Making things add up

March 6, 2014

Similar to photo earlier this year. Entirely dissimilar in taste.

Similar to photo earlier this year. Entirely dissimilar in taste.

Two wrongs can, in some rare instances, make a right.

You will recall that a while back, I had a dismal failure with an attempt at gluten-free chicken and dumplings. Sad and nasty creatures, they were. Significant waste of time, effort, chicken and chicken broth.

You may recall — and I THINK I posted about it, though it was forgettable enough I may not have done so — I tried a recipe for “poule au pot,” a stewed whole chicken with potaotes and butternut squash — only to find it bland. It did, however, yield a lot of cooked chicken, and I simply bagged the 3/4 of a chicken carcass, with the meat still on it, and stuck it in the fridge.

A day or so later, I decided I’d give chicken and dumplings a whirl again. So I got out the bird, pulled the meat off the bones, and stuck the carcass with some onion and garlic in a pot of water to boil. I have a stock pot with a big steamer basket in it that works wonderfully for such purposes; I can put the solids in it, cover with water, make my stock, and just lift out the solids.

I like simple.

I took out about half the broth and froze it; I’m pretty spoiled to having homemade broth all the time. Left the rest in the pot, chopped up the chicken and returned it to the pot, and commenced to make dumplings.

I cheat. I use Bisquick. I made up a recipe suitable for biscuits, just a little thicker. Rolled it out to about half an inch thick, cut it in strips, cut the strips in about 3-inch segments, Turned the chicken and broth up to a medium boil, and commenced to drop in dumplings.  I did a half-dozen or so, and waited for a bit; those first few are going to almost dissolve, creating the signature velvety broth that is the base for this dish. Then I added the rest of them.

I can’t tell you how much to use. I had about half a seven-quart stock pot full of chicken and broth; all I can tell you is to drop in dumplings until it looks like there’s enough. Then let that stuff bubble away for a while.

I had extra dumplings, so I put them on a baking sheet and baked them. They made little flatbread-looking things, which weren’t bad to munch on. With some sugar added, they’d make a nice shortbread for strawberries later this spring, if there is ever a spring. Must keep that in mind.

These were not the best chicken and dumplings I ever had, but they were passably good. And I probably won’t make them again for five years.

If you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em decide to make chicken and dumplings, though, I wouldn’t recommend screwing up two meals in the process. Just do them right the first time.


One Response to “Making things add up”

  1. cleavelin Says:

    …if there is ever a spring. Must keep that in mind.

    Dave Brown sez significant warming starting today, and hitting 70 by Tuesday. And you know Dave gets his intel from Gawd Hissownself. 🙂

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