Delaware Chicken and Slippery Dumplings

November 23, 2014

Chicken and Slippery Dumplings

Dumplings.  The word can be traced back to the 1600's in print, but was surely around long before that!  While there are many different techniques for making dumplings, their purpose was obvious.   They were invented solely to fill hungry bellies cheaply.   

The fact that they're still around is just a testimony to how tasty they are.  In fact, every country in the world has some kind of dumpling as part of it's cuisine.  From Afrikan Fufu to Scandinavian Klubb, these meals all consist of rolling or dropping some type of starchy dough into some boiling liquid.  Click below to read more.

In the United States, there seems to be a dividing line around the Mason Dixon Line.  In Southern US as well as Midwestern US, more households make a biscuit-style dough and drop by spoonful into hot broth.  North of this line, more people tend to roll the dough out into thick rectangular noodles before dropping them into the hot broth. This style is my families favorite, and is the style I'm writing about today.    They're called different things in different regions.  For instance, in Pennsylvania this dish might be called Chicken Pot Pie.  Here in Delaware, they're called Chicken and Slippery Dumplings.  

This recipe would also be great with leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!  Speaking of Thanksgiving, I need some new ideas for leftovers.  Anyone out there have some thoughts on how to use what's leftover after Turkey day and turn it into something completely different?

Recipe for Delaware Chicken and Slippery Dumplings

Ingredients for the chicken "stew"
8 cups water
4 Bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped 
6 carrots, sliced into coins
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Ingredients for the Dumplings

2 cups flour
2 Tbs. butter
½ tsp. baking powder
salt to taste 
about a cup of milk, maybe a bit less

1.  In a large Dutch Oven, sautee the onions and celery.  Once translucent, add the chicken and water.
2.  Add the rosemary and thyme to a tea diffuser and drop in the pot.  Bring to a low boil and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
3.  When chicken is cooked through, remove it from pot and allow it to cool.
4.   In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the milk, mixing with a fork until the dough forms a ball.
5.  Heavily flour a work surface. 
6.  Roll the dough out thin and don't forget to add flour to the rolling pin. Dip your cutter in flour and cut the dumplings in squares about 2″x2″. It’s okay for them not to be exact or if they look funny.
7.  Cut them and stack them on  a heavily floured plate.  Don't forget to flour between the layers of dumplings. You can also freeze them like this and then transfer them to a ziplock bag.
8.  To cook them, bring the broth back up to a boil. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. The extra flour on them will help thicken the broth. Cook them for about 15-20 minutes or until they not doughy tasting. 
9.  Remove the tea diffuser from the pot at this point.  Pick the meat off the chicken and then add the chicken back to the pot.
10.  Add the chopped parsley just before serving as a garnish.

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