Sunday, June 3, 2012
Chicken & Dumpling Classic
The original recipe for Chicken and Dumplings can be found on FoodNetwork.com at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chicken-and-dumplings-recipe/index.html courtesy of one of my food heroes Paula Deen.
When you think of "southern cookin'" or "country cookin'" most likely the first dish you think of will be Chicken and Dumplings. This dish has become an American staple over our short history, and I'm willing to bet most people love some version of this dish (and there's a good chance it's a family's tradition).
This dish, actually this recipe, was one of my first real expeditions into the cooking world. My family history being what it is, I absolutely considered this an important dish to master. I made it according to the recipe, and though it wasn't really what I expected, it was tasty regardless. Over the years I've refined this recipe a touch to suit my purposes, and I'm happy with the result. Though certainly I give props to Paula Deen and her family's recipe, what your receiving today is actually a hybrid Paula/Idiotdadcooks version.
For this recipe you will need:
1 Whole Chicken in 8 pieces (2-3.5 lbs)
4 ribs celery
1/2 large onion
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 10 3/4 ounce can Cream O' Celery soup
3 quarts water
1 Teaspoon (Red Robin Seasoning)
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ice water
2 Teaspoons Cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
*Note: If you wish to use Paula's original recipe simply follow the link above. The most noticeable differences between what you see there and here, are the following:
1. I only use 1/2 an onion, not a whole.
2. I use 3 not 4 quarts of water, otherwise in my opinion it's too soupy.
3. I use Red Robin's fry seasoning instead of Paula's "House Seasoning" because I don't feel like making house seasoning, and I think the Red Robin's seasoning is more flavorful.
If you aren't a fan of "exact science cooking" you're going to adore this dish. The first step you want take is get all your vegetables cut. Once this is done simply put all the chicken soup ingredients in the pot, flip your stove on high until it comes to a boil. Once it starts to boil turn your heat down to medium, and simmer for 40 minutes.
Make sure you're stirring the soup portion pretty often as it cooks. You don't want anything sinking to the bottom and getting burned. You also don't want any spices or whatnot being stuck on the bottom or flavoring only one piece of chicken.
While your soup portion is cooking, get your dumplings ready. This is easy as heck. Get one cup of water and throw a couple ice cubes in it. Stir your AP flour and salt with a fork in the bowl, and make a little hole in the middle. A couple teaspoons at a time, add the water to the hole while working it in to the flour. By the time you've used all your water all the flour should be used, and make a pretty stiff ball. If you have to, add a touch more water if you can't get it all to act as one stiff dough. Let the dough rest a few minutes, then flour your surface and rolling pin, and roll it out. It should be about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch thick. Take a pizza cutter, and cut 1" squares (or as close as you can) out of the dough. Let that rest for a while, while you finish your soup.
When your timer goes off to end the simmering of your chicken soup, take out all the chicken pieces, and throw away your bay leaves. Let your chicken cool down for a few minutes before your proceed. Peel off the skin (discard it), and pick all the meat off the chicken and put it back in the soup (discard the bones). Bring your soup back up to a boil. Add your Cream O' Celery soup, also at this time mix up a 1/4 cup of cold water and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and throw that in too.
Once the soup has been boiling for a few minutes again start to carefully put your dumplings in the pot. Let them boil for 5 minutes, once this is done remove the pot from the heat. Allow this to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes and plate however you wish! I heated up some store bought mashed potatoes and poured the chicken and dumplings over them in the bowl, which was awesome! This will be a crowd pleaser, which is good because it will feed a crowd!
*Note: While cooking this I started to think about experimenting with the dumplings. I didn't have time to do it for this blog entry, if you wish you could put a couple teaspoons of baking powder in your flour via a sifter before you make your dough. That would make the dumplings puff up a touch, for a lighter fluffier dumpling. I may revisit this dish in the future. Until then, Eat Well Everyone!