I have an opinion on Chicken and Dumplings. I don't believe dumplings are of the "drop" nature, although the name does suggest it. While drop dumplings are quick and easy, they are also dry, puffy, and tasteless. My first experience with chix & dumplings was the drop dumpling sort. I thought the meal was really something, that was until I had flat or "slippery" dumplings. The kind you roll out, not those made from Bisquik.
Now that you've heard my rant on dumplings, here's how to make it. It really isn't much harder than a drop dumpling, the only extra step is rolling out the dough...and you'll be glad you did.
- 3 lb chicken (I bought 2 halves from Carlino's)
- 1 medium onion - quartered
- 2 lemon slices
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot (or thyme will do)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 TB of Herbes de Provence
- 4-5 cups water, depending on size of chicken
- Chicken broth (keep on hand in case you need some at the end to make more liquid)
- 2 cups flour
- 3-4 tablespoons shortening
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup water (more if needed)
In a large dutch oven, add chicken, onion, lemon, salt, pepper, bay leaf, celery, carrot, water, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the chicken and discard the onion, lemon, and bay leaf. Let the chicken cool and remove the meat from the bones. Add meat back to the pot and keep on low while you make the dumplings.
In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or fork, incorporate the shortening into the flour until little beads form. Add the water gradually, and mix until a soft dough forms. The dough should still be crumbly and dry, but able to form a ball.
Turn the ball onto a floured work surface and flour your rolling pin. Roll out the dough until thin, and cut into squares with a pizza cutter.
Turn the heat back up on the chicken mixture, and add the dumplings. bring to a slow boil until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve!
What a satisfying winter meal, and one that I'm proud to post as my first recipe in a loooong time. Thank you for your patience, friends...I've been dealing with moving and getting settled into a new home!