If I had to name one food item that speaks “comfort food” to me, it would be chicken and dumplings. There is just something so soothing about it and tasty too! I am always surprised at how many different ways they are prepared. Some like them thick and fluffy (my preference). Others like them thinner. One friend was excited when he learned to cook his mother’s recipe for dumplings where he rolled the dough very thin and dried it overnight (I call that “noodles”). One of the ladies at my childhood church made her dumplings from scratch, going so far as to refrigerate the chicken broth overnight so she could use the chicken fat that hardened on the top in her dough. However they are prepared, dumplings are a favorite item, at least here in the South.
I have probably made dumplings using most methods – scratch dough, biscuit mix and frozen dough. I will admit, I usually resort to the biscuit mix which makes the fluffy dumplings my family likes with less effort than scratch dough. Yesterday I bought some chicken breasts on sale at Kroger for 97 cents per pound and brought them home and cooked them immediately. I like to take the meat off the bones and freeze to use for casseroles, chicken salad, and even to add to ramen noodles to make a quick meal. Once they were cooked, I decided to use some of the chicken to make dumplings for supper with Christy’s recipe from Southern Plate. You can find her recipe here. If you have not checked out Southern Plate, I would recommend it if you like down home Southern cooking.
As usual, I did not follow Christy’s recipe exactly. When you’ve been cooking over 40 years like I have, you just kind of do some things your own way. For one thing, I used the broth from cooking the chicken instead of canned broth and added one of my pantry staples, Chicken Base (you can get it in the spice aisle at both Sam’s Club and Costco). I also added chopped celery to the broth and left out the cream of chicken soup. Otherwise I followed the recipe. I think the primary difference in Christy’s recipe and my usual recipe is the canned biscuits.
The verdict? The dumplings were good – good enough for seconds (like we needed them). My guys said they still like the fluffy ones best but did not complain at all about these. I like the fact that it was not as messy to prepare – no flour all over the kitchen.