Chicken and dumplings
As a kid growing up my mother used to make C and D with just milk, butter, water, and most importantly FLUFFY Bisquick dumplings that I have yet to master (maybe other secret ingredienst, who knows?). Mine turn out to chewy. I see C and D on many menus in Charlotte, but all the dumplings are chewy not my dream fluffly ones. I must be the only one that likes them that way. Has anyone had it around here that would be closer to my childhood version? Or anyone have a recipe I can try?
Taste of Home has a good recipe. I live in Georgia and we call the dumplings you are talking about yankee dumplings. But they are SOOOO good!!!! It's like making two similarly flavored dishes, but different textures. The flavor isn't identical, but you still get that comforting, savory flavor in each dish. You may want to try different recipes for "drop dumplings" as well. My nanny(great-grandmother) taught me to cook, and she has recipes for 3 different kind of dumplings. Some people aren't even aware that there's more than one way to make chicken and dumplings.
My mom made Bisquick dumplings and they came out soft so that is how I make them. If find if I simmer them at a low temperature, they turn out great. If the heat is too high, they don't rise as much. It's also important to follow the instructions about 10 minutes with the cover on and 10 minutes off--I think that is the order. I keep hoping my kids will like then and I'll make them more. If I really want a quick fix, I'll just make a small batch in some chicken broth. I don't mess with the Bisquick recipe either.
These are the dumplings that my family uses for stew. They are fluffy versus the southern chicken and dumplings recipes I have made. The key is how you cook them uncovered first for 10 minutes than cover for 10 minutes. Also drop them on pieces of chicken and veggies in the stew to keep them above the level of the gravey.
1 and 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teas. salt
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons canola oil (any plain tasting veg. oil will work).
Optional chopped fresh herbs - about 1 Tablespoon - parsley, sage, thyme combined. I do at least parsley.
Optional for more fluffiness - 2 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda to the dry ingredients. You can also add other herbs or grated cheese to change the taste.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine milk, oil and herbs in another small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup). Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork just until the ingredients come together. Do not over-stir.
Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls from a teaspoon that comes with the regular set of dinnerware. (If you want more exact measurements, use a heaping portion from a standard measure tablespoon.) Drop onto pieces of chicken, veggies, etc in the stew that is simmering.
Cook dumblings for 10 minutes uncovered. Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve straight from the pot or remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and serve on the side with the stew.
Speaking as someone who's tried to screw this recipe up many times, I'm here to tell you it can't be done. Nearly. Anyway, the cheap & easy way to do it is to make a recipe of Bisquick biscuits, using the proportions given for drop biscuits (a bit extra liquid). When the chicken is cooked, remove it with a slotted ladle and keep it warm. With the pot set on a gentle simmer, use two spoons (one scooping, one scraping) to cover the surface with dumplings. They WILL expand a lot, so don't completely smother the surface. Put the lid on the pot and don't peek for about twenty minutes - this is when a glass lid comes in handy. Yeah, they'll be a little goopy on the outside, but nice and fluffy within.
This is not exactly gourmet... But I make them just using Bisquick, an egg, and some milk, with a touch of chicken base mixed into the dough for extra flavor). The dough is quite soft and moist, but not sticky... not so much flour that its like a biscuit dough that can be rollled out. I drop them in, and let them fluff up! It also naturally thickens up the chicken stew nicely. That's what I remember my grandma doing.
Okay - here's my Mom's recipe I said I'd post. Very fluffy dumplings.
1 cup crisco and 1 cup flour
8 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 chicken cut into pieces
Melt crisco and add flour, stirring until dark brown. Add water, salt and chicken. Bring to boil, cover and lower heat to medium and cook 1 hour.
1 1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
Mix dumpling ingredients. When chicken is done, remove chicken from pot and keep warm. Add 2 cups or more of water, bring gravy mixture to medium high heat. Drop dumplings in by the heaping tablespoon full. When they float to top and are bubbly looking, flip over and cook other side until cooked through. Serve with the chicken and gravy.
This is a recipe my Mom made in Texas when we lived there. We moved to NC and here what some people are referring to as chicken and dumplings I think of as chicken and pastry (called both names here - same thing). Both types - the pastry and the fluffy dumplings - are equally yummy.
HINT: Add a handful of raisons to the dumpling mixture and use in navy bean soup - sounds strange but quite good.
From what I understand, there are actually two types of dumplings- one is rolled dumplings, the kind you are finding, and the others are dropped dumplings, the kind you are craving.
No secret to making them- just don't roll out the dough, but instead pinch off hunks of it. When you drop them in the broth, they will rise and expand a bit- and will become something wonderful!
If you're eating those dumplings in Charlotte, they won't ever fluff. That would be Southern style dumplings you're eating there.
We call those others you like 'yankee dumplings'. I make both: the southern style are flat, but shouldn't be chewy. I use those in C and D. For beef stew, I use the fluffy kind, and though it's not the pinnacle of my culinary prowess, I like the taste of Bisquick because that's what my mother's were ; )
I usually have trouble with my dumplings falling apart. but I've had more success recently by putting fairly large ones in chicken stock at a low boil and leaving them alone for a few minutes and resist the temptation to poke them to soon. The ones I can keep together come out pretty fluffy. And I use Bisquick too.