Proverbs 27:27 And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chicken And Dumplings!

This time of year brings cold nights and brisk chilly days.  I love having gallons of soup, stew or chilli cooking away on the stove all day long.  I stew down a couple of roosters once a week or so, so I can have lots of yummy bone broth to drink and cook with and the meat for making lots of great things as well. 

There are two kinds of Chicken and Dumplings that I have seen mostly over the years.  The kind with biscuit type dumplings and the kind with huge noodle type dumplings.  We make the one with noodle type dumplings.

I cook for a very large and hungry family so I do all my cooking and baking big.  I will just go ahead and tell you what I do from start to finish. 

When I make this recipe I stew down two roosters in one huge stock pot.  Bring it to a quick boil and then turn the temperature down and leave 12 hours on a low setting.(I leave my burner on 3)  Then take out the birds, let them cool and pick the meat off the bones.  Put the meat in a container in the fridge and then I put two table spoons of Braggs Apple cider vinegar in the broth and put the bones back in.  I let that simmer for another 8-12 hours.  Then strain the broth.  I usually put half the broth right back into the pot and put the rest up in the fridge, in jars for later use. 

I add some water to the broth in the pot to get the level back up some and then add the veggies we want in it.  Anything you have really.  Or use a bag or two of those mixed vegetables you see in the store.  Also chop one onion fine and add and a few chopped celery stalks.  
After that cooks on the stove top for a while (few hours) I take the chicken meat out of the fridge and shred (pull apart into small pieces with my fingers) and add it to the soup pot. Once that comes up to a boil I season the soup.  I always use salt and pepper to taste but sometimes I also add Garlic powder, or Braggs herb mix or even some chives too.  Keep adding and tasting and remember you can't take it out once it is in so be careful with the salt.  Soon you will have it the way you want it to taste. (and be careful tasting as it is hot)

So basically you want to make a good flavorful chicken soup to add your dumpling noodles to.  

It is time to make the dumplings.  The reason why you want to season the soup before making the dumpling noodles is  that you want the noodles to absorb and cook in the flavorful soup giving even more flavor to your dumplings.

I love making dumplings as it is one of those things you make, that you can see great change as you knead it and watch it come right together as you mix it with you hands.  Your hands start out a mess and by the time you finish incorporating all the ingredients you have a beautiful dough ball and your hands are clean!

This recipe makes enough dumplings for a very large stock pot of soup.  So half it if making a smaller pot.

4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/8 cups warm water

Mix salt, flour and butter with the tips of your fingers till crumbly and the butter has been well worked thru the flour.  (take your time and enjoy yourself  :)   

Add the warm water and mix with your finger and hands, kneeding till you have a shinny firm ball of dough.
Our dough is made from fresh ground whole wheat flour so is quite dark.
Separate dough ball into four small balls and roll out one at a time.

 Cut into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.  (about the size of a sweet and low packet)

While the soup is at a rapid boil.  Drop dumplings one at a time into the stock pot.

Once they are all in, stir it once in a while over the next 20 minutes while the dumplings cook. 

All done and YUM!!
It smells delicious and tastes great too.  Makes for a meal you can cook all day on the stove top and have ready by dinner time.  No rush.

Blessings and happy farming.

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