Happy New Year! 2010 was one of my best years yet. So many good changes happened in 2010. I cannot wait to see what 2011 has in store for me.
One of the many changes that took place in 2010 was I *finally* got a house. I had held off thinking someday I might make it back to Syracuse, NY. I’ve come to accept that while I may visit my family in Syracuse, I will probably never live there again. I am OK with that. I have a lot of reasons to go visit.
This house has a fan-flippin’-tastic kitchen. I love to cook in it. I love my house. I love the people in my house.
On bitter cold January days I get to make dishes that wrap around me like a warm blanket. Chicken and dumplings is one of those dishes. I love the huge flavor that comes from such a simple dish. The dumplings make this incredible gravy. Oooooh the gravy! To me it’s the best part. Then you bite into a soft dumpling. Heaven. It leaves my family full, fat and happy. That’s alright by me.
- 1 chicken (either a whole fryer or cut up)
- 8 C water
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 C flour (I used all-purpose)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons of shortening
- 3/4 C buttermilk
Place chicken in a deep kettle. Add water and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low for 1 hour. The meat should be pretty close to falling off the bone.
Turn off burner and remove chicken to cool. Get as much of the meat off the bone and cut into bite sized pieces. (While your chicken cools make your dumpling dough)
Dumplings: Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in shortening. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add buttermilk. Stir with a fork until moistened. You will have a wet, sticky dough. Place dough on floured work surface and knead 4-5 times. You can either pat it out and cut out dumpling pieces or you can just break off for a more rustic look. It all tastes the same.
Add chicken pieces to broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and drop dumplings into liquid. Cook for 8 mins (give or take a few) stirring occasionally. I like to turn the burner off and let it sit for a bit. This makes sure you get a nice, thick gravy.
Try as I might, words cannot describe how awesome this dish is. This makes quite a bit…darn!