Chicken and Dumplings
- 3 quarts Chicken stock
- 4½ pounds Chicken thighs
- 5 stalks of celery, three chopped, two finely diced
- 5 Carrots, three chopped, two finely diced
- 2 Onions, both peeled. One quartered, and one finely diced.
- 2½ teaspoons Black pepper
- 3 cups Flour
- ¾ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 4½ tablespoons Crisco shorting
- 1¼ cups Buttermilk
- Place Chicken thighs in a large dutch oven. Add Chicken Broth, the quartered Onion , three chopped Celery stocks, three chopped Carrots and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cook covered for one hour.
- Remove the cooked chicken to cool. Strain the broth and discard the solids, at this point the onion/celery/carrots have given up all of their flavour in the broth. When the chicken is cool, debone and shred the chicken.
- Add the two finely diced carrots, two finely diced celery stocks and the finely diced onion back to the strained broth. Cook broth at a low simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the broth is simmering, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening. Add the buttermilk, stirring with a fork until moistened. Knead the dough 4 to 5 times, and stop. Do not over work the dough! You are not making bread. Over worked dough makes tough dumplings. The dough should be loose and sticky.
- Youll need a rolling pin and something to cut the dumplings with. I like to use a pastry cutter, but a sharp knife works also. I also use a spatula/turner to lift the dumplings off the cutting surface.
- On a heavily floured work surface, roll the dough out thin, about ⅛″ thick with a floured rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in to strips about ½″ x 2″. Its okay for them not to be exact. Just eye ball it. Some will be bigger, some smaller, some shaped funny.
- Use the floured spatula/turner to put them on a heavily floured plate. Just keep flouring between the layers of dumplings.
- To cook the dumplings, bring the broth to a boil. Drop the dumplings in a few at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook the dumplings for about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the black pepper and cooked chicken, and then serve.
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