Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken N Dumplings

When my mom would make chicken and dumplings it was a red letter day for our family.  It is such a homey and comforting food,  filling the house with a heavenly scent as the chicken stewed to make the broth.  There are many forms of this dish across America with variations on the dumplings. For those readers that are not from America let me tell you this is real American food!  The way my mom made it and now I make it is with noodles and dumplings.  The chicken stews all day with bay leaves, celery, carrot, salt, and onion creating a rich broth.  The dumplings are bit and light and fluffy.  I end up making a triple batch for our family because the dumpling is every ones favorite part.  I'm going to have to start making a quadruple batch soon because there are no leftovers of dumplings for lunch the next day.  There is really nothing better on a cold fall night than this soup.

Chicken and Dumplings My Way

I mention in the following recipe additions as you like.   Depending on things in my kitchen I will add stuff here and there.  So if I have a slice of stale bread I add it to thicken and enrich the broth.  You can't tell its there and it uses something that might go to waste.  I do this allot. Also this makes lots of soup, enough to feed 6 people and have leftovers.  You can easily change the proportions to fit your personal needs or tastes.  So if you don't like peas don't add them!

Take one stewing chicken (or another way is to take the carcass of a chicken you roasted the day before with the meat removed and saved for the soup and then add the back pieces from cut up chickens that you saved and froze to make broth.  I always save the back from cut up fryer packages in the store and throw them in a freezer bag until I have enough pieces to make broth with)

Put the chicken into a large stock pot with 8 cups water, 2 tbls salt, two stalks celery, 1 peeled carrot, 2 bay leaves, a good grinding pepper, and a whole onion cut in half.  Extra additions if you like - a cut up ripe tomato or 2 tbls canned diced tomatoes, garlic, a slice stale bread  Also this works fine in a large crock pot on low all day.

Simmer on low for 4 to 6 hours or more till chicken falls off the bone.

Remove chicken and veggies and allow to cool on a plate.  Then discard the veggies (or feed to your pigs) and debone the chicken of all meat.  Put back in the broth

In broth add - 2 or 3 carrots peeled and diced, 2 stalks celery sliced, 1 cup corn, 1 cup frozen peas, season to taste with salt or if too salty add a little milk, 2 to 3 cups noodles (more noodles for more people)


Bring to a simmer

Now get on with the dumplings.  My recipe comes from my Better Homes and Gardens red and white cookbook.

Dumplings for stew:

Combine 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt.  ( you can also add dried or fresh herbs to this but I never do)  Combine 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a separate bowl, pour into flour mixture.  Stir till just combined.  Drop by spoon fulls into slightly simmering broth, too high of a boil makes your dumplings fall apart.  Cover and simmer 10 min or until a wooden toothpick inserted into dumpling comes out clean.  I triple this recipe and it works just fine.


Dish into bowls and let cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!


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