Chicken & Dumplings

This is a rather slow process.  Although you could certainly used canned chicken broth, fresh “carcass” broth tastes soooo good!

History:  at Granny’s (my mom) house for Thanksgiving, it’s tradition that we have a light supper before us kids all head home.  We call it “Carcass Soup” and quite honestly, I’d rather skip the turkey dinner and go straight to the soup.  When she makes it, she uses the turkey carcass and boils it while we visit all afternoon, and then uses the leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes to thicken the broth.  She also adds homemade noodles, which are incredible.

I’ve adapted that idea to just a chicken, something we eat more often, and the kids are just as happy with dumplings, and they certainly don’t take nearly as long to make as homemade noodles.

Chicken & Dumplings

Prepare 1 whole chicken–boil, broiled, rotisserie, etc.  Eat for a meal and save some of the breast meat (or add enough breast meat for soup).  After the legs, thighs, etc. are removed, throw the carcass bones into a large pot, cover with water, and simmer.  Add onions, celery, and carrots to taste.  Boil at least 1 hour, but as long as 2-3 hours is fine.  Strain (I use a pasta pot that has a built in strainer).

Pick over the leftover chicken meat and add to the pot.  Season with poultry seasoning, thyme or sage (I prefer sage because Granny always put the stuffing into the soup), and add celery salt, salt, pepper to taste.

Add diced potatoes, carrots, celery, and whatever frozen veggies (I added corn).  Simmer approx 30 minutes until the veggies are tender.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings.  I use Old Pioneer buttermilk biscuit mix (aside:  today I accidentally used their pancake version which was sweeter) and the recipe on the box.  It’s about 2 cups of mix, 2/3 c. milk, and 1 tsp. poultry seasoning.  Basically biscuits with seasoning added.

I stir 2-3 T flour in cold water and then dump into the soup and stir until thickened.  Then I begin dropping the dumplings into the hot broth by tablespoon.  Although everyone loves dumplings, I can’t make a double batch in my stock pot — they need a little room in between to let the steam rise.  Cover and let steam about 10 minutes.

Our favorite way to serve:  a scoop of mashed potatoes in the bowl, topped with thick, yummy soup and a dumpling.

Stick to your ribs good.

Dessert tonight was homemade bread slathered with homemade apple butter and it was soooo good!!