HERBED CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Chicken and dumplings were always a holiday traditional dish. We do it the old-fashioned way -- roll out the dough. It takes some time, but you can do them ahead and freeze them. You can serve it as a side dish or alone as a stew. I admit that I loved my mother's dumplings, but the addition of the herbs makes the dish much more flavorful.
- 5 bone-in, skin-on Chicken Breasts or
- one whole chicken + 2 breasts
- 10 cups chicken broth (including broth from the bird)
- 4 cups all purpose flour, divided into 2 cups each
- Flour for dusting
- 2/3 cups Crisco shortening, divided into 1/3 cups
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 cup whole milk, divided into one-half cups
- 2 tsp dried thyme, divided
- 2 tsp dried sage, divided
- 1 Tbs poultry seasoning, or to taste
- Salt/Pepper to taste
Preparation time 120mins
Cooking time 180mins
In a large dutch oven, add chicken and enough water to come up about 2.5 inches from the top to permit boiling. Boil the chicken until done, adding water as needed which you will use for broth. I usually put some of the chicken in a smaller pot to boil for additional broth. When chicken is cooked through, transfer the chicken to a large colander, reserving the chicken broth. Place the colander on a pie plate to drain. When chicken is cool enough to handle, add the accumulated broth from the pie plate to the dutch oven. If you do not have approx 10 cups of broth, add canned broth or broth made from bullion to make up the 10 cups. Debone the chicken, reserving only the meat. You can cut the chicken into squares or shred it. Add the chicken to the dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-hi heat. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, continuously, into the boiling water, stirring occasionally. When all dumplings have been added, reduce heat to simmer. Add the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp thyme and 1 tsp sage into 2 cups flour in a large mixing bowl. Cut in 1/3 cup shortening with a pastry blender. Add 1/2 cup milk and stir until "pasty." If the mixture seems to dry, add a little more milk. Form the dough into a ball. Take half of the dough and form into another ball and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough out with a non-stick rolling pin. You want to roll it out as thin as possible, into large square. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into approx one inch squares.
You can make the dumplings a few days ahead by freezing them between sheets of waxed paper. Wrap the stacked sheets with foil and seal tightly. When ready to use, bring to room temperature.
This is the best part. I have frozen the "stew" for up to three months in large feezer bags.