Created by, Donna Thomas- Dallas, TX
2nd Place– Southern Comfort Food
Chicken and Dumplings is a southern, home-cooking classic and this recipe will not disappoint you, or your tummy!
- 5 lbs. chicken
- 4 carrots, cut into thirds + 1 c. diced
- 3 onions, cut into lg. pieces + 1 c. chopped onions
- 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds + 1/2 c. chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Leaves from 1 lg. sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 c. chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 c. water
- 1 T. + 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 3 c. all-purpose flour + more for dusting
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 c. chopped mixed fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, oregano & chives
- 1/2 c. + 3 T. vegetable shortening
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1 T. unsalted butter
In an 8-quart or larger heavy-bottomed pot, combine chicken, carrot pieces, onion pieces, celery pieces, garlic, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, stock, water, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until chicken is very tender, about 1 hour.
While chicken is cooking, make dumplings. In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt, baking powder and chopped herbs well with a fork. Add shortening and work it into flour with your fingers, a pastry blender, or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (It’s okay for a few large flat pieces of shortening coated with flour to remain.) Add milk and stir with fork until incorporated.
Gather dough together and press gently into a rough ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat together (with lightly floured hands, if necessary). Knead dough gently 6 or 7 times, then divide into 3 pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll dough out with a lightly floured rolling pin to a 1/16-inch thickness. Cut dough into 1 1/2-inch wide strips, then cut the strips crosswise into roughly 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer dumplings to a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough, putting a piece of parchment paper between layers. Refrigerate dumplings until ready to use, up to 1 day in advance. Remove chicken from pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Discard skin, remove meat from bones and reserve meat. Strain broth into another large pot or container and reserve. Discard solids.
Return original pot to stove over medium heat. Melt butter in a separate pan and add chopped carrot, onion and celery. Cook for 2 minutes, then add to strained broth and increase heat to high. When broth comes to a boil, add dumplings in batches, stirring between additions. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir the dumplings once, very gently, to prevent them from sticking to bottom of pot and continue to cook, covered and undisturbed, until dumplings are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Stir in reserved chicken. Return sauce to a gentle boil, cover and remove from heat. Let chicken and dumplings sit, covered, for 20 minutes before serving.
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