Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings are a staple in the South.  It is amazing that anything so good could be so easy to make.

My mama was famous for her chicken and dumplings, and while mine might not be quite as good as the ones she made,  they are rather tasty.  I don't think we have ever had any left that had to be thrown out.

Start out by putting some chicken and broth in a large sauce pan.

Sift two cups of self-rising flour in a mixing bowl.

Add about 1/3 cup of lard.  Yes, lard.  All my family and ancient kinfolks were raised on lard.  I don't use it much, but for good dumplings and pie crusts, you have to use lard.  You can use Crisco, but they won't be as good as mine.  You could use corn oil, but I wouldn't even bother.  Just buy some of those hard, yellow dumplings in a package at the store.

Add the lard to the flour and mix with a pastry blender.  When it is thoroughly mixed, add cold water a little at a time until the dough is the right consistency.  Sorry there are not photos of this; it is hard to take pictures when you have flour and dough stuck to your hands.

Turn dough out onto a floured board.  At this point, you can wash your hands and take pictures.

Use a dough roller (or rolling pin) to roll the dough about 1/4" thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into small strips.

Drop the dough a piece at a time into the boiling broth/chicken mixture.

Continue until all the dumplings are used.  Reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

We like ours with lots of black pepper and salt to taste.  We don't add any sides to this; just lots of chicken and dumplings.  They are good warmed over, too, if you are fortunate enough to have any left.

It would be hard to beat chicken and dumplings on a cold, icy night in February.  Or any other time, ever.