So I tried my hand at some chicken and dumplings and WOW was that fun LOL. This recipe is so easy it is crazy! I searched the internet for a day or two looking at recipes and I kept coming across that “Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings” recipe. Well that is great but when I go to Cracker Barrel I don’t eat their chicken and dumplings because I am not real fond of them HAHA! I also wasn’t real concerned with the broth (aka, boiling the chicken in all the extra stuff), I was more concerned in making that damn dumpling!! To me that is what makes or break the dish. I mean, I know you don’t want a weak broth and that is cool, I won’t do that, but broth or should I say chicken stock, is easy to make….but the dumpling….that can get tricky and I will tell you why.
If you make the dumpling too thick you will have a big piece of glob that can be a bit soggy and doesn’t really cook all the way through. Now granted, some people like that big thick dumpling, me personally, I don’t care for it. Some people like to make their dumplings like a meatball. They don’t roll the dumpling out, they will just take a ball of the dough and drop it in the broth. Again, I can’t handle my dumplings like that because it just has never worked for me. What it basically boils down to is what you like. I like to roll mine out to about 1/8 inch thick and then cut them out in thumb size squares…easy peasy.
There are some GREAT videos out there on you tube on how to make Dumplings. My favorite is How to Make Chicken and Dumplings with Down-Home Dumplings Winner Bea Farmer. I am a very visual person and this video gave me the most visual out of all the ones I watched. I also used her recipe to make my Chicken and Dumplings. It was easy, no fuss, award-winning and GOOD!
Here was my only dilemma with Chicken and Dumplings using a homemade dumpling. REHEATING!!! I still have a lot to learn with Chicken and Dumplings and this is one part of it. This batch that I made I could not reheat. If you didn’t eat the pot, fresh when it was made, reheating it 3-4 hours later might not be a choice. The dumplings are mushy and not as tasty as they are when they are freshly made and ready to eat. I did get a tip from my Mom and she says to let them dry out a bit after I roll them out before I put them in the pot, so might try that next time, but for now I am still on the fence about homemade dumplings.
When Mom makes this dish she uses egg noodles as her dumplings. It is just as good and easy to reheat with the Thanksgiving leftovers. So for now, we will use Mom’s egg noodle Chicken and Dumplings for Thanksgiving. My dish is GREAT if we want these during the week because I made a small batch (about 4-6 servings) using a little 2 lb Cornish Hen 🙂 Her dish is a HUGE batch using a big ole fryer chicken and all the stuff you put in the pot to make chicken stock.
Easy Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 Cornish Hen
- Just enough water to cover the hen too much makes a weak broth
- 2 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Crisco
- ¾ cup warm chicken broth
To prepare the hen:
- Cover the hen with water. Bring to a boil. Add salt to taste.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cook until falling-apart tender (usually about 1 ½ hours).
- Carefully remove chicken and allow to cool. De-bone chicken into strips or small chunks.
To prepare the dumplings:
- Into large bowl, add 2 cups plain flour and ½ tsp. salt. Stir well.
- Cut in Crisco with pastry blender until like coarse cornmeal.
- Add enough warm (not boiling) chicken broth (usually about ¾ cups) to make a stiff dough. Be careful not to mix too long because it will make dough tough.
- Heat remaining chicken broth to a rolling boil.
- Using one-third of the dough ball, roll out to about ⅛-inch thick. Cut into thumb-length strips. Drop into hot broth. Prepare remaining dough the same using one-third of dough ball at a time.
- After all dumplings have been added to broth, reduce heat to simmer. Add black pepper and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Add chicken and stir very slowly until heated through and ready to serve.