Monday, May 2, 2011

Chicken & Dumplings

I just love this recipe!  It is SO good.  I made it for the second time yesterday, and used my homemade turkey stock, making this dish even better.  My daughter requested a turkey for her birthday dinner.  :)  (I make my stock in the crockpot if I ever have a turkey or chicken carcass leftover.  It's similar to this recipe, but I've only ever used leftover bones, etc and I add whole peppercorns, garlic, etc.  I also cook it overnight in the crockpot.  In the morning, I strain it and refrigerate it, and then skim the fat off the top before using or freezing.) 

The whole fam likes this recipe, even my picky child, who was all over the dumplings when I finally told him they were a type of bread.  I didn't really explain what they were before, because I didn't think of it, and he had no idea what they were!  Lol!  This recipe is very easy; you just have to account for a lot of simmering time.  It was perfect for us yesterday, as it was cold and misty outside. 

This is one of the few recipes I used shortening in.  Ok, it's one of two (that I can think of).  The other one is pie crust.  :)  I buy Spectrum organic shortening, made from palm oil; it has no trans-fats and acts just like traditional shortening.  One can buy it online at a few different places. 

Note: I made this again Jan 2014 and left the base the same, but tried America's Test Kitchen's recipe for dumplings.  Using egg white and no baking powder, they were supposed to be light and fluffy.  We all liked them, and they did seem a bit fluffier.  We love both dumpling recipes, and I will include ATK's recipe below this original recipe so you can decide for yourself.

Chicken & Dumplings
from Lick the Bowl Good, via  Eating, Etc

The Broth:
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large onion, coarsley chopped
3-4 stalks celery, coarsley chopped
4-5 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 4lbs)
3 teaspoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon, or 3 chicken bouillon cubes, or other chicken flavoring
6-8 cups chicken broth or water, or more to cover
salt & pepper, to taste
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped

The Dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons dried basil (optional)
2 tablespoons organic shortening (has no trans-fats)
3/4 cup - 1 cup buttermilk

The Broth
1) In large pot or Dutch oven, over high heat, sauté onions, celery, & chicken flavoring in butter or olive oil until tender.

2) Add chicken and cover with broth or water; cover and cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through (keep it at a simmer until the meat is tender & falls off the bones- 1-2 hours).

3) Place colander over large bowl & strain broth into bowl. Discard vegetables. Skim off fat & return broth to pot. 

4) Remove meat from chicken, shredding into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones & skin.

5) Return chicken to pot with new onion, carrots, & new celery; season with salt & pepper as desired. Bring to a boil; then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer about 10 minutes.

The Dumplings
6) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, & dried basil. Cut in shortening with a fork.

7) Stir dough while adding buttermilk. Start with 3/4c, adding more, as needed, until completely moistened, but not wet. Do not over mix.

8) Drop dough by large spoonful onto surface of simmering broth. Cover pot with tight-fitting lid and steam for 15 minutes. (Don't peek!)

9) Serve immediately.

ATK's Dumpling Recipe
from America's Test Kitchen

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, cold (see note)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled about 5 minutes
1 large egg white

1.  Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.

5. Return soup to simmer.  Using greased tablespoon measure (or #60 portion scoop), scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of stew, spacing about ¼ inch apart (you should have about 24 dumplings). Cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately. 
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LadyJayPee said...

I lurve this stuff. Lurve it!

What A Dish! said...

Me TOO!!!! It is so good! I've made it twice now. Pretty easy, too.