There are a zillion recipes available for those seeking a twist to the traditional Thanksgiving dishes or for some that seek guidance in cooking. To add to this information, here is the most requested dish that this writer receives practically every season.
As a traditionally southern raised cook, measurements may be approximates due to the fact that the original instructions were giving in two very important ways:
1. In person with a grandmother or mother
2. With a minimum of measuring cups or spoons
Chicken & Dumplings
Feeds 6 to 8 people
o 1 stock pot
o 1 roller block or plastic sheet
o 1 medium sized spatula
o large colanders (1 or 2 depending on amount of cooked chicken)
o cooking scissors
o 8 – 10 pcs no hormone sized chicken thighs or backs
Or 4 to 6 whole chicken breast (with skin and bones)
o 1 iodized or sea salt shaker
o 1 black pepper or fresh ground pepper shaker (season to taste)
o 1 tablespoon of onion powder
o 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
o 3-32 oz. of Chicken broth
o 4 chicken bouillon cubes
o 3 cups of flower
1. Thaw chicken in original wrapping overnight in the refrigerator in a bowl or pan to catch condensation or blood. (Buying tip. Look for chicken packages with the least amount of blood the more red in with white meat can equate to increased bacteria or poisoning).
2. Shake salt shaker 2 times into the stock pot filled to half-full with water.
3. Submerge thawed or nearly thawed chicken (skin and bone on) in to the pot of cool, salty water with tongs, and allow to boil.
4. Turn down temperature to med-hi to continue cooking for 35 minutes. (DO Not add water as it boils down to allow space to add stock).
5. Take chicken out with tongs and place in colander to drain and cool for cutting.
6. Pour 1 1/3 cups of the hot broth into the mixing bowl (set to cool while preparing the chicken).
7. While cooling, turn pot up to med-low heat and add 1 box of chicken stock and bouillon cubes and allow broth return to a boil.
8. Shake in salt and pepper to taste. Tasting in a spoon while mixture is hot.
9. Once cubs have melted, slowly stir in 1 teaspoon of the flower.
10. Cut up chicken with cooking scissors into mouth-sized bits, removing the bones and skin to discard.
11. Sparingly spread a handful of flower on the rolling sheet / board.
12. Slowly shake 1 cup of the remaining flower into the mixing bowl with the cooling broth.
13. Add two shakes each of the pepper and salt in mixture and blend flower into water using a pasty knife or a spatula until flower becomes a soft pastry (adding sprinkles of hot broth to soften and blend as needed).
14. Coat palms of hands with dry flower before kneading (pat, squeeze, and push dough with knuckles or base of palm) until mixture rises lightly after pushing, creating 3 to 4 balls.
15. Leave dough to rise more, while adding the chicken pieces back into the hot, boiling broth.
16. Take 1 minute or 2 to coat the roller with flower and roll 1 of the balls out flat. Continue to flatten until dough is nearly see through thin into any shape that is along gated (preferably a rectangle. Remember, dough is flower and it will expand in liquid. Therefore, dough should be very thin before going into broth.)
17. Take tip of spatula and acting like a knife, cut the dough long ways into 2” wide 8 to 12” long strips.
18. Gently place two strips of dough over your wrist.
19. Break off 1 to 1 ½ inch squares and place in boiling broth. Repeat until there is a good mixture of chicken and dumplings. (Add more stock if broth has boiled out) (add frozen vegetables if desired)
20. Continue to cook on medium-high heat until dough is thoroughly cooked (not over cooked) approximately
How to Cook Chicken and Dumplings
Watch how to prepare this classic comfort food casserole that’s perfect for busy weeknights.
A time for giving thanks.
Five on a Dim’ has a different recipe for cooking Chicken and Dumplings in a dutch oven pot that is also delicious, but with less work. Perhaps use her recipe as you gain the experience with the southern favorite. Eat well!