Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Chicken & Dumplings
I finally attempted it. Last week I made my own chicken broth. I was really sick and there wasn't anything else that sounded good to eat. It turned out delicious! Last night, I turned it into chicken & dumplings. I used to love to eat these when I was smaller and they were just as good as I remembered them to be.
1 Rotisserie-style Chicken, torn up
3 celery ribs without leaves, cut into chunks
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 medium onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 t. dried thyme
8 whole peppercorns
2 quarts cold water
(I didn't have rosemary or thyme or whole peppercorns on hand, so I just used oregano, ground black pepper, and a tiny bit of basil, also added salt.)
1. Place all ingredients in to soup kettle. It is best to cut vegetables into large chunks, as smaller chunks will lose their flavor faster. When it appears as if stock will boil; reduce heat to low immediately or the fat will never rise to the top to skim off. Skim foam. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones. Discard bones; save meat for another use. Strain broth, discarding vegetables and seasonings. (I always wondered why you had to throw the vegetables away, it's because they are tasteless after cooking for 2 hours.) Squeeze all the juice out of the veggies first though through a small strainer.) Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Skim fat from surface.
** I liked using the Rotisserie-style chicken because all the flavor roasted into that, went straight into the broth. If you don't use this chicken, I would add a small cube of chicken bouillon to the broth, for that kick of flavor.
Chicken & Dumplings:
2-5 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
4 c. chicken stock, recipe above
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 t. salt
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
2 T. butter
2 T. chopped, fresh parsley (optional)
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1. In a large pot, place chicken pieces and add the chicken stock, onion, celery, carrots and 2 t. of salt. Put heat on medium low and simmer, partially covered, 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender.
2. To prepare dumplings: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg and milk. Add the flour, remaining salt, pepper and baking powder and mix all together. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly. Add 1 T. of chopped parsley and mix. In 6 large spoonfuls, drop dumpling mixture onto the top of the simmering chicken. Cover the pot and let all simmer for 10 more minutes.
3. To make gravy: Remove 2 c. of liquid in pot and place in small pot. Add 1/2 c. cold water to 1/4 c. flour. Stir well until blended. Then add flour mixture to liquid in pot and bring to a boil. It is ready when thick and bubbly and cook 1 minute more. Dish up chicken and dumplings and pour gravy on top. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top.