Saturday, August 20, 2011
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
Remember when we cooked 4 chickens at once and then made broth from the bones, here and here? How would you like to turn some of that chicken and broth into homemade Chicken and Dumplings? It is really quite easy! Want to try?
First, sit out to thaw
1 Cup Frozen Peas
For the Soup
6 Cups of Your Homemade Delicious Chicken Broth,
2 Cups of Cooked Chicken, thawed
Tear into bite sized pieces
1 tsp. Salt, or to taste
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp. Rubbed Sage
Pour the chicken broth into a Dutch oven. Add all of the other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to gently cook for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and add more salt, if necessary. Also, you could add a drop or two of yellow food coloring, if you like that look.
Fifteen minutes into the cooking time of the soup, mix together the dumpling batter. Do not mix it ahead of time, but just right before you need it.
3 Tbs. Chicken Fat or unsalted Butter
1 Cup Whole Milk
Melt the fat and milk together in a cup and set aside. This is easily done in a microwave, but do not heat more than 1 minute. You want warm milk, not hot.
2 Cups Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
Mix the dry ingredients together in a 4-8 cup bowl. Add the melted fat and milk, and mix well.
VERY IMPORTANT! There is a right way and a wrong way to make dumplings. The right way is to GENTLY spoon heaping tablespoons of batter on top of the ingredients in the soup. You do not want the batter to go under the surface of the liquid, because that is what makes little doughy balls instead of fluffy dumplings.
Once all of your batter is spooned, allow the dumplings to gently cook for 10 minutes, without a lid. After the 10 minutes, cover the pot and allow them to cook gently for an additional 10 minutes.
When the second 10 minutes has passed, your dumplings are ready!
I like to add peas to my Chicken and Dumplings, but I don't like the peas to be cooked too long. I also like a little thicker broth. Thus once the dumplings are ready, I remove about 5 from the center and carefully mix in the peas with a fork. DO NOT STIR THE DUMPLINGS DOWN INTO THE SOUP. Just use the fork to gently stir in the peas below the dumplings. I also stir in 2 Tbs. of Corn Starch that has been thoroughly mixed with 1/2 cup cold water. Continue to stir under the dumplings until the broth thickens. This should take 3-5 minutes. Keep your heat so the liquid is just bubbling.
Return the 5 dumplings to the center of the pot and serve.
You think the Cracker Barrel can make dumplings? Wait until you taste your own! Even your grandmother will be impressed. Wasn't that easy?
Thanks for stopping by. On second thought, what time will dinner be ready? I think I'll just stop over to your place this time!