Ana at Sweet Almond Tree chose Chicken and Dumplings for this week. I grew up eating chicken and biscuits. I’ve had chicken and dumplings at The Cracker Barrel, but those are rolled, flat dumplings. I actually have the recipe for those and have made it from time to time. I don’t think I’ve ever had drop dumplings before, so this was a new thing to try. This was essentially like making chicken soup, or the base for chicken and biscuits, except I normally don’t use turnips and parsnips. When I make chicken and biscuits, I thicken it with flour. This remains thin, like a soup. The dumplings were easy to make and puffed up so prettily in the pot. It was almost like eating matzoh ball soup in a way, but the dumplings are lighter than that. We really enjoyed this. I would definitely make this again as alternative to chicken soup or chicken and biscuits. It was better the second day, since the broth thickened a bit from the dumplings.
Martha Mondays: Chicken and DumplingsDecember 12, 2011
Chicken and BiscuitsOctober 12, 2011
I learned to make chicken and biscuits from my mom. It’s one of her favorite dinners. She learned from my grandmother. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it and come up with my own slightly enhanced version. Everyone in my family loves this and it’s a big deal when I make it (and there’s fighting over the biscuits). This is perfect for a Sunday night supper, with some green beans and a pie for dessert.
There are two methods for making this. Usually I start with the leftover carcass from a roast chicken, and thus feel extremely frugal. You can also start with a whole chicken. Either way, the result is fabulous.
1 chicken carcass from a roast chicken plus 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 1 whole chicken
1 stalk of celery
4 baby carrots
salt and pepper
big pinch dried rosemary
big pinch dried thyme
12 baby carrots sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper
Place your chicken carcass in a big pot and cover it with water. If you’re using a cooked carcass plus breasts, don’t add the breasts yet. Put in the celery and 4 whole carrots, and add the herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium, so it continues to boil. Allow to cook about an hour and a half, until the joints come apart and the broth is looking rich. If you have chicken breasts to add, this is the time to add them and cook another half hour (if you’re using a whole chicken, you want to cook for a total of 2 hours).
Strain the mixture, reserving liquid and pouring it back into the pot. Allow the chicken to cool in a bowl. Once it has cooled, break it up into small chunks and big shreds and add back into the pot. Add the sliced carrots and bring to a boil, cooking until the carrots are tender. Add the peas (it’s ok if they’re frozen). Keep the mix boiling. Start whisking in Wondra flour, starting with about 1/2 cup and adding more until you get to the consistency you like. I like mine to be very thick, like a very thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Make the biscuits:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup cold or frozen butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. Cut butter into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, or if using frozen butter, grate it with a cheese cutter and then rub the mixture with your hands to incorporate. Gently stir in the buttermilk and use your hands to full incorporate. Pat it down to about 1 1/2 inches and cut with a biscuit cutter into 6 biscuits. Bake for 11 minutes.
Plan on 1-2 biscuits per person. Serve by cutting biscuits in half so you have two rounds, and spooning the chicken mixture on top.
Sometimes I add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese to the biscuits to mix things up.
The chicken part of the recipe usually makes enough so that I can freeze the leftovers for another night, or feed a crowd and double the biscuit recipe.