Today is a very special day for a very, very special person. My niece, Angie, The Jammie Girl will celebrate her 45th birthday today. I knew I'd get that age in some way. She and I are so much alike she could have been my daughter. Sorry sweetie, but it's true. She has had a terrbile year and a half suffering with her neck and surgeries and job loss, etc. If you have a few extra minutes please visit her on her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday. She would love hearing from you.
We share the same love of cooking and really good food. Both of us would run over old people in wheelchairs to get to a pot of Chicken and Dumplings.
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!
This recipe was given to me by a friends mother, who got it from her grandmother, and that's as far back as I know. Shirley said the secret is the bay leaves, butter and lots of pepper. I agree.
My Favorite Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole fryer chicken or a big fat hen if you can find one
4 or 5 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4 to 6 tablespoons butter, I put the whole stick in
More pepper if needed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
2 small eggs
3 cups flour
Wash the chicken and place into a large Dutch oven. Cover well with plenty of water and add bat leaves. Add salt and plenty of pepper, and butter (the more butter, the richer the dish). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is well done, about and hour.
Remove the chicken from the broth. Discard the bay leaves. When the chicken has cooled, remove the meat from the bone and return the deboned chicken to the broth. About 1/2 to 3/4 pot of broth should remain.
For dumplings: In a large bowl, mix together the salt, oil, water, and eggs. Slowly add the flour to the mixture, lending with a fork. Stir only long enough to mix dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured board. Pinch the dough in half, and roll out until thin, about 1/4-inch. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips, and cross-slice into pieces 4 to 8-inch long, for ease in handling.
Bring the broth and chicken back to a boil, and pepper well to taste. Drop the dumpling strips into the boiling stock. Boil approximately 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the dumplings are done (they should be puffy). Most of the broth will be absorbed. Serve with pinto beans and cornbread.