TO SEE PART 1, CLICK HERE
After I finished writing the last blog post, I started on the chicken and dumplings.
Aunt Ellen used ‘chicken cooking water’ and canned broth. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make my OWN broth.
2 packages of boneless skinless chicken breast (3 breasts per package)
a couple stalks of celery, leaves on, broken up in large chunks
a couple unpeeled carrots, broken up into large chunks
UNPEELED onion, cut in quarters.
water to cover
handful of fresh parsley (do not chop)
tablespoon of chicken bouillon
Basically, I just dumped it all in a pot on high- when it reached a full boil, I covered it and let it cook on low for an hour.
After, I plucked chicken breasts out and chopped them into small pieces.
I strained the broth and discarded the solid vegetables.
Then, I measured out about 2 to 2.5 quarts of the broth for the ‘sauce’ later.
Aunt Ellen’s granddaughter warned me to test out the recipe before totally committing, as her grandmother had different variations of the same recipe floating around. I immediately noticed that the baking powder to flour ration was WAY too high and would have resulted in a very bitter product. I increased the flour to 2 cups and decreased the baking powder to 1 tsp. I also added 1/3 cup of lard (or crisco), as it makes for a more tender dumpling and can be found in most chicken and dumpling recipes online. When I experimented WITHOUT the fat, it didn’t taste as good.
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chicken boullion
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 c lard or crisco
1 cup milk
(instructions are underneath photos)
CHICKEN ‘SAUCE’ (GRAVY):
2 quarts of reserved chicken stock from boiling the chicken breasts
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste
(optional: garlic powder, parsley, etc)
Melt stick of butter in pot over medium-high. Add flour and cook for a minute. Slowly add the cream and milk, a bit at a time, stirring until it becomes a white cream gravy. Add the 2 quarts of chicken stock and adjust seasoning. If you worry about lumps, use a stick blender or whisk while incorporating the broth. Return to a boil, stirring constantly.
When it begins bubbling again, add most of the dumplings and cover. Lower heat to low and cook about 12 minutes. Add rest of dumplings and cook uncovered on medium for about 20 minutes. Keep a close eye on it or it will boil over (like mine did).
Add chopped chicken and cover, set heat down to low, until warmed through.
This is definitely a keeper. I have to admit, I’ve never eaten real chicken and dumplings before. The only other exposure to it that I had was Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie and the stuff that comes out of a can (yuck). I was truly impressed with the delicate flavor.
I can see why my father loved it so much.