Chicken and Dumplings
This delicious southern dish is full of flavor. I think this is because it is made using a whole chicken. There is just something about a bone broth that brings a depth of flavor into a dish that cannot be replicated using any other method.
Chicken and Dumplings are one of my favorite dishes and I learned to make these when I was very young. My mama made her dumplings by hand using self rising flour and water. This recipe is slightly different, but delicious just the same. If you like buttery chicken and dumplings, just add butter to the broth before cooking the dumplings.
Use a huge pot! The key to getting a slightly liquidy broth instead of thick and creamy is to use enough water. There should be plenty of room for the dumplings to move around while cooking.
Just make sure you use plenty of salt when cooking the chicken! No one likes bland chicken and dumplings!
For the broth:
1 whole chicken with skin
6-7 quarts water
Plenty of salt and pepper (I use at least one tablespoon of salt, but this is up to you.)
For the dumplings:
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup Crisco shortening
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cold water (this may be increased according to consistency of dough)
1 large can cream of chicken soup
½ stick of butter
Don't have the dumpling ingredients on hand?
Just use flour and water.
I have provided the ratio below, but due to varying humidity, just add the water slowly because you may not need all of it. You want to create a dough that is slightly elastic when it is rolled out.
3 1/2 cups self rising flour
3 cups water
salt and pepper
Boil chicken in water with salt and pepper until chicken is done.
This takes about one hour.
Remove from broth and allow chicken to cool.
Remove chicken from the bones.
To make the dumplings:
Combine the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder and shortening in a bowl using a fork or pastry blender. Mix until the Crisco is the size of peas.
Add the buttermilk and water and gently use your hands to form into a ball. If the mixture is too dry to stick together, you may add more water a little at the time.
Flour a surface for rolling out the dumplings. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out thin and cut into 2-3 inch strips. For easier cutting, you may use a pizza cutter. Place these on a cookie sheet until the broth is ready. (These strips can be made ahead of time and may be frozen on sheet pans between layers of wax paper or freezer paper and will last for several days in the freezer.)
Bring the broth back up to a rolling boil. Drop the dumplings into the broth one at a time to ensure each dumpling is covered with broth. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. The broth will begin to take on a thicker texture. Once the dumplings are cooked throughout, add the cream of chicken soup and ½ stick of butter. Allow these to cook on low until the soup is combined and the butter is melted.
Serve with chicken pieces on top or toss the chicken back into the pot before serving.