Remember when life seemed simple?
I'm kinda reminded of that when I catch an episode of the Waltons.
You remember that show, why sure you do.
The Hallmark channel is showing reruns all the time. I was born long after the Depression, but I can relate to some of the episodes, maybe because I love the simple life, when clean living and the family was the center of people's universe.
I think one of my favorite ones is when Ben is caught smoking
and Grandpa Walton decides to teach him a lesson.
My husband usually watches the program daily and that same episode had Grandma Walton fussing over her chickens, somewhere in the show Chicken & Dumplings was mentioned.
Of course that set off a few comments from my husband on how good some would be, yum yum!!
I just so happened to have a can of chicken in my pantry and a can of store bought biscuits in the fridge. I knew I had some chicken broth, either the low sodium boxed stuff or some I made in the freezer. So I got busy and before long my kitchen was smelling good with the country scent of chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove.
Let me share with you my simple and tasty recipe. My husband says next to his mother's dumplings mine are really good too. I take that as a compliment because she would always make them from scratch for family reunions and if you didn't get to that pot from the very start, you missed out on the best dish on the table.
My Chicken & Dumplings
1-28 ounce can Keystone Brand All Natural Heat & Serve Chicken, or Breakstone, Swanson Brand Chicken in the can
1 can Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Biscuits
1-32 ounce box Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock, or College Inn Canned Chicken Broth
2 heaping Tablespoons of Wyler's Chicken Bouillon Granules
about 3/4 cup regular flour
Few drops of yellow food coloring
Put chicken in a Dutch Oven pot and break up into smaller pieces. Add the chicken stock, stir in the chicken granules. While this is heating up to a boil, dust cutting board with flour and remove biscuits from can. Doing one biscuit at a time, dust with flour and use floured rolling pin to flatten very thin (the thickness of a stick of gum) then take a sharp knife and cut the rolled out dough like a tic tac toe design. You should have at least 9+ small rectangular shaped pieces. To give you a better idea of the size, cut them about the size of a 1/2 a stick of gum. Don't worry if they are not perfect. When the chicken pot is boiling drop the pieces of flattened, cut dough in the hot boiling stock. Continue rolling out the dough and dropping the pieces into the pot, stir to help prevent dumplings from sticking to each other. When all are done I add the left over flour (important to do a bit at a time to prevent flour lumps) from the cutting board and stir it in well. The flour on the rolled out biscuits and the small bit left on the board will help the broth to thicken a bit and make the dumplings more juicy. Dumplings will tend to float on top of the broth, don't worry, when they are covered with a lid and simmering they will drop down into the chicken mixture. Add the few drops of yellow food coloring to add color. Mix well. Turn the heat down to simmer and cover with a lid. I simmer them on low heat for at least 45 minutes. Be sure to stir a few times and if the mixture is a bit too thick just add some warm water or a bit more chicken stock. I serve them over mashed potatoes, but noodles are a good alternative. Corn bread stuffing is also a good substitute for potatoes or noodles. I do not add salt because the granules are always a bit salty. Pepper is good though. This recipe makes enough to feed 6-7 people a hearty serving. This dish will stick to your ribs. It is a great dish for a cold day or when you are having company over for a meal. Enjoy!