Warm, Savory and Comforting is the best way I know how to describe homemade Chicken and Dumplings. They will certainly have you going back for a second bowl.
Like most things I make, I have never really had an exact recipe. Some things just become second nature when you've done them enough times.
There are many different types of ingredients that can be added to Chicken and Dumplings. I usually use what is on hand or in season from the garden.
For this batch I used 1/2 of a chicken. Since it's only my husband and myself to cook for these days it seems to work out just right.
I start out using a fairly large stock pot that is heavy bottomed. I fill it about half way with water and add the half chicken to it.
Add a little salt and pepper along with a sprig or two of either Rosemary, Thyme or Oregano from the garden. Sage is always good too! Use the stem and all because it can be removed later on.
Bring the water to a boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer. I let mine simmer for about one hour before I removed it from the heat to cool.
Once it is cooled, remove the bones and skin and any other little pieces that look undesirable. Skim off the top of the liquid in your pot as well.
Once shredded place the chicken back into the liquid. I like to add a couple teaspoons extra of chicken base at this point.
Begin to add your vegetables. I cleaned and sliced a couple of carrots and sweet potatoes. Celery is always good, but it doesn't grow well here so I use my herbal Celeric Seeds I've saved from last spring. They have quite an intense celery flavor and wonderful in soups and stews.
1 1/2 cup organic unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. softened unsalted butter
Pinch of Salt
2/3 cup of milk
The Dumplings can be made different ways as well. Sometimes I will just use a bit of the broth instead of the milk. Some folks use an egg, but I've never found the reason for it. You could add a few herbs too, but they soak up some great stuff once added to the soup that I don't find a reason for it either.
Whisk together the dry ingredients, then cut in the butter until the mixture looks like tiny peas. Add the milk and stir it all together.
Drop the biscuits by the spoonful gently into the soup. They will sink at first, but then pop up to the top. Once you've put all the biscuit mix in, cover and put on a gentle simmer for at least one hour.
Enjoy and Happy Gardening!