Linda’s Favorite Chicken and Dumplings

 

4
half chicken breasts or 2 whole
1
bay leaf
2
stalks celery, cut in large pieces
1
small onion, cut in 4ths
2
carrots, cut in large pieces
1
teaspoon thyme
1
tablespoon parsley
2
teaspoons chicken soup base
8
peppercorns

 

 

Dumplings

 

4
cups all purpose flour
4
teaspoons salt
2
eggs
1
cup water

 

 

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large stockpot.  Add the chicken breasts.  Bring to boil.  Skim off scrum.  Add bay leaf, celery, onion, carrots, thyme, parsley, chicken soup base and peppercorns.  Bring to boil.  Reduce to simmer, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

 

Remove chicken to plate.  Strain stock and return strained stock to stockpot.  Discard vegetable mixture.  Heat stock to boiling while preparing dumplings.

 

To make dumplings:  Whisk the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs and begin beating with a wooden spoon while slowly adding the water.  You may need to add more water or flour to achieve the right consistency.  The consistency is right when the dough starts to form a ball.  Work the dough with your hands, adding a little flour to keep the dough from sticking.

 

Divide the dough into 2 pieces.  Roll out first piece on a floured surface using a rolling pin.  Roll to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut in 1 x 3 inch pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.  Immediately drop the dumplings into the boiling stock.  Repeat with the second ball of dough.

 

Let the dumplings boil for about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.  While the dumplings are cooking, remove the chicken meat from the bones, break into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate.  Near the end of the cooking time, add the chunks of chicken to the broth and stir.  Remove from heat, remove cover, and let sit about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Serves 6.