Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

See, I think everyone has certain kinds of comfort foods. Some like mac and cheese, others like pickle loaf.

For me, one of my personal faves is chicken and dumplings. The canned stuff has never tasted right to me. I don't know if ti's the extra salt added during canning, the texture of the dumplings, or what... it simply never tasted right unless homemade. 

My mum makes some serious chicken and dumplings. She got her recipe for dumplings from my Grandma West, who, while she was not fond of my mother, could cook like a fiend.

Today, I successfully made my mother's chicken and dumplings. I have made chicken and dumplings before, but they never tasted quite this fabulous. Thus, I share with you a piece of my heart, as well as happiness from my tummy to yours.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 whole medium-sized chicken.
10-12 cubes chicken bouillon, or to taste
2  1/2 tbsp dried minced onion
Handful of celery leaves. (Yes, the LEAVES!)
Pepper to taste

Combine these in a 12-qt stock pot with about 6-7 cups of water, and let cook on low heat until the chicken falls off the bone. Let chicken cool, then de-bone chicken and add it to the stock left in the pot. 

Then, we make the dumplings!

3 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c milk
3/4 c shortening
3 eggs
4 1/2 tsp salt

Cut shortening and flour together. Mix egg, milk and salt; combine with flour and shortening mixture until dough forms. Flour your counter and roll out dough to approximately 1/4" thickness. (Some do 1/8", but I like my dumplings a bit thick.) Let the dough dry, as it should be slightly sticky initially. 

Turn the heat up under the chicken stock until the stock boils. Cut dumplings to approximately 1" square pieces and drop 6-10 in at a time, removing them when they float to the top. Continue doing this until all of your dumplings are cooked.

I use a Paula Deen French-style rolling pin. HUGE fan of it. Any form of rolling pin will work, though.


Then, add 2 family-sized cans of cream of mushroom soup to the stock! (You can use cream of chicken or cream of celery, but I love the mushroom.) Stir the mixture until the soup is fully incorporated, then put the dumplings back in. 

There you have it; some of the best chicken and dumplings known to man. And they're even better after refrigeration overnight! Also, this freezes fabulously. :)

After feeding a few folk, dipping my lunches up for this weekend, and snatching a couple more dumplings, this was what was left. Filled a butter bowl. Delish!!!!

Love you all!

- Sara

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