Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings – the great controversy. Are the dumplings supposed to be rolled or dropped?

Well, I think this is based on where you were raised, honestly. Funny enough, my family is from Ohio/Kentucky/Tennessee/Georgia and we are in the dropped camp. I’m sure this generated from the Ohio (Cincinnati to be precise) group originally – so that probably explains the dropped dumplings. In the true South, dumplings are typically rolled out, cut into strips or squares and then places in the boiling broth (think Cracker Barrel).

Funny enough, my niece and nephew refer to these as poof poofs. Why? Well, in their world, dumplings are neither dropped nor rolled. Dumplings are fillings wrapped in pieces of thin dough that are either steamed or pan-fried – well, they are half Chinese after all. As Maggie puts it, “they look like poofs, so they should be named that.” The brilliance of a teenager.

My grandmother originated this recipe (best I can remember) and my mother tweaked it over the years. The beauty of this dish, is the simplicity and how this is a great weeknight dinner. I know you are wondering how this is possible. It’s a lengthy process…right? Nope! Go to the store, buy a rotisserie chicken, bag of frozen veggies and you may have the rest in your pantry. Okay, maybe not, but the rest of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand for the future.

The hardest part of this dish is pulling the chicken from the bone. And if you buy good chicken stock, you easily get all day cooked flavor in just 30 minutes. I actually really like Swanson, whether salted, low sodium or unsalted. It tastes the meatiest and least manufactured.

15895779_10154813151552978_8130071898803528352_oYields 4 servings
From Eileen Fight Sparks and Nancy Sparks Frank

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup chicken, cooked, white chopped or shredded
2 Quarts stock, chicken, low-sodium
1 Cup peas, frozen
1 Cup carrots chopped or frozen slices
1 1/2 Cup flour, all-purpose
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 Cups milk, skim

Directions:
Bring broth to a boil and add chicken and frozen veggies.

For the dumplings:
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in center and pour in milk. Slowly incorporate milk into dry ingredients. It will look like wet biscuit dough.

Drop dumplings dough by teaspoon into boiling broth. Once you have covered the surface, use your spoon to drop the remaining dumplings below the fluffy ones on the surface.

Reduce heat so the broth is above a simmer at a low boil. Cover and stew about 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve.

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Leftover Turkey Biscuit Pot Pie

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Adapted from Alton Brown
Yields 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 Pound sausage, chicken/turkey
3 Tbls butter, unsalted
3 Ounce(wt)s flour, all-purpose
2 Cups milk, whole
1 1/2 Cup broth, turkey (chicken is fine)
1 1/4 Pound turkey, cooked, shredded or chopped (approx 2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp salt, Kosher
1 1/2 tsp sage leaves chopped
1/2 tsp pepper, black, ground

For the Biscuits:
12 Ounce(wt)s flour, all-purpose plus extra for rolling
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt, Kosher
1 tsp oregano, fresh chopped
1 tsp sage leaves chopped
1/4 tsp pepper, cayenne
4 Ounce(wt)s cheese, cheddar
4 Ounce(wt)s butter, unsalted frozen
7 Ounce(wt)s buttermilk, reduced-fat

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless Steel
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 1-1/2-Quart Round Braiser, Marseille

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the filling: Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Crumble the chicken sausage in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add the butter and melt, stirring to coat the sausage. Sprinkle the flour onto the sausage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the milk and chicken broth and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, salt, sage, and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside while preparing the biscuits.

For the biscuits: Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, oregano, sage, and cayenne pepper in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Grate the cheese and butter using the large shredding disk of a food processor or the large side of a box grater. Immediately add the cheese and butter to the flour mixture. Stir to combine. Pour in the buttermilk and stir just to combine. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and start folding the dough over on itself, gently kneading for 30 seconds, or until the dough is soft and smooth. Press the dough into a 1/2-inch thick round. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out the biscuits, being sure to push the cutter straight down through the dough to the work surface. Make your cuts as close together as possible to limit waste. Gather together any remaining dough, pat out again, and cut out as many biscuits as you can in order to get 9 total.

To build the pie: Set the biscuits on top of the filling, placing 8 around the edge of the pan and 1 in the middle. Bake until the biscuits are tall and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.