CHICKEN ‘N DUMPLIN’S
Dumplings are biscuits in disguise…….you can substitute chicken broth for the milk and add some pepper if you like.
The secret to making good dumplings is to roll out the dumplings and cut them and then let them sit for a few minutes before dropping them in the cooking pot. This allows the air to slightly dry the outer surface of the dumplings and then they won’t fall apart when they hit the hot liquid.
You’ll need a nice chicken (or some chicken breasts or thighs) which has been simmered with salt and pepper for about an hour or longer until you can easily pull the meat from the bone, and one recipe of biscuit dough. Grandma would have chosen a big fat hen for this dish. You can simmer some carrot, onion and celery in your broth while cooking the chicken if you want to. You can substitute cold chicken broth for the milk in the biscuit dough if you want to and add a little pepper. Remove meat from liquid and cool a little before pulling off bones and cutting into bite-sized pieces.
Baking Powder Biscuits
(from a 1933 Recipe)
2 cups sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
4 tablespoons butter or shortening at room temp.
1/2 tsp. salt
about 3/4 cup milk
Sift Flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift again. Cut in shortening or butter. (this is where I use my hands by rubbing the butter into the flour). Add milk gradually, stirring until soft dough is formed. Turn out on slightly floured board and lightly "knead" for 30 seconds, enough to shape. Roll 1/2 inch thick and cut with 2 inch floured biscuit cutter. You can also pat out the dough on a floured surface and using a bread knife or similar utinsil, cut into 2” squares or anyway your heart desires. (If using this recipe to make biscuits: Cut out biscuits using a 2” biscuit cutter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. (*Cooks note: If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt.)
Turn the heat up under the broth, and drop biscuits gently into liquid without touching them. Let them simmer until they rise like a biscuit and float . After a few minutes, gently turn the biscuits over. After a few minutes you can push these dumplings down and put more uncooked ones on top if you want. DO NOT STIR! STIRRING WILL MAKE THE DUMPLINS MELT!
Turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot. Let it set a little while to make sure the dumplins are cooked all the way through before serving. When you get all your dumplin’s cooked, return the deboned chicken meat to the pot and gently stir until the liquid thickens slightly. Reheat if necessary.