Chicken and Dumplings happen to be one of my favorite foods and top the list as far as comfort foods go. Growing up in the south, I think almost every one has their own version of them too. My version is the way that my Grandmother always made them. She really didn't make them all that often, just at holidays, but they were really something to look forward too. No holiday meal was complete without her dumplings. That is one of the traditions I have brought to my in-laws' get togethers too.
Now Granny always made hers with the turkey that would be baked on a holiday. I have adapted my recipe for chicken, everything else is still the way that she taught me.
The ingredients are simple; flour, Crisco, broth, milk, butter and cook shredded chicken.
This is one of those recipes that I just by feel, I don't really have exact measurements, but I start with about 2 cups of all purpose flour and roughly 1/2 cup of the Crisco.
Before I start the dumplings, I prepare my pot by adding a couple of quarts of chicken broth, a cup or so of milk and a stick of butter.
Using a fork, you are going to work the Crisco into the flour until the flour is crumbly. At this point you will add cold water to the flour mixture, about 6-8 tablespoons. You will mix in the water until a dough forms. You can add a little more water,a tablespoon at a time if needed or if it gets too sticky, you can add a little more flour.
Once your dough is formed, you will put the dough onto a floured work surface. I usually divide the dough in half because that is what fits on my mat. You only want to knead the dough a few times, if you overwork it, you will have tough dumplings.
Now here is where dumpling enthusiasts part ways...some prefer the thick dumplings, but we like them really thin. I will roll out the dough as thin as I can get it and then cut it into strips.
Making sure that your broth mixture is at a soft boil and then gently drop in the strips of dumplings. Cook for several minutes until dumplings are done. Add in the chicken and stir gently.
And then you end up with a bowl of absolute deliciousness. As a kid nothing beat the day after Thanksgiving when we had dumplings to eat for breakfast. I have to divide the leftovers here at home, to make sure the other person doesn't eat them all!