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Chicken and Dumplings--Cook-Off 51


David Ross
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My idea of chicken and dumplings is matzoh ball soup. Or, what I used to always get at a favorite Viet restaurant that closed down: duck leg wonton soup. The duck leg was just standing bone-end up in the bowl. Picturesque in its own weird way. Yes, I know it isn't chicken, but it was awfully comforting.

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I need to make this soon.  Having done our freezer inventory, I know I have one whole chicken.  I like any and all dumplings - the flat, noodle-like kind, the risen kind, even the whomp biscuit kind which is what my southern, raised on a farm in TN, from scratch daily biscuit baking grandmother confessed to me that she always did. 🥰

 

I made it for years before writing down a recipe, but this is what I finally came up with.

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7 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

.... the whomp biscuit kind my southern, raised on a farm in TN, from scratch daily biscuit baking grandmother confessed to me that she always did. 🥰

 

 Both sobering and terribly funny.   I have the feeling that that is how I will be remembered.   "Remember Ama's fabulous bread?"   18-hour, no knead.    "Her chicken and dumpligs?"   See above.    And the beat goers on...

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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eGullet member #80.

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When I originally did my Chicken n'Dumplings for this cook-off I was making chicken stock the old fashioned way.  Now I make it in the Instant Pot.  I was slow to finally use the Instant Pot, nearly 6 months after I got it as a gift.  I thought that making chicken stock in this new appliance was somehow cheating.  It's not.  It makes stock in half the time and the way I make it still plenty of fatty gelatin.  I still make stock the traditional way, like for beef when I roast the bones, but this is my basic chicken stock recipe in the Instant Pot.

 

1 whole chicken

water

carrot, onion, celery, garlic

peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, sage, sometimes cracked juniper berries

a few dashes of Maggi seasoning, sometimes a few chicken bouillon cubes

 

Everything goes in the instant pot and I add about 4" of water.  30 minutes under pressure.  It has to cool way down, then gently pull the chicken from the pot.  Remove the skin and bones, save the meat.  Strain the seasonings and vegetables from the stock.  Put the chicken meat in a container, pour in the stock and chill.  Use the stock as needed.  For chicken and dumplings I just heat the stock and chicken up and proceed.  Keeping the chicken meat in the stock keeps it very moist.  I have chicken and dumplings on the menu at home later this week.

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I will confess to chicken powder as the salt/flavor enhancer but I do that when using the stock in a dish. More control.  can't remember where I got my favorite drop dumpling recipe. It was an old classic cookbook. Mine were used in a Latin American soupy stew but same concept. They had a great texture. No mush.  Will try to find

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For years I never used chicken bouillon or a chicken paste, but now I do for the flavor.  And surprisingly I see videos of many Chefs using it.  I'm old school so still tell myself I'm cheating, but in the end it does add some flavor.

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  • 7 months later...
On 1/23/2010 at 12:40 PM, David Ross said:

Everyone's feedback has invaluable to me. Our discussions have made me realize that there are even greater differences between Chicken Pie with Biscuits and Chicken and Dumplings than I had realized before we began our Cook-Off.

I've started with the base for my Chicken and Dumplings--Chicken Stock. I'll be using the stock to then make the "gravy" for my dish.

The Stock-

I started with my tried and true recipe for making chicken stock. I think you may find it a bit uncoventional in that I don't do much straining of all the foam and mucky stuff that floats to the top of the stock as it stews down. I might skim the stock about 3, maybe 4 times, that's it. I suppose it's mainly due to laziness on my part. Maybe I'm just stubborn and don't think it's really necessary, or then again, since the final stock is so delicious and has such a concentrated chicken flavor maybe I've proven my own theory right in that I think spending all that time to skim away flavor isn't necessary. In any case, I put the below ingredients in the largest Le Creuset pot made and cover the whole lot with water and let it simmer on the stovetop for about 6 hours.

Two roasting chickens, 2 yellow onions, skin on and cut in half, 2 heads garlic cut in half, celery, carrot, rosemary, parsley, thyme, allspice berries, 2 bay leaves, black peppercorns-

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After hours of cooking in the aromatics, you can almost taste this wonderfully flavorful stock and tender, moist, chicken-

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The vegetables and spices are strained out and the stock is returned to the pot to reduce. The meat is pulled off the chicken and reserved. The bones are also returned to the pot to flavor the stock as it reduces. This second cooking of the stock takes about two more hours or so.

I didn't weigh the chicken meat but it's a lot. More than enough for a nice big pot of Chicken and Dumplings-

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Hard to believe it was ten years ago that we started this Cook-Off, but I'm glad I found it in my archives this morning.  Seems like the perfect time of year to bring back this hearty, warming dish.  What is your variation on Chicken and Dumplings?

 

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Untried by me with chicken but my next procedure will be Mary Berry's dumpling process wherein she makes a biscuit dough, spreads it with aromatics, then rolls and cuts into cinnamon roll-like discs and lays them on top of the stew.    I would sub mayo and parsley for the horseradish cream.    I also ladled cooking juice over the dumplings when about 3/4 cooked to keep the tops soft. 

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Untried by me with chicken but my next procedure will be Mary Berry's dumpling process wherein she makes a biscuit dough, spreads it with aromatics, then rolls and cuts into cinnamon roll-like discs and lays them on top of the stew.    I would sub mayo and parsley for the horseradish cream.    I also ladled cooking juice over the dumplings when about 3/4 cooked to keep the tops soft. 

I'm going to try this also, sounds delicious.

 

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Mine is a two day process. 

Day 1 I simmer a whole chicken with a box of Swanson's broth, usually the low sodium one.

Remove chicken, let cool and pick the meat. 

Then return the bones and skin to the stock and simmer for another hour or two.

Strain and refrigerate. 

 

Next day I pull off the chicken fat and heat the stock.

Add onion, carrot and celery along with some Italian seasoning and a lot of freshly ground black pepper.

Simmer till tender then add the chicken meat.

I salt at this point.

I add Reames frozen egg noodles (yeah, I call them dumplings) 

Cook over low heat for 20 minutes or so.

I thicken with a flour and water slurry.

 

Gets my kid home from college.

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That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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