The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, February 1st 2020 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Warm, Comforting Chicken and Dumplings
This time of year, I always crave chicken and dumplings. There is nothing quite like a big bowl of warm, hearty homemade dumplings cooked the way my Grandmas made them. My Grandma Deloris would make a dough, much like that of a noodle dough, and roll them out on her kitchen counter and cut them into long strips. My Grandma Barbra would make what is referred to now as “drop dumplings” where she would take the dough and simply spoon it off and drop it into the hot broth. Both ways are actually pretty simple and easy to do and there is not one way I prefer over the other but today I want to focus on the “drop” version. I remember when I was younger, at every single Holiday gathering, there would be some type of dumplings cooking on the stove. Grandma Deloris would have one of the biggest silver stock pots I had ever seen in my life simmering on the stove with a huge long handled wooden spoon sticking out over the top. It would be someone’s job just to stand there and gently stir the dumplings, so they wouldn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until we were ready to eat. I remember one year, someone who shall remain unnamed, decided to take it upon themselves to salt the already seasoned dumplings, on and off, the entire time they were being stirred. Needless to say, Grandma Deloris never had that person in charge of the dumplings again! Ha! She talked about the incident for years after it happened! Never mess with the already seasoned dumplings!
Grandma Barbra would always season her dumplings along the way and although she trusted everyone in the family with the job of stirring, she always had to tend to them herself. Which, in turn, is where I get my rules for the kitchen. I don’t mind people helping out but certain things I want to do, stir and season myself! Ha! Grandma Barbra’s “secret” ingredients to her dumplings, other than love, was using a box of all-purpose “Jiffy” mix for the dumpling base. Quick story, my cousins and I used to put some of the “Jiffy” mix in a bowl, add a little water to create a paste and then we would eat it! Ha! Anyways, after thinking about how to update this recipe a little I decided to make my own all-purpose “Jiffy” mix in a sense. The dumplings turned out lighter, fluffier and even more flavorful than I remembered. Highly recommend you try this recipe and be inspired to start updating and creating your own family recipes!
Grandma Barbra’s Chicken and Dumplings
Leftovers can be kept chilled in an airtight container for up to three days. Some heirloom recipes for dumplings call for yellow food coloring to be added to the dough to create that familiar yellow hue that can be found in dumplings. The food coloring is completely optional but if adding, add no more than a teaspoon. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Be sure to use a heavy bottomed pot when making this recipe.
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
64 oz chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a large bowl combine the white all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and melted unsalted butter until a soft dough forms.
In a large stock pot over medium heat, add the diced cooked chicken, chicken broth, salt and black pepper. Bring this to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Once at a boil, drop tablespoon size amounts of the dough into the boiling broth.
Continuously stir, gently, until the dumplings are puffed and cooked throughout, which will take about 25 minutes. Be sure to not allow any dumplings to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Taste for additional seasonings.
Serve hot and enjoy! Leftovers can be kept, chilled, in the refrigerator for three days. To reheat, do so carefully either in the microwave or on the stove top using a medium low heat.
Ask and Answer: A few people have emailed me asking about my favorite way to freeze cookie dough. My absolute favorite way, not to mention the easiest, is to prepare the cookie dough and drop by rounded tablespoon onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place into the freezer for about 2 hours. Remove and place the frozen cookie dough balls into a freezer safe plastic storage bag and place back into the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply remove, place and bake!