Do you have a favorite food? Something that you can taste just by thinking about it? A dish that not only makes your stomach happy, but also your heart? This is how I feel about chicken and dumplings. I’m not ashamed either. Just wanted to get that out of the way. People have very strong opinions about how they like their dumplings and I’m no exception. It took many years for me to build up the courage to actually make this most delightful meal because my mom’s were so good. I knew how they should taste and I was pretty sure the only person who could do that was located in Hindman, KY. However, about a year ago I found a fabulous recipe that you can view here: http://eatathomecooks.com/2009/07/homemade-chicken-and-dumplings-its-easy-really.html
These are not exactly like my mom’s chicken and dumplings but they are very close and extremely delicious. Most importantly, this recipe is reasonable in terms of time and cooking ability. I took these instructions and a few tricks I learned from dear mother and came up with the following recipe. (Sorry, no pictures. I’m no Pioneer Woman. I can barely find time to blog much less take pictures, but maybe someday…)
Chicken N Dumplins’ (This is how it really sounds when I say it.)
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
- 8 cups of chicken broth (2 boxes of broth)
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of butter, slightly softened to room temp or microwave for 15 seconds (Please use the real thing. Trust me on this one.)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- Dash of salt
- Slightly less than 1 cup of buttermilk
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with your (very clean) hand. Just get in there and mash that butter right into the flour until it is slightly crumbly.
Stir in the buttermilk with a fork just until the dough forms a ball.
Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface and roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is thin. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares about 2’’x2’’. They don’t need to match exactly but aim for a consistent thickness.
Pour broth into large pot and turn burner to high/medium high. Pick up dumplings with floured hands and layer on a plate. Just keep using flour to keep them from sticking to one another.
When the broth begins to boil, drop dumplings in one at a time. You will need to do this quickly and make sure each is dropped into an “empty” spot. Get someone to help you the first time. When all the dumplings are in the broth, turn heat down a bit but make sure it is still boiling. Cover and cook for 12 minutes. Add chicken and cook 5-8 more minutes uncovered. Salt and pepper each individual serving.
Check out the link I posted above for tips on freezing dumplings. Eat at Home Cooks is an awesome site. I hope you have time to make some chicken and dumplings soon. When you do, let me know how it turned out or better yet, invite me over for dinner.