Friday, March 26, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

I love chicken and dumplings, but I must admit that my first impression of this dish was not too favorable. I just remember that white, soft skin. I just didn’t find that too appealing. But, I grew up! Over the years I discovered that there is more than one way to make chicken and dumplings and if I wanted to, I could change the recipe.

It seems that most Southern recipes omit the carrots and celery while most Midwestern recipes include them. As for me, I am for the celery, now the carrots, that’s up for debate. There are a few seasonings that I do believe belong in chicken and dumplings, parsley, either dried or fresh, onions, and maybe poultry seasoning (yes, you can use it more than at Christmas time).

I grew up with rolled dumplings, but I have grown rather fond of drop dumplings. They seem to have a lighter and fluffier texture. I also put parsley in the dumplings. They just need a little color.

I used to make chicken and dumplings by sautéing the chicken, boiling, deboning. But I have discovered rotisserie chicken. What I did before rotisserie chicken is a mystery to me. After all, I want out of the kitchen occasionally. For chicken and dumplings, I purchase a savory flavored chicken. I prefer one that is not too flavorful. Place the chicken and any pan juices in a Dutch oven. Cover with water. Simmer for an hour or so. Cool and if desired, remove the fat, but leave a little for flavor. Remove the skin and bones. Cut chicken into desired pieces.

Sauté carrots, celery and onions in oil. You can also do this in chicken fat. Why waste good fat? Add chicken and broth.


2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
¼ cup shortening
2/3 to ¾ cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and parsley in a bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture with a pastry blender until crumbly. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough 10 to 12 times or until dough is smooth. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1½ X 2-inch strips. Bring chicken and broth to a simmer; drop dough into broth. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until done. Enjoy!

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