Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's Talk Dumplings

Now I'm a truly southern gal and I love me some dumplings! The love/addiction goes way, way back to my childhood when a dear older lady that was a close friend to my grandmother would cook a big pot of dumplings for my dad and me. Those were by far the best things that I thought would ever cross my lips!

This lady's name was Lois, and Ms.Lois would do those dumplins' up right - she started out boiling a whole chicken and deboning and the labor from there was just too intense for me to even entertain the idea that I could make them for myself. Fast-forward 30 years or so and dear Ms. Lois and gone on to meet her maker and I'm still loving me some dumplings, but the dilema was HOW could I make a pot that would be anywhere near the goodness of Ms. Lois' dumplings? I had never even asked for her recipe or much less, I've never cooked a whole chicken. Let's just say for the sake of argument, that I'm NOT EVER going to cook a whole chicken...so there's bound to be an easier way to make a pot of dumplings?

Well - low and behold - I've found it! (Okay, so maybe Paul Deen had a little influence on my recipe, but it worked - the taste was close enough to Ms. Lois' recipe that I've evolved it into a regular menu item in our house. I'm proud to say that it's a favorite of 2/3 of my girls! LOL

I'll share with you my treasured Chicken and Dumpling Recipe.... Shhhh.... Don't tell Paul Deen that I've changed her recipe up - just a tiny bit! So here it is....

Vintage Chicken's Chicken and Dumpling Recipe

4 Quarts of Water

2 10oz cans of mixed chicken (white and dark meet)

1 can cream of celery (the secret ingredient)

3 ribs of celery sliced

3 green onions chopped

1 clove garlic chopped

2 bay leaves

2 chicken bullion cubes

1 10oz can of chicken broth

1 tbl spoon of parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients into a large stock pot and heat on high heat for 20 minutes or so... basically I just heat it long enough for me to get the dumplings made up and ready to throw in.

Dumplings:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup of ice water

Put flour in a mixing bowl. Beginning in center of flour, dribble small amount of ice water. Work mixture with fingers from center of bowl to sides of bowl, incorporating small amounts of water at a time. Continue until all flour is used up. Batter will feel as if it is going to be tough. Knead dough and form into ball.

Dust a good amount of flour onto dough board and rolling pin. Roll out dough, working from center. Dough will be firm. Roll to 1/8 inch thinness. Cut dumplings into 1-inch strips. Working with one strip at a time, hold strip over pot, pull it in half, and drop into the boiling stock. Remember, do not stir Mixtures after dumplings have been added to pot.


Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes.

**On a side note - I probably make double the amount of dumplings that the recipe calls for because my family LOVES the extra dumplings.

Now go hurry to the kitchen and make yourself a pot of these super easy and delicious dumplings - it's the ultimate comfort food that warms the body and the soul!

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