I have been experimenting with recipes for quite a few years but have gotten more diligent with it in the past couple of years. In the whole spirit of Keeping my Home and taking care of my family, I have seen more and more that nourishing my family is a huge responsibility that we, as mother's have been given by God (Proverbs 31). It should be looked at, as such. I recently watched the documentary, The Family Meal Table by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies, and it just confirmed what I had already thought but to a greater degree. Oh, and Gloria, I will be ordering the manual sometime soon. I thought I would share a staple on our menu with you today.
This post all started with my girls going to Cracker Barrel with their grandmother this past weekend and afterwards my oldest daughter called to tell me that their Chicken and Dumplings could not touch mine. Now let me tell you, here in the South, Cracker Barrel is quite the connoisseur of Southern cuisine. So needless to say this was quite the compliment.
It all starts with opening this: I started this conglomeration of our family favorites a few years ago. I hope to pass it on to the coming generations. I thaw one of these the night before. I hope one day to have all free range, pasture fed, chickens, that we raise ourselves with no hormones or antibiotics but until then, this will suffice.
I boil this little guy for about 1 and 1/2 with chopped carrots, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Usually until he falls apart.
After the chicken is done, I put the chicken in a bowl to cool. Then I strain the broth through a colander lined with an old almost see through (clean) dish towel. You can also use cheese cloth. After the chicken is cooled I debone it and shred the meat. The meat from this one chicken made chicken and dumplings last night and will make chicken and dressing tonight (my trial run). This process makes about 8-10 cups of shredded chicken and 16 cups of broth. Here is the broth.
I then make my dough, roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick and cut it into little squares.
I bring 8 cups of broth to a boil and boil a portion of the dumplings at a time. I put them in a bowl to the side while cooking the rest.
I melt the butter for the dumpling sauce in a cast iron skillet.
This is the final product. A plate full of chicken and dumplings with glazed carrots and green beans on the side.Here is the recipe:
Chicken and Dumplings
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. whole milk ( I used 2%)
Mix above ingredients. Knead 4 or 5 times. I divide the dough into 4 parts and roll out to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. I cut this into little squares and boil for about 3 minutes in 8 cups of chicken broth. I cook them 1 portion at a time. Putting each portion in a bowl to the side, at a time.
While the dumplings are cooking you can start the sauce:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. flour
1 c. whole milk
1 -2 c. chicken broth
Place butter in pan and melt add salt and flour, stir until thick (like making gravy). Mix in milk. I put this to the side until my dumplings are finished. Then I pour out that broth I boiled the dumplings in and add the 1-2 c.(depending on how thick you want your chicken and dumplings) of broth and gravy mixture to this same sauce pan or dutch oven that I had previously cooked the dumplings in (saves on clean up). I then add my dumplings back in and about 4 cups of shredded chicken. I also add salt and pepper to taste periodically. I let this all simmer for about 20-30 minutes and it is done.