Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Chicken and Dumplings

Mindy here with a bit of a headache. You see, I've been banging my head against the wall, trying to decide what to share with y'all today. I didn't even have any cool pictures I could share. I finally came up with something, however, I knew I'd shared it before, so I searched the archives to discover that not only had I, indeed, shared this favored recipe with you before, it was my very first post here at the Yankee-Belle Café, six years ago this week. Hard to believe I've been here this long. I thought for sure Ruthy and Missy would get sick of me and kick me out after a couple of months. But here I am. So rather than rework my original post, I thought I'd leave it intact. Just for fun.
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Happy Tuesday, Yankee-Belle faithfuls. Well, the Yank and the Belle have gone and done it now. They've given this Texan--aka Mindy Obenhaus--keys to the cafe. Yep, no telling what you might find jalapenos or chipotle in now.

Ah, but we Texans aren't all about Tex-Mex. We like good ol' down home comfort food too. Actually, I'll let you in on a little secret. I grew up a Yankee. However, I got to Texas as fast as I could. I love everything about Texas. The people, the food, the diversity of this great state, and the heat. Okay, I fibbed on that last one.

Once I got here, though, I latched onto a great-mom and grandmama who knew how to cook. That means I learned from the best. Given my dual heritage, though, I'm just glad Ruthy didn't decide to call this Tuesdays with the Tank.

Today we'll continue Ruthy's fowl comfort food theme with Great-mom's chicken and dumplings. I LOVE this stuff. And if chicken soup is good for the soul, chicken and dumplings must be a double blessing.

First we need to make our chicken stock, which will also provide us with the chicken half of our chicken and dumplings. So, in a large dutch oven or stock pot, add one chicken (I leave mine whole, but remove the skin so there's less fat), two or three carrots cut into thirds, a couple stalks of celery (I left the leaves on mine), one onion, quartered, 1 Tbs. salt (I use kosher), and  3/4 tsp. ground black pepper or 1 1/2 tsp. peppercorns. After I took this picture I found some thyme in the fridge, so I added a couple sprigs of that as well.


Now add three quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

Cool slightly, then remove chicken and vegetables. Strain broth, discarding solids.


Once the bird has cooled, remove the meat from the bone and shred. The veggies don't make it into the soup, however they do make a great snack.


Return broth to stove, add chicken, and bring to boiling. *NOTE* I try to skim as much of the fat as possible from the broth. If there's time, I will put it in the fridge and then skim.

While you're waiting for the broth to boil, prepare your dumplings.

Combine:
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • Approx. 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups self-rising flour (if the mixture seems too sticky, add more flour in small amounts)
Turn dough onto a floured surface and kneed a handful of times.

From here, it's up to your personal preference. Some like their dumplings big, others like them small. I like a bite of dumpling in every spoonful. My sons want as little dumplings as possible. Personally, I think that's just wrong, but they're brats.

You can roll out the dough and cut it into pieces. That's too much work for me so I flatten a portion of dough on a cutting board, slice into strips, then cut the dumplings into the boiling broth mixture with a scrapper or knife. Remember, you can add as many or as few as you like.


Once you've added all your dumplings, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Then you're ready for a bowlful of pleasure. One sure to warm the cockles of your heart (Does anyone know just where that is?).


Now, if you're intimidated by making the dumplings, here's a secret shortcut--canned biscuits. (Ooo, did y'all hear Ruthy gasp?) Just break or cut them into pieces and drop into boiling broth. Easy-peasy.

Oh, here comes Ruthy again. She's been pacing the kitchen the entire time. She's so protective of the cafe. Missy's at the counter, hiding behind her laptop. Man, her fingers are moving across that keyboard faster than a Texas tornado. Looks like she's got a new story brewing. Speaking of brewing, I think Ruthy's gone through that entire pot of coffee already. Don't worry, gang, I gotcha covered.
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Here we are, back to present day. That was fun, though. You know, Ruthy still paces the kitchen. Except for this past week, because she's been sick. But as we all know, not even the flu can defeat our precious Yank. She might have slowed down a little, but she's too determined to let anything beat her. 

I'm still blown away that I've been here at the Yankee-Belle for six years. It seems like only yesterday. No matter how long it's been, though, I've loved every minute.

Now it's your turn. So what do you want to talk about? Ruthy? Your favorite soup? A special relative who taught you how to cook? The upcoming BIG game? The floor is yours. Have at it.



