a hot griddle or in the oven.
Lighter Options: Steamed Vegetables and Fruit Salad
If you’re looking for lighter options to serve with your chicken and dumplings, try steamed vegetables and a fruit salad. The steamed veggies provide a healthy dose of nutrients and fiber, while the fruit salad provides a refreshing and sweet contrast.
To make steamed vegetables, simply steam your favorite veggies (like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) until tender-crisp, then season with salt, pepper, and a little bit of butter or olive oil. For fruit salad, use your favorite fruits (like strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and pineapple) and dress with a simple honey-lime dressing.
Beverage Choices: Wine, Beer, or Iced Tea
When it comes to beverages to serve with chicken and dumplings, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re looking for a classic pairing, try a glass of red wine (like Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon) or a cold beer (like a lager or pilsner). For a Southern-style twist, try serving sweet tea or iced tea with lemon.
Conclusion: Experimenting with Chicken and Dumpling Pairings
As you can see, there are plenty of delicious sides and beverages to serve with chicken and dumplings. Whether you prefer classic pairings or want to try something new and exciting, there are endless possibilities to explore. So go ahead and experiment with different flavors, textures, and cuisines, and enjoy the comforting and satisfying goodness of chicken and dumplings, paired with your favorite sides and beverages.