By Dave Lobeck
CNHI News Service
If you want to make your home smell like heaven, fix a big pot of chicken and dumplings. But, be forewarned. Anyone who walks into your home well not leave until you serve them a bowl of this delicious soup.
The concept of a dumpling is said to have originated in ancient Rome, although the
version we are more accustomed to originated in Europe. The dough was added to soups and allowed to steam or boil until cooked.
Meat was a luxury, and very expensive for most commoners. Dough or “dumplings” were a way to stretch the meat and fill their stomachs inexpensively.
In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife, Liz, makes this dish in our household. If we want to add some outdoor flavor, I smoke a whole chicken instead of boiling it. I'll cover that step further down into the
• 1 whole chicken
• 5 ribs of celery
• 8 carrots
• 4 yellow onions
• 2 cups frozen peas.
• 1 tsp salt
• Chicken bouillon (optional)
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 Tbs whole peppercorns
• Bisquick (original pancake and baking mix)
Place the entire chicken in a large pot. Peel and cut two onions in half. Cut two large ribs of celery (leaves and all) into three to four inch pieces. Place the onions and carrots in the pot. Add a bay leaf and the whole peppercorns. Fill with water until the chicken is barely covered. Bring to a boil and
reduce to a slow simmer. Cook for 45 minutes uncovered or so or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Remove chicken and allow to cool so you can handle it. Pull the meat of the carcass and set aside.
Discard skin and bones.
If you want smoked chicken, smoke your chicken over indirect heat until fully cooked. Bring inside and allow to cool until you can handle it. Pull the meat off and place in a bowl.
Place the carcass and roughy one quarter of the smoked skin into a large pot. Add the herbs, spices and vegetables listed in
the previous paragraph to the pot. Fill with about three to four quarts of water and allow to simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
Remove carcass and skin (if you took the smoked chicken route) and strain the broth in both cases.
Place the broth back in the pot and place over medium heat. Peel and cut the remaining carrots.
Remove the leaves from the remaining celery and cut into bite-sized pieces as well. Place carrots and celery in the broth and simmer until for tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
While this is happening, peel and finely chop the remaining two onions and saute' in a separate pan with one Tbs of olive oil until
caramelized (slightly golden).
Once veggies are fork tender, add the caramelized onion, a little chicken bouillon (if you think the broth needs extra flavor), frozen peas and cooked chicken. Now, follow the directions on the Bisquick box on how to make dumplings. Trust me, these “drop dumplings” are so much better than noodles,
and only takes 10 extra minutes.
Drop me an email and let me know how it turns out!
Dave Lobeck, of Sellersburg, Ind., is a financial adviser, barbecue chef and Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. He writes a column for CNHI News Service. Visit his website at www.BBQMyWay.com.