"Back in the day" as the saying is, it was a big production to make chicken and dumplings--between boiling the chicken, removing the skin and bones, rolling out the dumplings and everything that goes along with that, there wasn't much point in tackling it unless you made a huge pot full.
Unfortunately for me, my husband doesn't care for chicken and dumplings. Can you even imagine such a thing?? (He says it a good waste of chicken and biscuits!) My theory is that he was force fed chicken dumplings as a child and it turned him against them. Just a theory, mind you. So in my family, I make a much smaller quantity of chicken and dumplings than most do, and I always have to have an alternative meal for hubby, so I want this to be as quick and easy as possible.
When I was doing a baking day, I pre-cooked some chicken thighs and ended up with two quarts of homemade stock...
You can see how I did that on my baking day post. I don't always do the stock and chicken ahead, if I have time I do it all back to back, but having stock and precooked chicken makes it easy to make chicken and dumplings, chicken and rice, even homemade chicken noodle soup, even on a busy day when you don't have much time available.
I usually make dumplings the same way my mother makes hers, and her sister makes them, and the way my grandmother did before them. You start with just a little bit of flour...and if you thought you were going to get a tutorial on mixing up dough and rolling it out to make dumplings, you're sorry mistaken, because in my family, we make biscuits the old fashioned way...
with "canned" biscuits! You may call them refrigerated biscuits, or tube biscuits, or whatever you like, in my family, we call them canned biscuits. (I heard a comedian one time who called them "wop biscuits"--'cause you had to "wop" them on the edge of the counter to open them up, and that was the sound they made, too--"wop!") But I digress...
I use whatever inexpensive brand I can find--I think I paid $1.23 for 4 tubes of store-brand biscuits here.
And now, for the secret ingredient.
I have no idea why we do this in my family, but we do. I do, my mother does, and my grandmother did. I have no idea where it originated, and no one else I have ever talked to about making chicken and dumplings does this. It's the "hallmark" of my family's chicken and dumplings. It's kind of like making egg drop soup. Only not (!)
At this point, cover and bring the heat way down, and simmer for a while, stirring occasionally. The flour from the biscuits will thicken the broth, the dumplings will "unpuff" and stop floating, and it will all be slowly changing from a pot of boiling biscuit puffs, to a pot of yummy, delicious chicken and dumplings. Taste to be sure the dumplings are cooked, add a little salt and pepper if it needs it, and you're ready for dinner!
This post is linked to:
Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family
Until next time, good cooking, and good eating!