Chicken & Dumplings

We have major cabin fever, still snowed in at my mom’s house. I have so much at home we could be doing around the house. But it may still be a couple of days before we go home. We live down a two mile dirt road, which may not sound like a long drive to the hard surface road, but it winds like a snake. Not to mention the up and down hills, and ditches on both sides. Also there is only four homes the last half of the road, and we are the very last house. Needless to say, no one comes down our road. If you don’t live there, it’s one of those roads that you’re listening for banjo music coming from the woods.img_4632

Back to the Chicken and Dumplings: We have been trying to come up with something to make for dinner, but my mom’s kitchen is not stocked like our own. She did have a rotisserie chicken and a quart of Rachel Ray’s chicken stock which made me think of chicken and dumplings. Yum! Talk about warm comfort goodness. I must warn ya, I’ve never made dumplings from scratch. I’ve always just cut up biscuit dough and used that. (don’t tell anyone) So after my google search, I found an easy looking recipe for Cracker Barrel Copy Cat Dumplings. Score! We don’t have our wheat berries or mill, but she does have all purpose flour, so that worked. I added the recipe we used below, but we modified ours of course. We hardly ever follow a recipe exactly. Bryan says this is a level 3 homesteading attempt.  (He will have to explain his levels later, I won’t even try to. Mostly because I don’t understand them myself.)

After shredding up mom’s rotisserie chicken, I added all the extra parts to another pan with water in it to make up another quart of chicken broth. While Bryan mixed the dumpling dough up, I poured the quart of broth into my stock pot of shredded chicken. Let me just add that the recipe says a pinch of salt, use about a teaspoon instead. We kept adding salt, and still had to add some at the dinner table. Us being the lazy homesteaders we are, we decided to make drop dumplings like Grandma used to instead of the rolled out pretty ones that Cracker Barrel has. Let me tell you, they are just as great, without all the work and messy clean up. In the end, we added the extra broth I made to the stock pot, and brought it all up to a boil. Then dropped our dumplings in, and cooked for about 20-25 mins. It was serious goodness in a bowl.

This was super easy, if you have never made dumplings, you really need to try it. People will feel super special because they will think you slaved all day for them.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 quarts Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups Cooked Chicken

Instructions

  1. Boil chicken first. After chicken is completely cooked, removed the cooked chicken and shred it into smaller pieces. Set it aside to make the dumplings.
  2. You can use leftover chicken for this recipe also. If you don’t boil your chicken, or are using leftovers, you can heat up 2 quarts of chicken broth you purchase from the store.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl.
  4. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender.
  5. Stir in the milk with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
  6. Heavily flour a work surface. You’ll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings.
  7. Roll the dough out thin with a rolling pin. Be sure to dust your rolling pin with flour before you use it to prevent sticking. Then cut into strips or squares. These do not have to be perfect by any means. You want them all about the same size so they will all cook the same.
  8. Next, use a spatula to put them back in the bowl the dough just came from. Dust any with flour if you notice then sticking. Don’t worry about using too much flour though. The extra flour dust helps create the thicker soup sauce.
  9. To cook them, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in a small amount at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and Voila!  Yum!
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