Grandma’s homemade chicken and dumplings was the best and just about everyone went back for seconds. She made it often, especially in the winter but we were just as apt to have chicken and dumplings on a gray, drizzly day in the summer. It perked up our attitude when our day in the sun had been dampened.
To make chicken and dumplings you begin with one whole chicken, about a three pound hen. Cut it up and put it in a stew pot with 6 to 8 cups water enough to cover the chicken and 3/4 tsp. salt, and let it stew over medium high heat for about 1hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and allow to cool until it is cool enough to handle.
While chicken is cooling strain broth and return to pot adding enough water to make 2 quarts (8 cups)
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped kale or spinach (chopped medium fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Remove skin and debone chicken cutting the meat into small pieces and add to broth mixture
Allow to simmer over med-low heat while mixing dough for dumplings
To make Dumplings
Combine and sift together in a larger mixing bowl
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Cut in 1/4 cup lard (I use vegetable shortening; Crisco) until mixture is well blended and about pea size pieces and stir in 1 cup milk soured with 1 tsp. cider vinegar
Drop by Tablespoon full into simmering chicken and broth. Cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Do not remove cover.
After fifteen minutes remove cover and allow to continue simmering for another 5 to 7 min. until dumplings appear slightly dried and glossy on top.
Remove from heat and serve on soup plates.
We often had this with a side salad; usually a sweet slaw with apple and raisins or cranberries in it; pickles and a beverage. For dessert let’s have a fruit sauce like peaches or pears with a sugar or ginger cookie.