Friday, March 28, 2014

Becky's Chicken And Dumplings

Lots of people keep on asking for my chicken and dumplings recipe.  Well, the problem is, I don't really use one.  I just kind of make it up as I go.  So, I thought I'd make that the subject of tonight's blog post.  How I make my chicken and dumplings.

Buy a rotisserie chicken from Wal-mart.  Eat the legs, thighs, and wings, because that's the good part.  I don't like the breast, so I have to do something else with it.  Usually I make it into soup, or chicken and dumplings, and here's how that works.

Pull off the breast and cut into bite sized pieces.  Put into refrigerator for later.  Wrap the remaining carcass in cheesecloth and secure with a tie.  Put it into a stock pot and cover with water.  Boil for a good long time, to get a nice, rich broth.  No, I don't time it.  I just boil it until it looks right.

If you don't have cheesecloth, just boil the carcass without it, but you'll want to strain your broth to get all the little bits of cartilage and skin and stuff out.

Dump some flour into a bowl.  Add a couple spoonfuls of shortening and some salt.  Sometimes I use cold butter.  Depends on how lazy I am, since the shortening is softer and therefore easier to cut into the flour. Anyway...

Cut the shortening into the flour until it's like little grains of sand.  Or peas.  Or something.  I just do it until it looks right.  Add some milk.  Not too much.  Mix it all into a stiff dough.  Turn the stiff dough out onto floured surface.  (I use parchment paper so I don't have to clean as much.)  Roll dough until it is very thin.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into small rectangles.  They will puff up a lot when they're cooking, so make them about 1" by 1.5" or so. 

Put the cut up dumplings into a bowl, coating each one with flour so they don't stick together.  Pull your cheesecloth wrapped chicken carcass out of the broth and discard.  Add the dumplings one at a time until they are all in the broth.  There will probably be some flour left in the bottom of the bowl.  Whisk a little milk into the flour and add it to the boiling broth. 

Add your cut up chicken meat, and boil until the dumplings are no longer chewy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Or whatever spices you like.  Some people add carrots and peas, but I don't. 

Turn off heat.  Let the chicken and dumplings cool.  Put in refrigerator until the next day.  Heat up and serve. 

And that's how I do it.

I hope you enjoy your home made chicken and dumplings.  Or if you prefer, Sweet Sue is pretty darn good, for canned crap.

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