It seems that everyone has their favorite chicken and dumplings recipe. Some like thick dumplings, some like round drop-type dumplings. We like them thin and a bit chewy! This is a recipe my mom has made for years, and I have no idea where she first got the recipe, but now my son makes the same recipe for his family. On a cold, icy, winter night, this is the perfect comfort food.
Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken broth (see notes below)
Chicken meat (see noes below)
2 cups biscuit mix
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
This recipe makes a LOT of dumplings. For the two of us, I half the recipe and we still have enough for two meals. The photos shown below are for half the recipe. I use a Bantam egg for half the recipe.
Note: We like more dumplings and broth than meat so I roast a chicken, we have roasted chicken one night and I save the leftover chicken and the "broth" from roasting and this is what I use for the dumplings, with about 3 cups of water added. The chicken has been seasoned before roasting so the broth never needs much additional seasoning.
If you're starting from scratch with a chicken, boil a whole chicken or the parts you want to use in water to which you've added an onion (quartered), celery, peppercorns, salt, and whatever spices you would like to include in your broth.
Once the chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred or chop ... however you want this in your dumplings. Allow the broth to cool and skim off the fat you don't want to use, though you need some fat remaining in order to have a rich stock.
For the dumplings, stir together the biscuit mix, flour, salt, pepper (we use more pepper than the recipe suggests), milk and egg. It will be a sticky dough. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour onto your countertop and roll the dumplings thin. My mom says she rolls them as thin as a potato chip! Don't worry if they get wrinkled up a bit or tear when you're taking them off the countertop. It's not a pie crust. Once they're cooked, no one will ever know they weren't perfect.
Cut them into strips, and then cut those into squares. Mine are probably roughly about 1 1/2-by-2 inches.
Here's the trick to getting them chewy. Separate the dumplings. I place mine on parchment paper on cookie sheets or cooling racks. Sprinkle flour over the top and let them sit for an hour or so to dry out a bit. Then, flip them over, sprinkle more flour if needed, and let them dry for another hour or so. If you leave them sitting out half the day ... that's OK too.
When it's time to cook them, bring the broth to a slow simmer. Shake off a bit of excess flour from the dumplings, but leave some on as that's what thickens the broth nicely. Drop the dumplings into the broth, one at a time. Drop enough in that they're about two deep in the broth. Let those cook for about 1 minute, then drop more in on top. Do not stir or the dumplings will break apart.
Use a wide spoon or spatula to press the dumplings down into the broth and gently swirl to make sure they're separated. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and continue to cook until the chicken is heated.
You should have a nice, thick broth with thin, chewy dumplings!
Another version of Chicken and Dumplings. Photo: iStockphoto.com/eurobanks