I have always loved Chicken and Dumplings -- a fine, traditional Southern treat to be sure. Of course, we pronounce it Dumplins -- the same name we use for a fluffy little kid with apple round cheeks -- hey, dumplin! I got called dumplin' a lot as a little kid.
My favorites were those made my Mrs. Nation, the lovely lunchroom lady at Alice Street School and later Center Junior High School -- oh, and at church on Thursday night supper nights. She made the fluffy dumplins, and she was a dumplin' of a lady herself. Yum.
I also loved (don't cringe) Sweet Sue Chicken and Dumplings, in a can. They were the flat dumplings kind -- thick and smooth, tasty. My Daddy and I ate those all the time -- I don't know ANYONE else in the world who likes them, though. So they were always a guilty pleasure.
For most of my adult life, I made chicken and dumplings by cutting up biscuits (Hungry you know who) or making drop Bisquick biscuits and floating them in chicken soup. OK. Lazy.
And then, I watched Alton Brown Friday night.....
I have to admit that I have missed this southern delicacy a lot since going GF. So much so that when that dish (I think he's a cutie) Alton Brown did chicken and dumplings two ways the other night, I just knew I had to make them.
His recipe for Chicken and Drop Dumplings was what I wanted to replicate. So here's what I did. I served it to friends for Easter dinner -- even the gluten-eater among us thought it tasted good.
I thought the dumpling as I made it tasted a lot like a Matzo ball -- but it was all I could have wanted. Delish.
Here's the recipe:
One whole chicken, cooked in water til it falls from the bone, picked, and liquid strained
Two pounds chicken tenders, cooked in three quarts of stock (your choice)
One onion, chopped
Two bay leaves
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, to taste.
One package of frozen mixed veggies
6 T. butter or stick margarine
One cup stock from your soup
One cup gf flour mix with 1 t. Xanthan gum added (or a cup of Pamela's mix?)
1 t. salt (I might add a little more next time).
LOTS OF PEPPER (the best garnish -- AB and I agree).
Bring butter and stock to a boil, add flour mix and salt, and beat it by hand til it is crumbly in the pan. Remove from heat. Add one egg at a time, beating it well until the egg is incorporated completely. You can use the small mixer for this, or you can use a spoon. Next time I'm going to use a spoon -- the mix climbed the mixer and got a little messy. But it worked out.
(and yes, this is close to a class Pate a choux recipe, as AB would tell you. I am wondering if it would work to make a GF cream puff...)
Bring the strained stock and chicken (I left it all in the pot, though AB put the pulled chicken aside) to a nice bubbling boil (not a a rolling boil). Drop the dumplins in by the teaspoon one at a time. DO NOT STIR. Let them drop in the soup, and then cover and cook for about 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR. When they're floating on the top, they're done. DO NOT STIR.
Scoop out dumplins into a serving dish, then fish down and add chicken and stock.
Season with lots of black pepper. It's a must. Really.