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Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

by elyn_ryn

This Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings recipe uses mini cookie cutters to cut out pastry hearts in different sizes. It is a fun and tasty meal for a Valentine’s Day celebration. For other occasions, use shaped cookie cutters to cut out things like rabbits for spring, pumpkins for fall, etc. Furthermore, you can use the suggested premade pasta without cutting shapes to enjoy a delicious bowl of chicken and dumplings. 

Make Food Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of the holidays when I like to prepare fun food for my family and friends. I love to put hearts in unexpected places. I got this idea for chicken and dumplings when I wanted to serve heart-shaped food for Valentine’s Day. So instead of adding plain pastry strips to chicken soup, I used mini cookie cutters to cut out hearts. It was easy and didn’t take too long to cut the tiny hearts, and the finished dish was worth all the trouble!

Easy Heart-Shaped Chicken Dumplings Recipe

This is an easy recipe for chicken and dumplings. It uses boxed chicken stock, rotisserie chicken, and premade pastry for the dumplings. Even though it is a semi-homemade dish, it is still surprisingly delicious.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Frozen Dumplings for Heart-Shaped Chicken Dumplings

I used flat frozen dumplings (shown below) for this recipe. These dumplings, made with flour, water, and vegetable oil, are packaged in strips that make cutting easy. Before starting the pastry cutting, defrost the dumplings for a few minutes after removing them from the freezer. The instructions on the box say to defrost them for 5 minutes. However, I give them a little longer to make them easy to cut with a cookie cutter.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Cover the Pastry to Prevent it from Drying Out

The pastry sheets are separated by parchment paper. Once you pull out the needed sheets of dough, leave them on the parchment paper. Place a clean, damp towel or paper towel over the pastry sheets because the edges dry out quickly.

Use Small Cookie Cutters for Heart-Shaped Chicken Dumplings

Use mini cookie cutters or fondant cutters. The sizes I used were approximately 1.75 inches (large), 1.25 inches (medium), and .75 inches (small). I cut a combination of heart sizes to use up most of the dough. The variety also made the soup more interesting. I made a ball of the leftover scraps, rolled it out, and cut hearts. This ensured that none of the dough went to waste.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

This pastry dough is packaged in flat sheets and is scored to make three strips. The largest heart cutter I used fit on the strips. I started at the edge of a strip and cut across the dough. Do not worry about breaking apart the individual strips.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

The pastry dough is easiest to cut when it has thawed a little–but not too much. If you try to cut hearts while the dough is frozen, it shatters easily, and the hearts also can break when you try to remove them from the cutter. Try to cut the dumpling hearts when the dough is frozen just enough to hold its shape yet not thawed enough to let the dough stretch and distort because it is too warm. If you have cutters without a “comfort” grip like these, use a hand towel to press them through the dough.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

The Hearts Grow When Cooked

The hearts will swell and double their size as they absorb the broth when cooking. The 1.25-inch and .75-inch cutters made the best heart sizes for the soup.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Add Heart-Shaped Carrots

It is also fun to use a small cutter to make heart-shaped carrots for this soup. This is optional because the heart dumplings are the star of this soup, after all. If you choose to cut heart carrots, use a large carrot so the mini cutter will fit on it. First, cut the carrot into coins. Then use a heart cutter that is smaller than the carrot coins. I used the .75-inch heart cutter for these carrots.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Leftovers

This chicken and dumplings recipe keeps well in the refrigerator. It also actually tastes better a day or two after it is prepared. Be forewarned that the heart dumplings (especially the largest ones) can break easily after sitting since they absorb lots of liquid. If you need to rehydrate this soup after a day or two, add broth and milk at a 2:1 ratio. In other words, if you add 1 cup of broth, add 1/2 cup of milk.

Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Other Dumpling Sources

Anne’s Dumplings are usually available online if you cannot find them at your area grocery store (www.annesdumplings.com). However, shipping was temporarily suspended because of the pandemic. To substitute for these dumplings, make your own pastry or use the products listed below.

  • Mary Hill Dumplings
  • Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings
  • Round dumpling wrappers used to make Asian dumplings
  • Partially cooked lasagna noodles (partially cook, cool to touch, and then cut hearts)
Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings

Other Chicken Soup Recipes You Might Like

Click on the links below for other chicken recipes you might like!

Print Recipe
Heart-Shaped Chicken & Dumplings
Semi-homemade chicken and dumplings with heart-shaped dumplings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Remove the dumplings from the freezer and let them thaw enough that you can separate them. Leaving the parchment paper between the dough sheets, remove 10 dough sheets from the box. Place a damp paper towel or kitchen towel on top of the sheets to keep the edges from drying out. (See note section for thawing tip.)
  2. Place the chicken stock into a large pot. Heat on medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
  3. Peel and cut the carrot into coins. If you choose to make heart-shaped carrots, use a cookie cutter to cut hearts out of the carrot coins. Otherwise, use the carrot rounds as they are. Place the carrots into the chicken stock to cook.
  4. Add the bouillon, salt, pepper, and butter. Stir to dissolve the bouillon.
  5. Use the mini heart cutters to cut out heart shapes from the pastry dough. After you cut a sheet of the hearts, add them one at a time to the boiling chicken stock. Stir lightly after adding them. Continue cutting hearts until all of the pastry sheets are used. Place pastry scraps in a pile under a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Make a ball from the dough scraps and then roll it 1/4-inch thick. Cut heart shapes from the dough and place them into the boiling chicken stock.
  6. Let the dumplings cook for 8-12 minutes after the last dumplings are added to the stock. Do not cover the pot. If the water level drops low, add 1-2 cups of water to bring it back up.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and add a lid. Let it sit for 30 minutes. The heart dumplings will absorb the liquid during this time and soften. Stir after the 30-minute rest period.
  8. Place the dumplings on low heat. Add the chicken, whole milk, and evaporated milk. Stir to mix. Heat until hot, but do not boil.
Recipe Notes

Thawing Dumplings

You can speed up the dumpling thawing process by removing the stack of dumplings from the box and placing it in the microwave. Then microwave for 15 seconds. Separate 10 sheets of dough to use. Refreeze the rest of the sheets. Place the dumplings box in a plastic gallon freezer bag or into a sealed container to keep them from drying out in the freezer.

Salt

If you are watching your sodium intake, add only 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot.  After the dumplings are finished, salt to taste.

Substitution

You can substitute cream for evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is thicker than regular milk. Whipping or heavy cream is a good substitute for it but adds more calories to the finished dish.

Sources

Click here to go to a source for Nesting Heart Cutters

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