Chicken and Dumplings

Posted by in The Kitchen

What says comfort food more than chicken and dumplings? Canned stock may be used, but to me, there is no substitute for homemade stock. Treat yourself…take the time to make your own stock. The dumpling recipe is from a 1956 edition of the Betty Crocker cookbook; some things just need no improvement.


Chicken and Dumplings

For the chicken and stock:

1 large (about 4 pounds) frying chicken, rinsed and disjointed, neck and giblets reserved
6 whole peppercorns
Coarse salt

For the dumplings:

1 1/2 cup sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbl shortening
3/4 cup milk

Fill a large stock pot with about four quarts of cold water. Place chicken parts, including neck and giblets, into water. Add peppercorns and about 1 tsp salt. Slowly bring to a boil over medium high heat. Skim foam off of surface and simmer chicken over low heat for about one hour. Remove chicken pieces and set aside; strain stock into wide dutch oven or saucepan with lid. Keep stock at a low simmer. When chicken pieces are cool enough to handle, debone and add chicken meat to the simmering stock. You may cut larger pieces into smaller pieces with a knife, but I prefer rustic, hand-torn pieces of meat.

Meanwhile, while chicken is cooling, sift the flour (again) with the baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening and add milk to just moisten.

Increase heat to medium, and when the stock and chicken come to a boil, drop dumplings in by the spoonful on top of the meat, so that the dumplings just rest on the surface of the liquid. Simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes, then cover and continue to steam the dumplings for ten more minutes. Remove lid and transfer to serving dish. If needed, you may thicken with 2 tsp cornstarch mixed into 1/4 water. Check seasonings, adding more salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.