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A friend asked if I knew of a really good recipe for the old-fashioned type of chicken and dumplings, the kind Cracker Barrel makes.
I’ve been searching for something like that too because I’ve tried many recipes and I haven’t been very satisfied. After some time, through the help of my friend, Mary, and combining recipes, I think I’ve got it. Try them and see what you think. They are easy to make and much better than the Bisquick kind. I give you:
Slick Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole chicken, (4-4 1/2 pounds), rinsed
Water to cover chicken in large Dutch oven
1 tsp. salt
1 stalk of celery (with leaves is great)
1 onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
Bring above ingredients to boil over med-high heat; once boiling, turn down to low heat, cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Let chicken and broth cool in covered pan until it is cool enough to pick chicken off of bone into smaller pieces. Discard bay leaf, onion and celery. Set aside chicken and broth. You may want to add extra chicken bouillon to the stock too, if needed.
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
A drop or two of yellow food coloring added to eggs
Cooled chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup cream
In a large bowl, blend together flour and salt. Add yellow food coloring to beaten eggs; add to flour, stirring well. Next, alternate ice water and broth. Add ice water to flour and egg, about 1/4 cup; stir well, then add 1/4 cup chicken broth. Continue to alternate liquids until dough comes together in a ball and is not too sticky.
Flour your counter surface well, then place dough on flour and knead in more flour until dough is a little stiff. Divide dough in half, setting one half to the side. Roll out 1/2 dough with rolling pin on a floured surface until about 1/16 -inch thick. Cut dough into 2x2-inch squares. Do the same with the other half of dough. Let set for about 30 minutes to an hour to dry just a little.
Bring the chicken stock mixture (with chicken) to a rolling boil over high heat; add 1/4 cup butter and cream to stock; season with salt. Add dough squares to boiling stock a few at a time until all squares are in pot. You add these as the stock is in a rolling boil, slightly stir just to make sure dumplings are separated. Once you have the dumplings in the pot, then cover and turn stove down to low. Dumplings should simmer until they become somewhat translucent. Broth will become thicker as it cooks. It takes about 20 minutes to cook. Add pepper and salt to taste.
I served this to some Carroll County Extension Foundation members and they really liked them, or that’s what they said. They were my taste testers for the night.We have had the leftovers and all I did was add just a little chicken broth to them. They are great!
TIP: I recently learned something I had never heard before. We are so accustomed to placing dried beans or pastry beads in our pie shells when baking them without a filling. The best way to keep your pie shell from shrinking, place the dough in the bottom of one pie pan, crimping edges as usual, then place another pie plate over the top of the pie shell, turn it all upside down and bake in the oven. It offers you a no shrinking pie crust.
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.