Saturday, May 27, 2017

Chicken and Dumplings

I decided to cook chicken and dumplings! The recipe is from Laura Howell, from Ashley Township High School, in Ashley, Illinois. Of course, this cookbook is from 1969, so I imagine she's no longer in high school.

The recipe says to simmer the chicken in water seasoned with salt, until it is tender. Simple enough.

In the meantime, you make dumplings. You sift 2 1/2 cups flouter, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking powder. Then you cut in a 1/2 cup of shortening. I'm not sure what it means to cut in shortening, but I cut it into little cubes and got my hands super gross. In a separate bowl, you mix two beaten eggs with a cup of milk. You combine that with the other stuff. The recipe says to stir it, but I didn't notice that, and I mashed it all together with my hands. I got my hands super gross again. Maybe I used too much flour, because there was a fair amount left over, even when I combined all the wet material.

You flatten out the stuff on a board and cut into squares. Then you let it dry for 30 to 40 minutes. I'd recommend separating all the squares, so they don't get stuck to each other and form rows of dumplings. That's what happened to me.

The recipe then says to remove the chicken, then put the dumplings into the boiling broth. Whoa. What? The chicken was supposed to be boiling? The recipe said to simmer it!

So I boiled the water with the chicken inside as fast as I could, and I'm realizing just now that I was supposed to boil the water, then put the chicken in to simmer. Oh well. I let it simmer for 25-30 minutes, at the same time the dumplings were drying.

So you put the dumplings in boiling broth. Cook for ten minutes uncovered. Reduce heat to low, cover, then cook for ten more minutes. After that, you put the chicken in the pot again, and heat it whenever you're ready to serve it. The recipe ends there, but I'm sure you're supposed to drain the meal. I didn't, so it was kind of hard to get the food out. The recipe recommends 4 quarts of water, but I don't have a pot that big!

The recipe ended up okay. I mean, the chicken was fine, and the dumplings tasted like dumplings. So it was a success, despite all my little mistakes. If I ever cook it again, I'll know the right way to do it. And maybe I'll just make simmered chicken on my own. That was pretty good.

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