I remember as a kid my favoritest meal was Chicken & Dumplings… mostly the dumplings part. It was always so wonderful when my birthday would roll around in the cold winter months and, though she knew the immediate answer, Mom would ask me what I wanted for dinner. I would get a huge grin on my face and my mouth would start to water. Then, when I left home to join the Air Force, every time I came home the same question, the same answer.
Now that I am older and have *ahem* learned to cook myself, more frequently I try whip up my newest culinary creation for the fam when I visit, giving my mama a much needed and very deserving break from the kitchen. This left little room for the once King Dumpling and his faithful servant, Chickón.
However, things have a way of cycling through life. When we were dating, Hubs and I made our yearly trek to the great state of Colorado and he asked me what my favorite thing my mom made was. Immediately “ChickenandDumplings” poured out of my mouth faster than I could even form a coherent thought. “Ummm, she makes good pan pizza, too,” I added lamely. “Hmmm,” he said thoughtfully. “Sounds good. You think she’d mind?” Nope. Since then he has frequently asked me why I never make my favoritest comfort food of all time (which he, too, loves). “Because it’s my mom’s.” Honestly, it’s because I never think about King Dumpling unless it’s cold, rainy/snowy, or my birthday. Usually while simultaneously missing my family. Chicken & Dumplings are a very sacred and emotional meal for me.
But now I have my own [micro]family. I have made them twice, at the request of Hubs, because I love him dearly.
While these are traditionally a fall/winter food in my book, it’s been oddly cool and disappointingly rainy this year. And these babies are the perfect yucky-weather food.
First, I placed my chicken (drums and thighs) in a pot with some fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
I then added about 1 cup of chicken stock, a cap-full of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and enough water to be about an inch over the chicken. I brought it to a gentle boil and cooked it on the stove for about an hour. You know the chicken is done when the skin pulls off easily and it starts falling off the bone.
While I waited on the chicken, I made the dumplings. So hard! Yeah, no. I doubled the recipe for dumplings off the Bisquick box (4 cups Bisquick, 1 1/3 cups milk). Usually I’m all for homemade everything, but don’t mess with my dumplings! Mom made them with Bisquick and so do I. Maybe some day I will try a make-over with from-scratch dumplings. But this was not the day.
Once the chicken was done, I strained the broth to get the various herb parts out and put it back on the stove, returning it to a boil. Next, I dropped spoonfuls of dough into the broth and let them simmer for about 5 minutes, flipped them over, and simmered for another 3-5 minutes.
Once the dumplings are done, dinner’s on. The beauty of the dumplings is the fluffy centers and the nummy gravy.
Quick. Easy. Comfort. Thanks, Mom. 🙂