When the leaves are falling and the temperature starts to fall, do you begin to crave what I call "fall food"? Chili, soup, dumplins, stew, etc.? All of these are favorites of mine. But my favorite might be chicken and dumplins. I grew up eating Sweet Sue chicken and dumplins and I still love them, but my favorite dumplins are my Hubby's homemade dumplins. You see, my Hubby grew up watching his grandmother make dumplins. Hubby would go out back and kill the hen and Nannie would pluck it and make dumplins. Now, I don't have chickens in my backyard and if I did, I know that I just couldn't stomach killing and plucking it. I'm not a farm girl. But, Hubby did teach me how to make fabulous dumplins without killing the chicken.
Chicken from the store
Milk (whole or 2%)
Buy a chicken and put it in a big dutch oven (I prefer to use non-stick if you have one) and boil it until fully cooked (usually about an hour depending on size). Set aside to cool. Strain your broth. I do this twice to make sure and get out all of the yucky junk. Put broth back onto stove and bring to a boil. While it's warming up, put 2-3 cups of all purpose flour into a large bowl. Add a cup of your chicken broth and about a teaspoon of salt to your flour. The chicken broth and salt give your dough so much more flavor than using water.
Mix dough up with a spoon adding more flour and broth until it gets to a biscuit dough consistency. Drop out onto a clean floured surface.
Roll the dough out to about 1/8" thickness and cut into thin strips about 1 1/2" - 2" wide. I use a pizza cutter.
Then begin tearing your strips into pieces that are close to the same size and dropping them into your broth. Do this quickly so that your dough doesn't dry out and so the cooking time for all the dumplins will be realitively the same.
Boil, uncovered, until the dumplins are done, stirring every once in awhile. The time will depend on the size of your dumplins, but it usually takes about 30 minutes or so.
You will have to taste them to check their consistency. I don't like mine too doughy, but that's just personal preference. You may need to add a little water, if your broth gets low. Gently stir every few minutes while cooking so your dough doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. When your dumplins are fully cooked, add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup of milk and bring to a boil. This makes your dumplins creamy as opposed to greasy.
Once your dumplins come to a boil again, lower the temperate to Low and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes to allow the dumplins to thicken slightly. Be sure and stir every few minutes so they don't stick to the bottom. Add salt and pepper to taste.
YUMMMMMM! One of my favorite cold weather comfort foods!
Have a great day!