Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

This is from mom’s friend Michelle Taylor from Book Club. Dad doesn’t like dumplings so I never made them. Then one time I made this when the kids were home. Jason and Gage fought over the dumplings and most everyone (except Dad) really liked it. It definitely is not low-cal.

5-7 pounds chicken breasts and thighs, skinned
6 cups thickly sliced carrots
6 cups thickly chopped onions
3 cups thickly sliced celery
13 cups water
4 cans chicken broth
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1 large bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1½ teaspoon crushed peppercorns
3 cubes margarine
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper

Create bouquet garni from parsley, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and peppercorns. Put into a spice ball or muslin bag. Cook chicken in 10 cups of the water. Cook veggies in 3 cups water and chicken broth with bouquet garni. When chicken is done, remove from water and drain, keeping broth. When veggies are done, remove bouquet garni, and remove veggies from broth and drain, keeping broth. Combined reserved broths should equal 16 cups. Add water if you have less than that. In very large stock pan, melt margarine. Add flour, salt, pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in 16 cups broth and stir until thickened.

3 cups flour
1½ tablespoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
15 tablespoons milk (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon)
Dried parsley to taste

Sift dry ingredients into bowl, add parsley and stir in. In separate bowl, mix milk and eggs together. Add to dry ingredients and mix until just blended (dough will be sticky). Bring gravy to a good simmer or low boil. Drop dumplings by tablespoonfuls into hot gravy. Cover with tight lid and steam for 8-10 minutes. Dumplings can be tested with a toothpick. Cook only enough dumplings at once that can fit on surface of gravy. They will sink down when first put into gravy, then float to surface. (Important: If gravy is not hot enough to produce heavy steam, dumplings will be doughy – it’s the steam that cooks them.) Remove cooked dumplings and keep warm on plate in oven. When all dumplings are cooked, add veggies and chicken (which has been de-boned and cut into chunks) back into the gravy and lower heat. Stir occasionally – veggies and chicken tend to sink to bottom and stick and/or burn if heat is too high. Serve stew over dumplings in bowls. Makes enough for 12 generous servings. Keeps well in fridge for 3-5 days (if it lasts that long!).

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