Monday, November 25, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

When I visited my best friend over the summer, her mom made her favorite meals.  One of them--Chicken and Dumplings--was absolutely fantastic!  I asked for the recipe, and her mom listed just the ingredients which wasn't a big deal since cooking is less exact than baking.

It's a bit embarrassing how long it took me to get this right.  Why did it take me so long?  Well....  I could NEVER get the sauce thickened up right (or at least as her mom described it).  I tried as many as half a dozen times, and I just finally said "screw it" and used cornstarch to thicken the sauce.  My stomach won out over my pride, and in the end, it was damn good so I'm not too torn up about it!

{So delicious and comforting!}

{Cooking the chicken in broth}

{Mixing the dumpling dough}

{Rolling out the dumplings--necessary?  Not really.  You can pinch off pieces instead}

{Chicken is done!  Take them out to cook the dumplings}

{Hubby wanted "lots of large dumplings" so I did it.  He said they were a little too big--oh well}

{Add evaporated milk and cook dumplings.  I made flat dumplings, but my hubby prefers fluffy dumplings.  It's easy--just add baking powder shown in the recipe below!}

{Dice chicken and add back in}

{Thickened sauce for chicken and dumplings}

Chicken and Dumplings
from many trials and errors

Makes 4 servings

6 3/4 cups chicken broth, divided
3 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, optional (add for fluffy dumplings or leave out for flat dumplings)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can evaporated milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Ground black pepper
  1. Place 6 cups broth in a large pot and heat until boiling.
  2. Add chicken breasts to hot broth and cook until done, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine flour and salt in a bowl and add 1/2 cup broth to form a dough.  Dough should be pliable without being sticky.  You might need to add more broth or flour just a bit at a time to get it to the right consistency.
  4. Flour a flat surface and roll out dumpling dough until 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into squares with a knife or pizza cutter.
  5. Remove cooked chicken from the broth and set aside to cool.
  6. Add dumplings to hot broth; stir to keep them from sticking.
  7. Add evaporate milk to broth.
  8. Cut chicken into bite-sized chunks and add back to broth.
  9. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup broth and 3 tablespoons cornstarch until dissolved.
  10. Add cornstarch mixture to chicken and dumplings until sauce is the desired thickness.
  11. Season to taste with black pepper.
  12. Serve.
Have you ever tried and tried to get a recipe just right and then finally got fed up and improvised?  Did it turn out how you wanted it?

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