Posted by Tara on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
I can think of few main dishes with more Southern flair than Chicken and Dumplings. I do not recall either of my parents making this dish in our home. Chicken and Dumplings were given the respect they deserved. Only my Grandmothers were worthy enough to make them. There was no special family recipe written down. And both my Grandmothers instinctively knew how to prepare this family favorite. By the way – the Blue WIllow plate in this photo belonged to my great grandmother Hancock.
I think the secret to perfect Chicken and Dumplings is having rich chicken broth. Although boneless, skinless chicken breast could be cooked and diced, a whole hen with the skin on will produce a richer broth with more fat.
Remove any bagged chicken pieces or parts from the cavity of the hen. Rinse her well. Fill a large deep pot halfway with water. Add the chicken and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium or a low boil. Cook chicken until tender. Remove chicken from broth. SAVE BROTH in pan to cook dumplings. When chicken is cool, pull meat from bones, removing skin if desired.
2 ½ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
Mix together and add enough milk to make a stiff batter. Knead dough using plenty of flour. Roll out to the thickness of pie crust. I use a pizza cutter to cut dough into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.
Bring chicken broth to a rolling boil. Drop dough pieces into boiling broth and cook slowly until done. You may need to cover pot with a lid and allow the excess liquid to cook down. Add chicken and let stand to blend the flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!
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