Mindy Obenhaus lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband, the youngest of her five children and two dogs. She's passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren. Learn more at www.MindyObenhaus.com  

19 comments:

  1. Canned biscuits is my go to for dumplings! I made chicken and dumplings recently on a Sunday I had to rush home after church and make lunch for my husband on his lunch break. No time to cook your own chicken? Stop at the store and grab a precooked chicken and just break it down and remove the skin! It worked! I also used frozen broccoli and canned carrots. It was a cheater version, but no complaints from the table!

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    1. Katie, Greatmom, the woman who taught me how to make chicken and dumplings, used canned biscuits whenever she was short on time. And for me, a store-bought rotisserie chicken is one of my most favorite convenience items. Or it was, anyway, until we moved to the country. But they are so flavorful and can be used for a multitude of purposes. I'm sure your husband was one happy camper.

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  2. Oh, I love this walk down memory lane!!! SIX YEARS!!!! Yes, that's a wonderful benchmark for all of us!

    And I love chicken and dumplings. My family, however, loves chicken and biscuits.... so I cheat and use Bisquick biscuit mix (I know, I know!!!!) but with extra milk because we don't want the biscuits to rob all the gravy in the oven...

    But I'm like you, Mindy (when I'm not pacing....) I'm a dumpling in every bite kind of gal.

    Although I will admit to loving the biscuit version, too!

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    1. I've used canned biscuits, but I've never tried bisquik. Must try this!!!

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    2. So Ruthy, what's the difference between chicken and dumplings and chicken and biscuits? Is it just that the biscuit dough is laid on top of the liquid and baked as opposed to it being submerged and cooked in the liquid?

      I love Bisquick, too. I've just never tried it in this recipe. Maybe someday.

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  3. And I've used the canned GRANDS for a bunch of things. They're kind of fun!!!

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    1. Grands definitely fall into the yummy category.

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  4. Mindy, that is hard to believe it's been six years!! Wow. Time certainly flies when you're having fun.

    I love your dumpling recipe! I like to try different ways to make them--including the canned biscuits! :)

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    1. Give it a go, Missy. I mean, this is a generations old recipe, so how can it be bad? ;)

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  5. I love this post! My granny made the best chicken and dumplings and although I've followed her recipe exactly (well, as exactly as you can when your told "a pinch of this")it's not the same. I can't wait to try this recipe though. This is one of my favorite comfort foods.

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    1. Most definitely comfort food, LeAnne. And doesn't that whole pinch-of-this stuff drive you crazy? Greatmom used to hold up a finger, grin and say, "Oh, about this much." (insert eye roll) At least I was able to get her nailed down on a few things.

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  6. Well, happy anniversary (sort of), Mindy. The years fly by, don't they? My go to soup is always lentil with veggies but when it's cold or I have a cold I love sweet potato chili soup. yum. I can see you rolling your eyes at vegetarian me. lol

    We're having an unexpected blizzard this morning...it was supposed to come tomorrow but apparently that one is still a go so this one is just a little easing us into the whole snow/winter thing after some strange spring-like weather. Argh because I have to go and buy some groceries so I better head up soon before that snow accumulates any more. Happy Tuesday!

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    1. Yes, you need to stock up, Kav, just in case you get snowed in. Because even though you have plenty to read, you need to eat, too.

      Hey, you have got me curious about the sweet potato chili, though. Perhaps that's a recipe you should share with us one week, my Irish Canadian friend. Email me. We'll talk. :D

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  7. I remember this recipe from six years ago! I actually bought some self-rising flour to make the dumplings (although later I found a recipe to make your own...saves the extra canister in the cupboard).

    And since it's been a while (a LONG while) since I've made this...or even chicken and biscuits...I'll have to put it on the menu. We're headed for another arctic blast this weekend, and this will be just the ticket!

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    1. Jan, you are right on the money. Chicken and dumplings is perfect for weathering an arctic blast. Especially when it's in a bowl or cup you can wrap your cold fingers around. Of course, it warms you from the inside out, too.

      So how do you make self rising flour?

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    2. Super easy - just combine 1 cup of flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

      If I was a Southerner and used self-rising flour on a regular basis, I'd make a big batch. But since I only use about a cup at a time, and vary rarely, this recipe is perfect.

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    3. I am writing that down right now, Jan. Thanks.

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  8. Happy Anniversary, Mindy. Man time flies.

    It's really no fun to come home late and see delicious posts that make you really hungry, but it's already late so no time to cook. Hide your ears, Ruthy. I'm having kale lentil salad tonight.

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