Growing up, I managed to vicariously learn a few things here and there. One of those things included a list of foods that every good Southern woman should know how to prepare: mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, biscuits, banana pudding, chicken fried steak, fruit cobbler, and chicken and dumplings. Since I grew up in a family that notoriously has no family recipes other than those for desserts, if I weren’t embarrassed to mention it, I’d add divinity, pecan pie, and Texas sheet cake to the list.
I’ve spoken before about my trials in candy-making. I’ll admit I’ve never even attempted chicken fried steak, though I’ve enjoyed plenty made by others. I’m proud to say that I’ve mastered mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie, banana pudding, and fruit cobblers. My few shots at biscuits taught me that there’s nothing wrong with Pillsbury. But until tonight, I hadn’t found just the right chicken and dumplings recipe.
In order to earn a spot on the Southern heritage recipe list, chicken and dumplings cannot include such ingredients as canned biscuit dough (ignore my Pillsbury comment above) or cream of chicken soup. The dumplings should be rolled and cut so that they remain thin and come out without a “doughy” taste, the broth rich and flavorful. This is one of those times when I figured that I’d “know it when I saw it” but hadn’t yet found a recipe that included all the requirements for success.
That is, until I stumbled across this entry on The Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen site. It looked promising, especially when I found I had all the ingredients on hand to prepare dinner without a Sunday afternoon trip to the grocery store. I poached a couple of chicken breasts then followed the recipe with the exception of adding a 1/2 tsp. of poultry seasoning and a couple of handfuls of chopped carrots to the broth prior to dropping in the dumplings. I believe the fact that I have not quite a full serving left for lunch tomorrow speaks for the success of this dish with my family. DD1’s boyfriend and one of Soccer Boy’s friends joined us for dinner and cleaned their bowls too.
I think I can mark another item off that list!