This is my mom's recipe, one of the very few comfort foods I still insist on when we get together. I live in the south now and their version of Chix & dumplings is with noodles, blah! I double up the dumplings portion of this recipe, but that's because it's my favorite part and I could eat just them and be happy as a clam. I've tried making many other recipes, trying to cut out a couple of ingredients, but it is never as scrumptious. Make enough to have leftovers. Be gentle to the dumplings and they can survive another heating or 2. I've even frozen them before and some survived.
- 4 lbs chicken, cut up with skin removed & fat removed (or you can use any chicken parts- mix or match such as 4 skinned chicken breasts or 8 thighs)
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley (more if using fresh italian parsley)
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes (can substitute more chicken broth for cubes & water)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt (may need more if using low or no sodium broth)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups hot water (may need more)
- 5 carrots, peeled and sliced however you like (use more if desired)
- for the dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 3⁄4 cup shortening
- 4 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, . use 2 tablespoons if using dried (flat-leaf, not curly)
- Combine in a large dutch oven or covered pot, the skinned chicken, the chicken broth + 3 or more cups of hot water (enough to completely cover the chicken). Add celery, onion, parsley, bouillon cubes, salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours (depending on the size of the pieces) or until tender enough to pull of the bone.
- Remove chicken and let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull meat off bones and add meat back to pot.
- If you want your broth to be gravy-like (recommended, but optional): this doesn't need to be exact:.
- For each cup of broth, blend 1 T flour and 3 T water or milk to form smooth paste.
- Gradually stir this into broth.
- Add carrots and return soup to a simmer.
- In a mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Add parsley.
- With 2 knives, scissor fashion, cut in the shortening until it looks like very coarse corn meal.
- With fork, lightly mix in milk to form soft dough, stirring as little as possible. Be sure not to add too much milk so you can roll the dumplings into balls in your hands.
- Turn broth down to a simmer.
- Drop by tablespoon size or slightly larger, into the stew.
- Simmer 1 side of dumplings about 12 minutes, uncovered.
- Gently turn over with a spoon as many as possible and simmer another 15 minutes, COVERED.
- Serve immediately, being gentle with the dumplings.