November 17, 2014

Simple Chicken and Dumplins

I don’t know what the weather's like where you live, but it’s fuh-reeeeezing in Northwest Arkansas. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this blog post in the early morning hours from the Wal-Mart automotive department because my car just refused to start this morning. It might be my battery, but I think my car just said “It’s cold and I'm not waking up today.” That’s how I felt this morning anyway!

Yesterday we had our very first flurries that started to fall as soon as we got home from church. I had all five of my loves at home. Sam, my boys, and Grace - who lunches with us on Sundays when she's home from the University of Arkansas (which is just down the street, but still.) We immediately put on our comfies. There was a fire in the fireplace and a pumpkin pie on the counter. And I had chicken and dumplins on the stove. I was in my Heaven. I must've been glowing because Sam said “This is your favorite kind of day ever, isn’t it?” 

He knows me.
What was even more perfect about our Sunday was that I was able to make a rich, comforting pot of simple chicken and dumplins in about 45 minutes! Now I believe in cooking from scratch when you have the time, but Sunday after church doesn’t allow for much prep time! So in addition to my Old Fashioned Homemade Chicken and Dumplins recipe HERE, I have developed this quicker, easier, semi-homemade chicken and dumplins that my family loves! I bet yours will love it too!

Makes 6 big bowls or 8 cup-sized bowls

3 - 32oz cartons of chicken stock (not broth)
1 cup fresh, pre-sliced carrots from the produce section (or sliced frozen)
1 cup chopped celery, optional
3 small 7.5oz cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits, 10 per can
1 large family-sized deli rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and shredded
a heaping ½ cup flour
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot (I use my 5.5 quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron round French oven), bring chicken stock to a boil. And remember, Julia Child says to always use a bigger pot than what you think you’ll need! This is truth, y’all – especially with this recipe! While the stock is coming to a boil, chop the celery and set aside; also, use a rolling pin to quickly roll out each small biscuit into a flat round, and cut into thirds one direction, then in thirds the other direction to make 9 small little flat dough pieces. Don't spend a lot of time on this. Just roll, cut, cut, cut... Put the dough pieces into a medium sized bowl, sprinkle with the heaping ½ cup flour, and toss to coat, separating the pieces to be sure they’re coated.

As soon as the stock comes to a boil, add sliced carrots and celery. Boil for 5 minutes. Carefully add the floured dough pieces, and dump the remaining flour into the stock, stirring swiftly to break up any clumps. You can make a slurry instead and be fancy, but this is the easy version, remember? The dumplins will puff up and float on the top of the pot at first, then they’ll become denser and heavier as they cook, and they’ll sink to the bottom. Be sure to stir every few minutes. Stir the dumplins well and put the lid on leaving a little room for the steam to escape. Over medium heat, simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often with a wood spoon and scraping loose anything that sticks to the bottom of the pot. In the meantime, pull the chicken meat and shred. Add the chicken to the dumplins, salt and pepper to taste, and add dried rosemary. Stir well, and allow to simmer another 10-15 minutes or so. The liquid should have thickened and the chicken should have become more tender and delicious from spending time in the stock. Taste for salt and pepper before serving. Ladle into your favorite bowls or wide-mouthed mugs! 

The following items for this recipe are available in the Euna Mae's retail store!
(1503 Carley Road, Springdale, Arkansas)

Solid Maple Cutting Board
Maple, Cherry, or Walnut Rolling Pin
Le Creuset French Oven
Mixing Bowls of All Kinds
Serving Bowls
Wooden Spoons
Burleigh English Pottery Cup and Saucer (pictured)