Saturday, June 4, 2022

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

Few things are more Southern than Chicken and Dumplings.  This recipe comes from one of my Annual Southern Living cookbooks - if you are a serious cook (even if you aren't!), you need these cookbooks. . . Really.  I have a handful of these and use them frequently.  I've never been disappointed.  I think it is the buttermilk in this recipe that makes it stand above the crowd.

1 whole (2 1/2 to 3 lb) whole chicken

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

2 quarts water

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons Crisco

3/4 cup whole buttermilk

Place chicken, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven; add water and 2 teaspoons of the salt.  Bring to a boil over high; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 1 hour.  Remove chicken from broth and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.  Remove and discard skin and bones and cut into bite size pieces.  Bring broth to a boil over high heat, add pepper.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Cut in Crisco with a pastry blender - or use your fingers - until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened.  Turn dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly 4 or 5 times.

Pat dough into 1/2 inch thickness.  Pinch off dough in 1 1/2 inch pieces and drop into boiling broth.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cook, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken.

Garnish servings with chives, if desired.

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