I have been searching through my grandmother’s recipes, look for some family heirlooms. It just so happens our friend Ashley over at Ice Milk Aprons has us looking for something special (Project: Preserve The Blog). During my search, not only did I discovered my Great Grandfather’s Cafe Chicken & Dumpling recipe but also this month’s Yankee Challenge. It’s time to pass down a soulful family Southern dish to our favorite Yankee cook.
Chicken & Dumplings is a meal in a bowl so each component this month is really important. Don’t worry about any sides or bread we’ve got plenty of starch and protein. So here are the rules 1) you have to use a whole chicken and also make your own stock; 2)your dumplings have to be made from scratch, nothing out of a box; 3) no additives from a can such as cream of chicken or mushroom soup . Chicken & Dumplings are very hearty and simple, even though it’s a little time consuming it’s well worth the effort to do the full recipe from scratch, it will pay off in flavor and texture.
Here are few tips to help you get the perfect pot of Chicken & Dumplings. Season your boiled chicken well with salt and pepper and consider using a Louisiana “trinity” (bell pepper, onion, celery) to further enhance the stock. When skimming the fat off the chicken stock, be sure to leave a little for flavor. Be careful when deciding about shape and thickness of your dumplings, try to keep them as uniform as possible so they will cook evenly. After adding the dumplings, be gentle and try not stirring but just gently bumping the dough around the pot until the dumplings float. In the end if your Chicken & Dumplings consistency is still a little thin you can add a few tablespoons of cornstarch to help thicken it up. Finish up the recipe with an SEC football weekend and a warm Hotty Toddy!
Readers don’t forget to give the challenge a shot for yourself . Each month we give away some great prizes to the best attempt. This month we’re giving away a Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick frying pan, one of our newly designed Hungry Southerner T-Shirts, and a box of Original Southern Moon Pies. Just cook up your best Chicken & Dumplings, take some pictures and post it to our fan page telling us how it went. We’ll vote on the best attempt at the end of the month, winner take all! Don’t forget to head over and offer Caitlin, “The Yankee” , your best Chicken and Dumpling recipes and secrets. Stay Hungry Y’all!
-The Hungry Southerner