You can’t get more Southern or more Dixie than Chicken and Dumplings. Just saying the words brings a sense of comfort to me. Chicken and dumplings have been a favorite of mine since I was a young child. I grew up eating them at my Maw Maw’s house and they were wonderful pillowy clouds of dough swimming in a creamy chicken broth. I was intimated about trying them on my own and never attempted it until a few years ago. My mother in law makes a fabulous version as well, so I asked for her recipe and discovered that making them isn’t scary OR difficult! As with anything I cook, I put my own spin on it and usually change a few steps. Here’s my rendition of chicken and dumplings:
- I start by boiling a whole chicken. I add lots of salt, pepper, and thyme to the water. Once the chicken has cooked through, I remove the skin and pull the meat from the bones. We eat both white and dark meat, but if you prefer only white, simply cook white meat only. Reserve the broth for the dumplings.
- Mix 2 cups plain flour, ¾ cup self-rising flour , ½ cup oil, and a ½ cup cold water, and salt to taste in a bowl. Cover with a towel and refrigerate until chilled, usually 10 minutes or so.
- Place the broth back onto the stove and turn to medium-high heat. Bring to a very low boil.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface. The thickness of the dough determines how thick your dumplings will be. I’ve found that rolling the dough to about a ¼ inch thickness works well for us.
- Cut the dough into individual dumplings and carefully drop into broth.
- Once all of the dumplings have been added to the broth and are floating, carefully add chicken. Continue to simmer until thoroughly cooked.