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.