I've been waiting for some cooler weather to break out the stockpot and make my first batch of chicken & dumplings for the season.....I figure it's about time!!!
My mom taught me the simplest way to make chicken & dumplings and it never fails. Everyone loves it so I always make enough for leftovers.
It's sooooo simple....here is all you need....
|Chicken breasts, milk, 1 stick butter, pepper, seasoned salt, celery seed, canned biscuits|
|A large stock pot, preferably non-stick|
I boil 3 large chicken breasts in seasoned water. To season the water, I use black pepper, celery seed and Mrs. Dash. (Of course, I realized today - after going to the grocery store - that we are out of Mrs. Dash; so, I am using the old stand-by favorite, Lowry's seasoned salt.)
Once the breasts are cooked, I set them aside to debone and cut into chunks. I reserve about 1-1/2 inches of the seasoned stock created from cooking the breasts.....
To this, I add a stick of butter (or margarine), and an equal amount of milk.
While I am waiting for the liquid to simmer, I take 3 cans of "whomp" biscuits. (You know, those small canned biscuits that you "whomp" on the edge of the counter to split open?) On a cutting board covered with an ample of amount of flour, I flatten each biscuit and cut it into fourths.....or sixths....just depends on my mood.
Once the liquid is just beginning to come to a slow boil, simply drop the floured and cut biscuit pieces into the mixture, a few at a time, always stirring. It's really important that you get the liquid just to that boiling stage or else the dumplings won't plump up and float to the top! The "plumping" is key to a good dumpling. Equally important, to stir and keep the temperature from getting too hot and the mixture from boiling over.
|Just coming to a boil...perfect!!!|
|Your dumplings should "plump up" and float to the surface for the first few minutes|
Once I have all the dumplings in, I simply set the heat so that they simmer nicely and keep them stirred every few minutes so they don't scorch or stick together. Generally, it will take around 45 minutes to get the dumplings cooked to the consistency we like.
When the dumplings are almost done, about the last 10-15 minutes, I stir in the chopped (or chunked) chicken meat.
This is what the dogs look like when I am cutting up the chicken....just waiting for me to drop a piece or give them a nibble....
To finish seasoning, I add lots of freshly ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash (okay, seasoned salt...).
And, voila! There you have it....super simple chicken & dumplings, the perfect comfort food on a cool, Autumn evening.
Now, this makes a really big pot of food, but I have three strapping guys to eat it all up! If you reduce the chicken to 2 breasts and the biscuits to 2 cans, it is just about right for two people to have second's and then a leftover meal the next day. (Just add a little milk or water to it when warming it up.)
It was great to have the boys and Sam's "baby", Savanna, with us for dinner tonight. We wiped out the entire pot of dumplings and had a wonderful evening!!!
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Stay warm wherever you are....