Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
Lesson 7 - Learn to Cook for Real Housewives
Chicken and Dumplings - Southern Style
Every good housewife should have at least one chicken soup recipe. Join me as I teach my friends, the real housewives how to cook. This week I will show the girls how to make a perfect chicken stock and homemade dumplings.
Dumplings are very easy to make and you only need a few staples from the kitchen to make them. If times are thin this meal can be made for a family of 10 for under 10 dollars.
Chicken soup isn't just for the soul - it is good for the body too! It has been proven that it helps soothe cold symptoms as well as the flu. It contains carrots which are full of Vitamin A and great for retinal health. Chicken broth has also been found to aid in weigh loss programs. High in protein and lower in fat - this is a perfect diet menu item.
Soup is one of the many things you could survive on for a long time for just a few bucks so listen up ladies. Alex and Simon are on the verge of a split along with Adrienne and Paul...mmm mm m. Sonja is losing the condo! Ladies, you had better learn your way around a kitchen - things are getting real now, huh?
Skim that fat!
Housewives, you should have been practicing your knife cutting skills and techniques. This week you will need to use them in the kitchen. First we will be making chicken stock. This soup base can be used for a million things. I make a pot and divide my stock and chicken into two or three portions for quick and easy future meals. The stock can be frozen or even made into cubes with an ice cube tray for those recipes that just call for a few tablespoons or a quarter cup of soup broth.
- 3 carrots,
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 large onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves of garlic
- green onions
- fresh or dry thyme
- fresh or dry parsley
- fryer chicken
*add about 4 quarts of water to your stock pot.
To make a soup stock, you use the bones of a type of meat to flavor the broth. This is the only difference between and "broth" or "stock." I use the entire chicken and conserve as much of it as possible.
Toss the chicken in the pot, rough dice all the vegetables in large pieces and throw them in as well. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Turn the temperature to low and let it simmer on the stove for four to six hours.
Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. After it rests most of the meat will fall off of the bone. Shred the chicken and you can portion that and save some for later also. I often use the left over chicken for chicken salad.
Some cooks prefer to strain the vegetables from the broth through cheesecloth. I like to simply skim most of them out with a skimmer.
The liquid you have left is chicken stock. It can be used to make soups, stews, gravies or a base for many recipes. Use it all immediately or portion it and freeze some for later.
Flexible & Durable
Chicken Stock & Shredded Chicken
After you strain the vegetables from the broth you can toss them into the compost bin. At this point I divide the broth into two parts and use half for the chicken and dumplings and the other half for another busy day. You should end up with about 4 quarts of chicken stock or two portions of 2 quarts of liquid.
For chicken and dumplings - add about 6 cups of water to your stock.
I like to add fresh diced carrots into the broth. Sometimes I toss in kale or frozen peas near the end - you can be creative and add any extra flavors that compliment chicken. If you like you can also add some chicken boulion sesoning for a richer chicken flavor, but it is optional. I did not add any to mine this time - the chicken was very flavorful. Sometimes it doesn't come out as well and I can only guess it depends on factors that are out of my control. Possibly the difference in what the chicken was fed or the amount of fat, age of the chicken could have a huge impact on the flavor that is drawn from it.
- 3 1/2 cups of cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons of shortening
- 1 cup of milk
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cut the shortening into the mix. I use a whisk and mix the flour until it becomes small crumby looking. Once the crumbly mix is pretty uniform in size with no large lumps you can begin to add your milk. Add about a quarter cup of milk at one time gradually adding more until the dough begins to form a ball. (You may not need quite a cup of milk).
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. I use a cutting mat. Roll the dough into any thickness you desire. I prefer flat noodles that are about 1/4 inch thick. Make sure you flour both sides of the dough.
Slice the dough into uniform squares or rectangles. My kids like to use cookie cutters and make shapes with the dough. Let the freshly cut noodles sit out to dry for about 30 minutes.
Drop the noodles into the simmering pot of broth. Let them cook for about 5 or 10 minutes. Frozen peas or another vegetable of your choice can be added to the soup at this time as well. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot and let the dumplings simmer for 10 to fifteen minutes.
You should begin to notice your broth is turning to a gravy like liquid. This is because the flour from the dumplings is doing it's magic. Now you have delicious chicken and dumplings - southern style!
Add salt and pepper to taste.
I would serve this dish wish some hot biscuits or buttery dinner rolls.
Now you can see, how one 5 dollar chicken can stretch the menu without stretching the budget. Keep practicing girls you are starting to shape up like real housewives!
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." ~ William James