Help'n with Chick'n n' Dumplin's
Please forward this message to those who are in charge of the recipes. I am a little confused about the recipe. I have not ever made dumplings this way.
Why am I suppose to keep the chicken pieces in the broth when the dumplings are being cooked? When you say dry and fluffy, how dry?
Are the dumplings supposed to be floating on top of the chicken pieces so that they don't sink in too much? The dumplings tasted bland. When my mother in law makes dumplings she cuts the chicken fat into the flour to give it taste.
The recipe said to skim off fat. Does this mean that the broth has to be made in advance so that the fat will float and harden. That's what my mother in law does.
What is the reason for having the carrots and celery if you are not going to eat it? Also, what do you do with the leftover broth? I had about 3 pints of broth and veggies left over.
1. You don't have to keep the chicken pieces in the broth while the dumplings cooked, if the chicken is done. It's just for convenience.
2. After the specified cooking time, if you insert a toothpick into the center of the dumplings, they should be dry and fluffy like a baked roll. If they are still sticky and cling to the toothpick, they are not done. The outside will look moist, but the inside will be cooked through.
3. The dumplings will float to the top of the broth, even though at first they may plop under the broth. It's okay if they cook on top of the chicken pieces. If you removed the chicken, they'd still float to the top, though.
4. You can cut in chicken fat if you wish. However, seasoning the dumpling dough with herbs will be a healthier alternative. Try 1 teaspoon dried herbs or 1/4 teaspoon ground herbs to one batch of dumplings. Or, simply season to taste with your favorite combinations. Thyme, rosemary, garlic, and poultry seasoning are especially complimentary to chicken.
5. You can skim off the fat by chilling it first, if you wish. However, bring the broth to a boil again before cooking the dumplings as they need to be dropped onto boiling broth. You can also skim off the visible fat with a spoon; with ice cubes (drop them into the hot broth and take them out when fat chills and clings to them); or with a lettuce leaf, swished through the broth.
6. The carrots and celery give the broth flavor. You can eat them, too, if you wish. I always do, but some people don't care for their mushiness.
7. The leftover broth is a great base for soup and stew, casseroles, and gravy. Instead of dissolving bouillon cubes in water to make chicken broth, you could use the homemade broth. Just replace it cup for cup when any recipe calls for bouillon cubes and water, beef or chicken consommé, or chicken broth or stock. It freezes splendidly and is a basic staple in American cookery.
Hope this helps,
Desi @ DVO
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