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Old 10-25-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Question Help: my grandma's chicken and dumplings

My grandma has been in Heaven for several years now. Oh how I did love her chicken 'n dumplings. She would make them especially for me when I visited if I asked her to and sometimes without my asking

One time when I was about 21'ish, she showed me how, and it seemed so simple that i did not write it down. Well, time went by and I never made them, then she passed on. Yes, you guessed it...becuase i did not write it down then i am at somewhat of a loss.

But i do remember it was basic. and in surfin the net i googled "grandma's chicken and dumplings" just for the fun of it and actually came across something that seems pretty much like it..................
................but the directions are a bit too vague for me. You see, I have always shyed away from mixing dough for being intimidated by it. .........
..........but perhaps you will be able to clarify for me the part i have hilighted in red.

anyhow, here it is. i found it on cooks.com where someone submitted it there.

GRANDMA'S CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
1 med. chicken
Salt and pepper
4 c. all-purpose flour
3 qt. water
2 eggs
Wash and cut chicken. Cook until well done. Remove meat from bones, then put meat back on the stove with broth. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, salt to taste in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 eggs and a small amount of cold water to mix the dough well.
Using a small amount of flour, if needed, roll dough on bread board as thin as desired. Cut in small squares. Add to chicken broth and cook for 10 minutes or until done.

how do i know how much "a small amount of water" is?

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Old 10-25-2009, 09:20 PM   #2
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i would say lil water at a time till the dough comes together
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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"a little water at a time" is spot on.

reason: flour differs, brand to brand and season to season - it may require a bit more or less water depending on flour moisture content and milling.

also note that an egg is not an egg, size wise.... that too affects how much moisture / water is needed to get the right consistency.

many doughs - especially pie / pastry crusts - are touchy about the moisture content - even if the recipe specifies X amount it's best to add it a little at a time - avoids the "oops, too much" factor.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:36 AM   #4
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I got this recipe from an older friend who wrote hers up for her daughter:

Chicken and Dumplings, Southern Illinois Style

INGREDIENTS:
1 chicken, boiled, boned and cut up
4 qts broth from chicken
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tbl dried parsley, or 1/4 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
few drops yellow food coloring
salt, pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Season chicken broth to taste with salt, pepper, parsley and a few drops yellow food color. If there isn't enough liquid to make 4 qts, add canned broth or water. Break eggs in 2 cup measure, beat, and add enough cooled broth to fill cup. Mix well. Put 2 cups flour in large bowl, make a well in center, and add egg mixture. With a fork, work in flour till dough forms a a ball. Put on floured pastry cloth or board. Knead lightly, working in just enough flour so the dough can be rolled. Too much flour will make the noodles tough. Roll out as thin as possible. Using a pizza cutter dipped in flour, cut dough in 1-1/2" strips, then cut the other way to make squares, dropping into boiling broth as you go. After all are in, cook over med heat at a gentle simmer till almost tender, about an hour. Add chicken and continue simmering until chicken is warm. Adjust seasoning.

*note* You may freeze uncooked noodles on cookie sheet between layers of waxed paper, then remove to a ziplock bag when frozen. Just drop frozen noodles into boiling broth when needed.
*For a more flavorful broth, cook chopped celery, onions, carrots and minced garlic along with chicken and let simmer till chicken is falling of the bone. Strain broth before using if you wish.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:06 PM   #5
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Did she make plain dumplings? No filling? If that's the case I recommend making good chicken soup and then make the dumplings per the recipe you already have, it should work.

My grandma's recipe was even simpler.

Make chicken soup.

Take one egg, half a cup of tap water, about a half a cup of flour, (salt if desired) mix everything well. The batter should be pourable (is it a word?) But not thin. If you have a big whole flat grader, bring the soup to boil, put the grader over the pot and poor the batter over the grader the batter will drip thru the grader in small pieces, you can do this by using a small spoon just scoop the batter and drop into soup, the more flour you add the tougher the dumplings will be, you can try and come up with the exact consistency you like. You can then scoop the chicken and dumplings on the plate with a slotted spoon or a smaller colander or serve it as the soup.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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That sounds like spaetzle, Charlie--yummy!!

I know of two different kind of dumplings--one is flat, kind of like thick noodles, and the other is puffy, and uses baking powder. Neither uses eggs.

I like the noodly kind.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
That sounds like spaetzle, Charlie--yummy!!

I know of two different kind of dumplings--one is flat, kind of like thick noodles, and the other is puffy, and uses baking powder. Neither uses eggs.

I like the noodly kind.
I was thinking the same thing..Prefer mine puffy.It doesn't require eggs or food coloring..What does the food coloring do?
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:32 PM   #8
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JessicaCarr; The recipe you provided will make what I like to call a biscuit-style dumpling. It is basically a biscuit dough that is dropped into the boiling liquid by spoonfulls, and then cooked by the steam when you cover the pot. You can look up any biscuit dough on the internet, or jsut use the recipe off of a box of Biscuick. Your dumplings will come out great. When you drop them into the pot, cover and allow them to steam for about 15 minutes or so.

A tip from me to you. For a luxurious soup, remove the chicken neat from the carcass before you cook it. Place the bones and skin into yor pot of water and simmer for an hour, along with sliced celery. Crack the bones before you put them in so that all of the nutrients and collogen can be extracted from them. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or collander. Discard the bones and celery. Add two sliced carrots, a chopped onion, and salt & pepepr to taste. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook until the veggies are done. Sage or thyme are great seasonings to add to this soup, and turmeric will give a subtle flavor and good color. Dice the chicken meat and stir-fry in light oil until just barely browned and cooked through. Set aside. place the dumplings into the soup and cook until done. Remove them into serving bowl. Ladle the soup into bowls at the table, and then add the sauteed chicken pieces to the soup. This will prevent the chicken meat from overcooking and drying out in the soup. It will be moist and tender, and the soup will taste great from the chicken stock you make with the bones and skin. This is definitely more work, but results in a better soup, with no little bones to have to fish out of your mouth as you are eating it. Place a dumpling on top of the soup in each bowl and serve.

It's my version of gourmet chicken and dumplings.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-26-2009, 06:13 PM   #9
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If you will note, Jessica is not asking for drop dumplings. She mentions her grandmother rolling them out, like noodles, only not so thin, which is the kind we make around here.

I have heard of people who cut flour tortillas into strips and used them as noodles.

And I have heard of people quartering canned biscuits and using them as drop dumplings.

Does this help clarify the difference?
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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Here is a simple recipe.

1 cup hot water
1/2 stick of butter or margarine
Flour as needed per consistency you like
Salt to taste (optional)

Heat up water; dissolve the butter and salt, start mixing and adding flour. The dough have to be thick/tough (what is the proper term?) to roll out. You can mix dough in the mixer, if you have one or food processor. Roll the dough to the desire thickness cut into squares or triangles, or whatever shape you like. Bring the soup to boil drop the dough cook for 10-15 minutes (depending how thick the dumplings are it might take more or less time, I would not roll them any more then 3/16 thick, even lees). I am of completely opposite opinion on how to make chicken soup than GWN. But soup is already a secondary in this discussion and if you want I will post mine.
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