Growing up, whenever Grandmother Verdie said she was making her Chicken and Dumplings recipe, we begged to be able to eat dinner with her that night. Thick and creamy, full of moist, tender chicken, and dumplings that were light as a feather. Her recipe is a prize. No fiddling necessary with this recipe.
As I made her recipe for chicken and dumplings, I remembered how she would hum as she cooked. As she rolled her dough and gently dropped it into the soup, she would just hum away. Usually it was whatever song had been played in church the Sunday before and then sometimes it was the song, “Babies Got Her Blue Jeans On.” I have no idea why she loved that song so much, but I loved to watch her when it came on the radio. She’d always get the biggest grin.
Her kitchen wasn’t as big as a minute, but there she’d be cooking and humming and showing me how to get the dough just right. “It’s not the same as biscuit dough, now, ” she’d say. “Be sure not to overwork it. You don’t want your dumplings to sink.” She always gave the best advice – for recipes and everything else.
So, here’s her recipe. I’m sharing a family treasure. And please, be sure not to overwork your dough.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups flour, self-rising
- 1 heaping tablespoon Crisco shortening
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup cold water
- ½ cup butter, cold
- 2 cups milk
- Boil chicken on low heat until very tender, approximately 2 hours.
- Remove chicken from broth and pull into strips, returning to broth.
- Add salt to broth.
- Mix flour, Crisco, buttermilk, and water together to form dough.
- Roll out thin on lightly floured paper towels.
- Cut into 1 inch strips and pinch off 1½ inch pieces.
- Drop dough pieces into boiling broth. Cook enough to turn over in broth.
- Add butter and milk and allow to gently boil for 3-5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve.
And that’s how you make the best chicken and dumplings you can imagine.
I promise you, if you like chicken, you are going to love these chicken and dumplings. Without a doubt!
But I do wonder what memories Little Buddy will have of me when I’m cooking? It’s definitely my happy place. I think I’ll crank the music up a little louder when we’re cooking tomorrow. And hum a little more.