It’s the first Friday of the month so it’s time for another Fun Food Friday. Today’s feature is Chicken and Dumplings. Don’t worry; we’ll be back with more wedding photography next week.
I grew up in NW FLorida, which is as Deep South as it gets in my opinion. My great grandma used to make the most awesome chicken and dumplings ever. When she died we could never quite recreate her recipe until I found a recipe for Chicken Pot Pie in the Jule/July 2005 issue of Saveur Magazine. The recipe is featured in an article about the Kutztown Festival in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. Although the recipe is for Chicken Pot Pie the article says the dish is more like chicken and dumplings and they are right. This is the chicken and dumplings of my childhood!
Chicken And Dumplings
1 whole chicken cut up and rinsed
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp cold butter, cut up
1/3 cup milk
fresh ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
Hand full of parsley chopped
Put the chicken in a large stock pot of cold water — around 4 quarts or enough to cover the chicken with a few inches of water. Add a couple tsp of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer, skimming off the foam that rises to the top. Cook for 30 minutes. Then let the chicken cool in the stock for a couple hours.
Sift baking powder, flour and tsp of salt in a large bowl. Work butter into the mixture using two butter knives or your fingers like you do when making biscuits until it resembles coarse meal. Beat eggs and milk together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a spoon or your hands until the dough just holds together. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for about a minute. The dough should be smooth and only slightly tacky. Split into two balls and cover one with wrap to prevent drying. Roll out the dough ball one at a time until it is really thin, 12″ x 24″ is about the right size. Sprinkle with flour and slice the dough into squares, stack them on a tray and cover with a tea towel. Do the same with the second dough ball.
Take chicken out of the stock and put aside. Bring the stock to a rolling boil and add salt and pepper to taste. I am a little heavy with the pepper and think it’s much better that way. Pull the meat off the chicken bones, white and dark meat. Add onions and parsley to the stock. Then very quickly, making sure the stock stays at a boil, add the dough to the stock stirring after every few pieces.
Reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 to 30 minutes and until the stock thickens. Make sure it stays at a fast simmer. Also stir often so the dough doesn’t stick to the bottom. Add the shredded chicken to the stock and heat for five minutes. Then enjoy.
This is a great cold weather dish. Comfort at its best! The recipe makes at least six servings. It also reheats and freezes well. If you don’t subscribe to Saveur then you should. Best food magazine around and a great photo magazine. I like to call it the National Geographic for food.