Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings.
These are the big puffy style dumplings, not the flat noodley type.
Stew a chicken.  I recommend about 8 hours or so in the crockpot with celery, carrots, half an onion, some black pepper.  Pick all the meat off the bones and keep them to make dogfood out of (see the stock recipe above.)  Put the cleaned meat and the juices and vegetable residue into a big pot of water to make a brothy medium for your dumplings to cook in. 
  If you forget to stew the chicken or don’t have time, cook up some boneless, skinless breast, chop them into bite sized bits, add a couple bouillon cubes, and proceed from there.
   You need plenty of water and the more surface area the better- the dumplings float while they cook and a broader shallower pan works better than a tall narrow one to accommodate all of them in one batch.
   Mix up biscuits just like in the breakfast recipe, only add a bit of extra buttermilk to make them loose and wet.  Scoop out big heaping tablespoons of batter (say the size of a small lemon)and drop into the broth that is just below boiling point.  Boiling will dissolve your dumplings.  The dumplings will sink at first, but soon rise back up as the leavening begins to cook in them.  Let them cook for several minutes on one side, then use a spoon or fork to flip them over to cook on the other side for a few minutes more. Check your first one out to make sure it is done all the way through.
   Scoop them out with a big ladle that can grab up broth, meat, and dumpling all together.  If you need to make more, be sure to leave enough broth as you scoop out the first bunch so that you have something to float the second batch in. 
   I used to cook this every other week or so for the boys and girl who came to play Dungeons and Dragons at my house.  It’s filling and easy.

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