Crave: Chicken shines with dumplings and noodles
photo by: Sam Smith/Mother Earth News
Chicken and Dumplings
This old-fashioned rendition of chicken and dumplings is probably the way your grandma used to make it. Nothing extra has been added–no vegetables, no noodles–this really is just chicken and dumplings. A free-range organic bird is all you need to celebrate the true flavor of chicken. Add a bay leaf and a teaspoon or two of your favorite dried herbs to spice up the broth, and/or add some vegetables. Yields 6 servings.
1 broiler chicken (3 to 5 pounds), dressed and cut into 8 pieces
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons lard, cold and coarsely chopped
1 cup milk
Place chicken in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Add pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and remaining salt in large bowl. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk, 1⁄4 cup at a time, and mix until soft dough forms; set aside.
Once chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink at the bone, transfer to cutting board and cool slightly. Remove skin, shred chicken and discard bones.
Return meat to pot and bring stew to boiling. Drop teaspoon-sized pieces of dough into pot. Cover and boil for 12 minutes, or until dumplings have doubled in size.
You’ll be delighted at how easy it is to make homemade noodles. Whenever you have leftover chicken or turkey, toss it in some broth with these noodles, and you’ll have a simple, nourishing supper–perfect for a cold evening. Yields 6 servings.
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon lard, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
In large bowl, combine eggs, water and milk. With electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in lard and salt.
In separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour and baking powder. Add gradually to egg mixture, beating on low speed. Using rubber spatula, stir in more flour, up to 1⁄4 cup if needed, to make stiff dough.
Turn dough onto floured board, and knead into ball. Sprinkle a little additional flour on board and rolling pin and roll out dough as thinly as possible, about 1/16 inch.
Using pizza wheel, slice dough into strips 1/4 inch wide, and then slice again in half crosswise. Transfer noodles to wire rack and cover loosely with lint-free cloth. Leave to dry for 2 hours.
Note: To make soup, place 8 cups of chicken or turkey broth in a stock pot and bring to boiling. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of all-purpose unbleached flour to thicken the broth. Add 1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey. Gently stir in the dry noodles. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the broth is thickened. Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh or dried herbs of your choice. Serve piping hot. Yields 6 to 8 servings.