Southern Cuisine: Holle's Easy Chicken and Dumplings
real Southern food
I love Southern food, and I use old southern recipes all the time. In fact, I just put a huge pot of chicken on the stove to boil. I’m making one of our favorites – chicken and dumplings! For those of you who are from parts north of here, let me explain what a dumpling is to cooks and eaters in the Deep South. A dumpling is a thin strip of dough that’s dropped into boiling chicken broth. After they’ve cooked for a while, they expand and become soft.
The Southern-type dumplings are much different than their counterparts – you know, the spoonfuls of raw batter or dough that are dropped into boiling broth. My relatives in North Carolina call our version of chicken and dumplings "chicken and pastry." And they keep trying to convince me that NC is a Southern state??
You can make your own dumplings, but I usually use the frozen ones. To me, they’re just as good and save a lot of work and a lot of mess. They’re also inexpensive. The best brands I’ve found are Mrs. Traylor’s and Open Kettle.
Holle’s Easy Chicken and Dumplings
To make chicken and dumplings, first you have to boil your chicken. You can use a hen, a fryer, chicken parts, or boneless skinless breasts. Today, I’m using the latter. Since these have little fat, I’ll add a little butter and some granulated chicken bouillon to bump up the flavor.
Season the pot with salt or garlic salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until it’s done. Remove the poultry from the pot and cut or tear it into small boneless, skinless pieces.
Return the chicken to the pot and bring the broth to a rolling boil. Drop in the frozen dumpling strips, one at a time. Stir frequently to keep the dumplings from sticking together. If the dumplings are too crowded, add more water or canned chicken broth.
After all the dumplings have been added, put the lid on the pot and reduce heat. Allow the chicken and dumplings to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you used too much water, your broth will be thin and watery. If this happens, add a can of cream of chicken soup to the pot and blend well.
Allow your chicken and dumplings to stand a few minutes off the stove before serving.
Gotta go check on my chicken now!
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