My cousin gave me this recipe for chicken and dumplings. She said, “Momma (my aunt and my mother’s sister) made her chicken and dumplings like Mamaw did, but with much bigger dumplings. Mamaw always asked for Momma’s chicken and dumplings when she was sick, so they were obviously Minnie Woodward approved.” What would they think about my Bisquick® dumplings? (I ain’t ever telling.)
My aunt always floured her hands and spooned the dough into them, rolling out the dumplings in her hand like she did her biscuits. She would turn the broth up enough to get a better boil but just under a rolling boil, then she would slowly add the dumplings so as not to slosh out the broth. Instead of shredding the chicken, my aunt put a piece of chicken on each plate and then she would spoon the dumplings and gravy over it. Some folks add a can of cream of chicken soup to their broth before adding the dumplings, my cousin said, to add salt and thicken it up. Neither my aunt nor my grandmother ever did this and always relied on the straggling flour falling off the dumplings to thicken the gravy. My cousin said that my aunt also used squirrel or rabbit instead of chicken if Daddy went hunting that day.
Mamaw's Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 whole chicken cut up
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups whole milk
- Add chicken, salt and pepper to large stock pot. Add enough water to cover chicken completely. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and simmer for about 45-60 minutes, or until chicken is tender and cooked through. If desired, remove chicken from broth until it's cool enough to handle, then shred and return to pot.
- Add butter to broth and cover. If broth is not boiling, increase heat to medium-high.
- In a medium bowl, sift flour to remove lumps. Slowly add milk to make a stiff dough. Flour both hands, and roll about a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball, then press gently with fingers to flatten. Drop dumplings, one at a time, in boiling broth. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.