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One of my favorite dishes that my mother made was chicken and dumplings.  She was not into spicy flavors, though, and never used anything but salt and pepper.  A few years ago, my youngest daughter made some delicious chicken and dumplings that included Italian seasoning and I took that idea and incorporated it into my version.  I also used two chicken breast halves rather than stewing a whole chicken.  This is a great, filling, easy and economical meal.

MOM’S CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

  • Two chicken breast halves with ribs and skin
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Italian seasoning*

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 Tblsp. Shortening (Crisco)
  • ½ cup milk

*Italian seasoning mix:

  • 1 Tblsp. Dried basil
  • 1 Tblsp. Dried sage
  • 1 Tblsp. Dried thyme
  • 1 Tblsp. Dried rosemary
  • 1 Tblsp. Dried oregano

To make seasoning mix:

Mix together and keep in a closed container.  This will make over ¼ cup of seasoning.  Use only ½ tsp. for this recipe.  It’s a good seasoning for many dishes, especially Italian food.

To cook chicken:

In a large pot, place two chicken breast halves with ribs and skin.  Cover with 6 cups of water and cook over medium heat for approximately 1-½ hours until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken breasts from pot and pour broth into a large container to chill for an hour or two.  Remove skin and bones from chicken and refrigerate breasts until ready to cook dumplings.

To cook broth:

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, remove any fat from the top of the chicken broth and pour four cups into the large pot.  Heat to boiling.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, pepper, salt and Italian seasoning.  Whisk this mixture into the hot broth and allow to thicken over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

To make dumplings

In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, and mix in Crisco shortening with your fingertips to distribute evenly.  Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.

Bring broth to a boil and add the dumpling mixture by tablespoon.

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Cover the pot, leaving a slight edge open so it won’t boil over and cook for 20 minutes without lifting the lid.

To serve, place some warmed pieces of the stewed chicken breast in the bottom of a bowl, add the broth and dumplings – and enjoy old-time, homey comfort on a winter day.

4 servings 

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