This is what I consider comfort food. The dumplings need to be the homemade kind – not frozen from the store and not can biscuits. I am referring to mixing up the dough and rolling it out. Then drop the dumplings into hot boiling broth.
*The full recipe for this is at the end of this post.
I usually start with a whole chicken. I will boil it in a stockpot with celery, carrots and onions. I add the chicken, vegetables and add water to fill pot. I drain the vegetables with the chicken stock through a strainer lined with cheese cloth and store the leftover chicken stock in the freezer for use at a later time. I have skipped this part and used a purchased chicken roasterierre and chicken broth from the store. The chicken can be altered but the dumplings cannot.
I start by bringing 2 quarts of chicken stock and 3 cups chicken to a boil. I start the dumplings while this is heating up.
I mix 2 cups All-Purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 2 tablespoons of salted butter – cubed. Using a pastry knife, mix this together. Add the milk to the flour-butter mixture. It should be thick and sticky.
Dust your counter generously with flour. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch or smaller. Do not roll too thin. Dumplings will break apart and become mushy.
*Rolling pin is still being used to this day. This was my grandmothers rolling-pin.
I am not particular on the shape of the dough. I just roll out to about 1/4 inch. I use a pizza cutter to cut my squares. Again, I have no particular shape I am aiming for. This dumplings are supposed to be rustic. I use an angled knife I have for decorating cakes to pick up the dumplings. I get some extra flour with the dumplings. This is the secret of the thick sauce.
Stir often while putting the dumplings in. I put them in a one at a time. The dumplings will float on top of juice. This is normal. Once all has been added cook for 15 -20 minutes or until the dumplings have sunk down to the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken and Dumplings
- 3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
- milk – a little less than a cupful
Add the cooked and shredded chicken to the broth and bring to a boil. While this is heating up; start making the dumplings.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add cubed butter. Combine with a fork or a pastry knife. Pour in the milk. You want a little less than a cup. Mix together. Dust your counter with the flour. Using a rolling-pin, roll dough out very thin but not too thin – about 1/4 inch or smaller. If it is too thin, it will be mushy and dumplings will cook apart. Be sure to add flour as needed to keep from sticking underneath or to your rolling pin. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut dumplings into squares. Dust your dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all going to help them from sticking but will also thicken up the broth.
Once the chicken and broth are boiling, add the dumplings one at a time so they do not stick together. Stir frequently while adding them. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow dumplings to cook 15 – 20 minutes. You should notice the broth starting to thicken up from extra flour. Dumpling will sink down to the bottom. They are soaking up the broth. They are done when the dumplings have sunk down to the bottom. Take one out to test. It should be done but not doughy.