Better Late Than Never

At least I’m hoping that it’s better late than never.  A family emergency has had me in its grip for the last 48 hours and so I was supposed to post one of my most favorite recipes in the whole world today.  But up until this very moment, there’s not been an inch of time.  So bear with me if you please.

What I’m about to share with you is an old southern recipe for chicken and dumplings.  My mother was a southern bell (I still think the wrong side won the Civil war) and she used to make this meal often — and I loved each and every one of those meals.  So you ready?  Here we go.

The secret of wonderful chicken and dumplings is in the broth.  This was very well known to the Indians of old, who always had a pot of soup boiling day and evening.  But the broth is what makes chicken soup so nourishing — it’s also what gives chicken and dumplings its taste.  It can’t be manufactured with chemicals, though I suppose some would try.

Okay enough said.  This is called bone broth soup — an American Indian staple of the past.  Start with a chicken — a whole one — cut up or not — it doesn’t matter.  I use a crock pot to make my broth, but you can make it over the stove.  Wash chicken and put it in a pot and cover with filtered water.  Add 2 tbls. of vinegar and let sit for a little while — maybe 15-30 minutes — the vinegar helps to pull the nutrients out of the bones and into the soup.  Add celery (3 stalks) and carrots (3).  You can also use onionns, but I generally leave these out because we have cats and dogs that I feed this broth to sometimes and onions can be a little poisonous for them.

Bring to a boil and scrape off the form that rises to the top and then simmer this for about 24 hours.  (This is why I use a crock pot.)

It will make lots of broth.  I use what ever I need for the dumplings and freeze the rest in mason jars.

After cooking the broth, bone the chicken and throw away the bones and veggies.  Add broth (about 6-8 cups) in a large pot and add cut up chicken that you just cooked from the broth.  Add a couple of stalks of celery, onion and carrots — this time I use onions as I don’t usually feed this to my animals.  Add about 2 teaspoons of salt, about 2 teaspoons of Thyme and about 1 teaspoon of Sage.  Simmer.

In the meantime put 2 cups of whole grain (hopefully sprouted) flour — or unbleached white flour if you can’t find any other, but know that white flour isn’t very good for you —  in a pan and add 1 teaspoon salt, a little parsley and about 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda.  To this cut in 4 tablespoons of butter.  Add anywhere from 3/4 to 1 cup milk — just enough to hold it together. 

Drop teaspoon fulls of the dumpling mixture to the simmering broth and cover.  Let cook for 20 minutes without lifting the cover.

Serve in bowls.  Usually my family eats this up immediately and there’s always people asking for more.  Another southern tradition is to serve the chicken and dumplings over mashed potatoes.  Oh my gosh, is that good!

Hope you’ll enjoy and excuse this very late post.

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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5 thoughts on “Better Late Than Never”

  1. Thank you, Karen, for the great tips on dumplings. I make the worst ones in the whole world, but was lucky enough to have an aunt who made fabulous ones. When my mother-in-law was living with us during her final days, I tried my hand at chicken and dumplings, just to please here, but failed miserably. One of the last things we talked about was really how horrible my dumplings were. Wonderful memories, especially since she never said anything bad about anything or anyone. Just proved how bad I truly am. I can hardly wait to fix your recipe. Keep your chin up and watch for those sunny skies overhead. Hugs, Phyliss

  2. i’m sorry to hear about the family crisis–i hope all clears soon
    thanks for taking time to share with us
    i love that your recipe is dear to your heart!
    my made chicken and dumpling when i was a child and it was a favorite!!
    i also love that you threw in the whole wheat/sprouted flour for health’s sake 🙂

    you throw away the first round of veggies?
    could you still eat them?? or are they gross mush?

    bone broth, it has a halloween sort of ring to it, lol
    i FINALLY am reading Seneca Surrender and just read all about the bone broth last night 🙂
    what timing!
    and–loving the book so far as I expected

    thanks again for sharing and hugs to you in this time of trial

  3. Hi, Kay–I am so sorry to hear of your family emergency. I am sending prayers and positive thoughts, and I hope things are better!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your recipe for chicken and dumplings : ) It sounds delicous, especially over mashed potatoes. After enjoying really beautiful early Fall weather here in VA, these last two days have offered heavy rain and much cooler temperatures. I have a pot of vegetable beef soup simmering on the stove right now, and I am thinking about making some type of hot bread to go with the soup!

  4. Ah, at last a chicken and dumplings recipe that sounds much like my dad used to make. Yes, he cooked and very well. It’s definitely on my to do on Sunday list. Thanks for sharing.

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