Posted by: literallydelicious | June 1, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

My mother and grandmothers all made this dish — real, rolled-out dumplings, not the fake biscuity kind. I’ve tried more times than I count to make them, but they always turned out doughy or tough.

The other day I thought I’d give it one more shot, and success! They are incredible! Of course you have to make your own chicken stock, but that’s so easy.

I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems like these dumplings would freeze really well if you make up them up through to cooking part. And stock freezes really well. Imagine having both in the freezer when you have a comfort-food day.

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CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

1 5-6 pound chicken

salt

water

optional: diced onion, carrot and celery *

2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting and rolling

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 egg

1/2 cup chicken stock

1. Cut chicken into large pieces and place in a large stockpot. Add salt and veggies*, plus enough water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the meat falls off the bones. Remove the chicken and let cool. Strain the stock and discard the veggies.

2. For dumplings, combine flour and salt in a volcano shape. Make a well in the middle and add the egg. Gradually stir in half of the reserved stock, mixing in the rest of the flour. Continue stirring stock into the flour until the dough is the consistency of pie dough. (I don’t make pie dough, so I just have to kind of guess at this. The dough is sticky and elastic-y.)

3. Put the dough on a floured surface. Knead in additional flour to make a stiff dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for fifteen minutes.

4. When the chicken is cooled, separate the meat from the bones and tear it into shreds or small pieces and set aside.

5. Put more flour on the counter and roll the dough into a 16″ square more or less. You want it fairly thin, and you especially want it to be the same thickness so it cooks at the same rate. Cut into small pieces — Mom always did roughly 1×2″ rectangles, so I do, too. Dust with flour; place on a rack floured side down and dust the tops with flour. Set aside to dry for one hour. (This is when I think you could freeze them.)

6. Bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in, return to a boil, then cover and turn to a slow simmer for ten minutes. Remove the lid, return the shredded chicken and simmer until the dumplings are tender.

* Most stock recipes I see call for the veggies, and I’ve made it both with and without. Maybe my palate isn’t sophisticated  enough, but I can’t tell enough of a difference to make it worth cooking and tossing the vegetables.

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