I had an aunt who could neither read nor write. Now we know that suffered from dislexia, but it was not a known ailment 90 years ago. However, she made two things that I have never had better...fried apple pies and chicken and dumplings. No written recipes, so no one knows how to recreate either. I have, over the years, tried my hand at fried apple pies to some success, but my best attempt at chicken and dumplings has been a slow cooker recipe with canned biscuits and cream of chicken soup.
So I decided on a day of record heat to try a recipe from scratch. I searched the net for a recipe and found the one below on Food.com.
Chicken and Dumplings
1 large fryer chicken, cut up
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 c chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbs dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 c all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbs oil*
1. Combine chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, bouillon, parsley, salt and pepper in a large pot and add enough water to cover cicken.
2. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer and cover. Cook for two hours or until chicken is done.**
3. Remove chicken and let cool until it is easy to handle. Remove skin and bones and shred chicken. Dispose of bones and skin and add chicken back to pot.
4. Add more salt and/or pepper if needed. Return to simmer.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine dumpling ingredients and mix until forms a stiff dough.
6. Drop by tablespoons into simmering soup. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
*I used canola oil, but corn or vegetable oil will do.
**My chicken was done in about 90 minutes, so start checking early.
This will never compare with Aunt Alma's, but it will do. Peppery, creamy, with light, fluffy dumplings, it will do.