Thursday, January 9, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings: A Cold Weather Classic

Ok, so the cat just took about an hour long nap on my lap (only ended by the fact that I absolutely HAD to go to the bathroom), and now I'm exhausted.  Sitting on the couch for too long in the afternoon just kills me.  It's not that it's not relaxing, it's just that if I sit there too long, my body seems to shut down for the rest of the day.  Bleh.  She was adorable though!  And I'd still be sitting there right now if my bladder hadn't been bursting.  To me, there is just this unspoken rule that if your cat comes to lay with/on you, you don't move until the cat has vacated her spot.  That's just how it works.  You sit there, legs asleep, overheated, bored to death, moving as little as humanly possible until she decides to move.  That's just the rule.  Lol.  (FYI, I know I sound ridiculous.)

Anyway, today I figured I would share a recipe!  Since it's (probably) cold where ever you are right now, this meal is perfect!  I absolutely love chicken and dumplings.  Any time we eat at Cracker Barrel, it is positively the hardest decision in the world to choose between their chicken and dumplings or a breakfast meal.  Talk about tough!

This recipe is very similar to Cracker Barrel's version.  The dumplings are flat, but delicious, and the dish is interspersed with shredded chicken.  (In my humble opinion, this meal would be even better if you just left out the chicken all together, but I know we need some protein to balance it out.) 

Also, just FYI, I made half of the recipe below for just Thomas and I, and we had about 2 servings of leftovers too.

Chicken and Dumplings
Adapted from: Buns in My Oven
Serves: 6-8 people

  • 3-4 medium chicken breasts (depends on how much chicken you want in it)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (I used boiling water and chicken bouillon cubes.)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Cook the chicken, then let cool and shred.  (I just boil it because it will get seasoned when you add everything together, but you can cook it anyway you'd like.) 
  2. While the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the dumplings.  Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in the butter using a fork or a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.
  4.  Slowly stir in the milk.  Do not over mix!  (The original said you might not need the whole cup, but I found that I did and my dough was still a little dry.  Next time, I would probably use a little more than a cup.)
  5. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  It doesn't have to be perfect.
  6. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into small sections (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches square).  Lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet to dry for about 30 minutes.
  7. Bring the 6 cups of broth to a simmer in a large pan.
  8. Add the dumplings one by one so that they don't stick together.
  9. Cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring often to make sure all of the dumplings cook evenly.
  10. Add the shredded chicken to the dumplings.  Continue cooking for about 20 minutes.  The mixture will thicken up quite a bit.
  11. Salt and pepper to taste and serve!
I hope you enjoy this lovely cold-weather meal!  Yummy yummy!

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