Thursday, 2 August 2012

Chicken and dumplings

If there is a more comforting one pot meal, I have yet to discover it. Chicken and dumplings was the meal I always asked for on my birthday and it harbours many wonderful memories for me.

1 cup (125g) plain flour
1/4 cup (55g) shortening (I use Cookeen brand)
Enough cooled chicken broth to make a semi-dry dough
Cooked chicken
At least 4 cups (960ml - 1L) of hot chicken broth

The amount of chicken you use is up to you. I'm using one breast, which equals out to one serving of meat for each of us. You could probably get away with using turkey in this as well, but light meat only if you use turkey, the dark meat is generally too stringy.

Cut up your cooked chicken and place into hot chicken broth and bring to a steady boil. While waiting for the broth to boil, make your dough. Add the shortening to the plain flour and work it in with either a pastry cutter or your hands until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add just enough of the cooled broth to form a dough that sticks to itself, but is still dry enough to not stick to the bowl. (If you'd prefer thin dumplings, add a bit more flour and work into an elastic dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch/0.60 cm thick. Cut into squares with a pastry wheel or a pizza cutter.) For the thicker "pillow" type dumplings that I'm accustomed to, take your dough and tear off a small amount and slightly flatten with your fingertips. Pick a spot in the now boiling broth and carefully lay in the dough. Wait a few seconds between each addition and continue putting in more dough balls until you either run out of dough or cannot see an open space to add another. Gently push the dumplings down into the broth, but do not stir or the dumplings will fall apart! Keep gently pushing the dumplings down and around to create pockets of broth that you can add more dough to until you run out of dough. Place a lid on the pot and turn heat down to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to let the dumplings cool a bit in a bowl before eating as they will be extremely hot!

Depending on the amount of broth, amount of chicken, and amount of dough that you make, this can serve 4 and upwards.

Flour with shortening and measuring cup with broth
Working the shortening into the flour

Add enough broth to pull the dough together

Pot of cooking chicken and dumplings

Finished product!

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