Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chicken And Dumplins

It has been a snowy day here in lovely China Grove. It started about 1:00 this afternoon and as far as I know it is still at it. The only problem is that it has been above 32° all day. So, instead of having about 8 inches of snow we have maybe 2 inches. The fun will come when we finally dip below freezing tonight. All of that wetness on the roads will want to freeze. Should be interesting heading to church tomorrow morning.

So with our church only having 3 remaining Sundays, I needed to plan to take something to our Sunday evening gathering. I thought about making a pound cake, but I only had one full stick of butter. That would have meant driving to the grocery store, and I vetoed that idea.

What this weather called for was comfort food. And what greater comfort food is there than chicken and dumplings? And what is better than wanting to prepare something that you already have all of the ingredients for? So chicken and dumplings won out.

However, I do wish that I had gone on and gotten the butter and made the cake now. I am really starting to get cabin fever! I haven't seen another human face to face all day. On top of that, I just got an email from the pastor saying that we are going to have pizza at tomorrow night's gathering. <Sigh> Oh well!

Since I don't have the heart to torment my good friend G who reads this blog regularly, and since I can't think of a good way to ship him a container of homemade chicken and dumplings, I have decided to tell you how to make them.

I got the foundation of this recipe from my Grandmother before she passed away. But like a lot of good, Southern recipes most of the measures were pretty general. Unfortunately, I don't think that I will be able to do much better here, but I have a pretty good idea of what I did.

Grandma's Chicken & Dumplings


Ingredients


1 Chicken (Cut up. Leave the skin on.)
2 Bay leaves
1 T Italian Seasoning (Usually contains oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil)
1 clove garlic cut in two
1 t dehydrated onion (You could use fresh. I was feeling lazy. Use about ¼ medium onion finely diced.)
5 black pepper corns
Salt to taste (I started with 1½ t, but I ended up adding about 3 t total)
2 c plain white flour

Method

1) Put the chicken in a stock pot. Cover with water. Add the bay leaves, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion, pepper corns, and salt. Cook on medium heat until the chicken comes off the bone easily.

2) Remove the chicken from the stock. Remove the bay leaves. Remove skin from chicken and remove the chicken from the bone. Tear the meat into bite sized pieces and return to the stock. Let it cook until the stock has a nice, light golden color. Make sure that the broth is adequately seasoned. Remove about 3 cups of stock from the pot and set aside.

3) Take ½ c of the flour and mix by hand it in a bowl with just enough of the stock to make it stick together in a ball. Use as few strokes as possible. Overworking it will make the dough tough. Sprinkle flour on your work area and turn the dough ball out onto the flour. Sprinkle flour on the dough and roll out as thin as you possibly can. The thinner the better. Cut the dough into 1 inch squares.

4) Turn up the heat under the stock pot until it is gently boiling. Slowly add the dumplings, gently stirring them into the boiling stock.

5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have used all of the flour. Return any remaining stock to the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook. If you have a crock pot put them in there on the lowest setting.

You could probably eat them within 30 minutes if you just can't wait, but chicken and dumplings get better as they cook. The longer that you can give them the better. Keep an eye on the moisture level and add water as needed. I usually prepare them the day before I plan to eat them.

I hope that this recipe works out OK for you. Chicken and dumplings is one of those things that takes a little practice. If it doesn't go just perfect the first time, don't give up. Even when they aren't the best, they are still pretty good! Thanks for reading.

UPDATE:
I tasted them at about 1 hour, and I frankly couldn't imagine them tasting any better. Hope yours turn out well!

TIP:
Chicken and Dumplings don't really reheat well in the microwave. It changes the taste. They do much better if you slowly warm them back up on the stove top (just be careful to keep them from scorching) or in the oven.

4 comments:

Deborah said...

Hi, Jonathan! Just poppin on to say, "Hi!" The recipe sounds wonderful! I'll have to give them a try soon! Have a great week!

G said...

Hey brother I can taste the "Chicken And Dumplins" from here. At least you are not posting pictures. :)

Jonathan said...

Yeah, I couldn't do that to you, G!

Jonathan said...

Hey, Deb. Thanks! Hope it turns out well for you!