Monday, April 20, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

I learned this from an HGTV show. I’ll try to find the link and add it here
Cat Cora at Food Network

I’ve adjusted my recipe to feed a family of at least 5 and up. Not sure of the maximum because I usually have some leftovers. This recipe makes wonderful leftovers, too. Cat Cora uses onion and celery in her recipe. I do not cook with onion because my husband gets real bad indigestion. I usually don’t add vegetables, but it would be good also with corn, I think. You can adjust the recipe the way you like it.

1 4-5lb chicken (use 2-3 cups of chicken in this recipe)
1 cup milk (the rule is ½ cup milk for each cup of flour that you use)
2-1/2 - 3 cups flour
2-3 Tbsp Crisco shortening (the solid kind in the can) (the rule is 1 Tbsp for each cup of flour you use)
2-3 tsp salt (the rule is aprox. ¾ tsp for each cup of flour you use)
1-2 tsp (the rule is 1 tsp baking powder for each cup of flour used)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 bouillon cubes (or 2 cups chicken stock)

Cooking the meat

Cut your chicken at the joints (separate the legs, thighs, breasts, etc.) and place the pieces in a pot and cover with water. Add 1-2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper to the water. You can add 1-2 tsp garlic powder as well. Start by heating on a high setting until it starts to boil. Putting a lid on the pot helps it to boil quicker. Then turn heat down to medium-low setting or Medium setting. I like to add 2 chicken bouillon cubes to the water after it heats up, it will give the chicken more flavor and this is the water that we will use for our dumplings as well. We don’t throw anything away except the chicken bones! The meat needs to cook anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Check it for doneness by cutting it, and if there is no pink in the center it is done. I say 20-30 because you can put the chicken in frozen and it will cook well like this without defrosting it, just cook it longer. No need to defrost it. I usually defrost it a little if it is hard as a rock. Other than that, it won’t hurt to cook it without defrosting it.

Preparing the meat

After the meat is done, I let it cool off in the refrigerator for a little bit. Then remove and discard the bones. Cut the chicken up into bite size pieces. You will need about 2-3 cups of meat for this recipe. You can reserve some of your chicken for other recipes.

Preparing the chicken stock

You can drain the chicken stock if necessary. Just run it through a small strainer and place back in pot. Add your chopped chicken to the pot. Turn heat on simmer or medium setting.

Preparing the dumplings

In a large mixing bowl, add 2 to 2-1/2 cups of flour. Add 1-1/2 – 2 tsp salt. Add 2 tsp baking soda. Mix well. Add 2 Tbsp of shortening (the kind that is not liquid, but solid like butter) then blend or cut this in with a fork until it is distributed throughout the flour mixture. Add 1 cup of milk gradually to form a ball of dough. You can work and knead this with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out til it’s about 1/8” thick or so. Take a knife and cut into 1” strips and then cut each strip so that you have small squares. Do this with the rest of the dough. You can drop these into the pot of chicken stock as you cut them. When the dumplings are done, they will float to the top. This only takes a second or two. Children can help with slicing the dough – because it can be done with a butter knife. They like to help with this part, and I’m sure you can use whatever help you can get!

Also, if you want to make adjustments to this recipe now is the time to do it. You can add herbs like basil, too. Adjust your seasoning, after all the pieces have risen to the top, you may start eating.

Notice how the milk in this recipe changes the stock to a smooth and creamy texture. I always make extra dumplings because the kids love them so much. My husband was surprised that this recipe did not need extra vegetables or anything. He thought he would still be hungry after eating it, but he was pleasantly surprised to find that it is very filling. I encourage you to make this especially when someone is ill. Chicken soup is supposed to be good for the flu and other things. I think you will find it quite satisfying and delicious.

1 comment:

Simply Life said...

yum! this is one of my favorites - looks great!