Monday, December 7, 2009

Chicken & Dumplings

It snowed here on Saturday. It snowed 6 inches. And it was a wet snow. I'd hate to think how much it would have been if it had been a dry fluffy snow. For us, in early December - 5" of snow is a lot. The kids & hubby had a blast playing around in it while I went to the grocery store for a few deals. When I got home Kids' Choir Rehearsal had been cancelled and the troops were hungry and cold.  So, I decided this would be a good time to re-jigger the menu plan and make some comfort food.  At our house that means Chicken & Dumplings.

Now I am the first to admit, I am not from the south and I do not cook like a Southerner. I did not grow up with a Mama that made Chicken & Dumplings all the time. She did start making them when I was in college, but I'm still not sure it would pass muster for a true Southerner.  Mom made what she called "slick dumplings". Her sister made dumplings more like biscuits (Isn't it curious the way 2 sisters from the same family come up with different recipes). I preferred the "slick dumplings", so when I finally set about learning to make them, that's what I made. The original recipe came from a church cookbook published about the time I was learning to cook and came from a very nice lady who was also a wonderful cook. I have since re-worked the recipe to fit my more frugal (and slightly healthier) style. The Dumplings are still her recipe, but the stew portion are my own.

Chicken & Dumplings
(printable recipe
 

Ingredients:
  • 6 Cups Chicken Stock (I use my own homemade)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced small
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • Cooked chicken* - diced or shredded (equal to 1 thigh, 1 breast)
  • salt & pepper to taste
For Dumplings:
  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (rounded) shortening
  • 1 Cup milk

Directions:
  1. Pour stock into large pot over medium-high heat, bring to boil.
  2. When stock is boiling, add chopped vegetables and chicken
  3. Bring back to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. While stock is simmering, make dumplings.
  6. Mix dumpling ingredients into dough (you may not need all the milk).
  7. Knead and roll the dough very thin.
  8. Cut in strips, about 1x2 inch pieces.
  9. Drop into boiling chicken broth.
  10. Boil until done (~10 minutes). Taste for doneness.
  11. Mix small amount of milk and flour together. Add to stew to thicken. (This can be adjusted to your family's preference.)

Notes:
Yields enough for 4-6 people depending upon appetite.
* I usually have chicken meat shredded or diced in the freezer. Sometimes it's a breast I have boiled and shredded for future meals, sometimes I shred the leftover meat from a roasted chicken.

8 comments:

Amy Rainey said...

Hey girlie, you know I have to pipe in :) My grandmother actually made them the way you do, with biscuit dough rolled out and cut into strips. The differences would be that she left them thicker and didn't use veggies. Personally, I've always done drop dumplings (probably because it's less work). Instead of rolling it out, I drop it by teaspoon into the broth. The only thing not Southern about yours are the veggies, and I think that is an interesting addition I'll try next time.

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

This sounds so good-good for a snowy day.
vickie

Nicole Feliciano said...

Looks amazing! Please, please share on Momtrends Friday feast this week!

http://momtrends.blogspot.com/2009/12/friday-food-chocolate-pretzels.html

Stephanie said...

I don't know what real chicken and dumplings are like, I have only copied other recipes but it is one of my husbands favorites!

Brenda said...

This looks delicious, and perfect for the cold weather.

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

We are having a cold winter storm, right now. So those dumplings look warm and comforting. Thanks.

Cole said...

That looks so good!

Thanks for sharing. :-)

Debbie said...

Okay, so you'll probably find a bajillion versions of "true" Southern dumplings. I will tell you that puffy dumplings would have been considered heresy with both of my grandmothers! I learned to make dumplings from my paternal grandmother whose dumplings were the desired dish for every church and community function. They were simple but oh so good. Easy! Take equal parts flour and buttermilk (or soured milk) and sprinkle in some salt. Mix together and roll out thinly on a floured board. Cut into rectangles and drop in boiling broth. After dropping them in, stir once, cover the pot and turn off the heat. I think the real taste comes in the broth. While I don't go out and kill a hen to make mine, I do make a tasty broth...no vegetables in the final products. Anyway...yours are every bit as good I am sure. Come join me for Crock Pot Wednesday sometime.

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