I hope all of you have enjoyed a wonderful Holiday season and your New Year is off to a great start.
I know I’ve been away for a while, but as many of you may know recently (December 17th) I lost my Grandmother, Mayme. My Mayme was an inspiration to me in many ways especially in the kitchen. I have so many childhood memories of the times we shared in kitchen cooking, canning, and baking the days away.
Several years ago she asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I told her I would love to have a book filled with her favorite and most used recipes written in her handwriting. That year my sister and I each received a book filled with over 80 index cards of her recipes all in her handwriting.
That book is now one of my most prized possessions. It’s been very hard over the last few weeks and I’ve missed her greatly, but I’ve found some comfort looking through the pages of her recipes and remembering all the wonderful times we shared.
In honor of my Mayme I would like to share some of those recipes and memories with all of you over this next year. One recipe in particular has been on my mind recently and that was Mayme’s Chicken and Dumplings.
This Chicken and Dumplings recipe was one my Great Grandmother Maude Long (my Papa’s Mother) made for many years and it was passed down to my Mayme in 1971 from my Great Aunt Bonnie.
I have very fond memories of my Grandparent’s house being filled with family on Christmas Day and her making these Chicken and Dumplings along with my favorite cornbread dressing. Here she on Christmas Day circa 1980 something, making the dressing and I guarantee in that big pot below was the dumplings…
These dumplings were light, tender, and they would always warm you up on even the coldest of December days (or January days for that matter).
Here is the original recipe card from Great Aunt Bonnie….
* The original copy of the recipe given to my Mayme in 1971 says that Grandmother Long added 1/4 – 1/3 cup of evaporated milk (as that’s probably what they had on hand back in the 30’s and 40’s) to the chicken and dumplings after the dumplings had cooked. My Mayme instead used 1 can cream of chicken soup. I typically don’t use canned condensed soups anymore instead I make my own condensed cream of chicken soup. Also Mayme made a note on the original recipe card that the dumplings are easier to cut with a pizza cutter. I always love seeing how recipes can change and evolve from one generation to another.
Grandmother Maude Long’s Dumplings
1 Whole Chicken (4-5 pounds) giblets and neck removed
For the Dumplings:
3 Cups Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Cold Butter
1-1/2 Cups Hot Chicken Broth
1 Beaten Egg
1/4 -1/3 cup Evaporated Milk or 1 Can of Cream of Chicken Soup*
Place the whole chicken in a large stock pot
and cover with just enough cold water to cover the chicken by about an inch.
Season the water with a little salt and black pepper then bring the water to a boil.
Cook until the meat begins to pull away from the bones, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Then remove the chicken and set aside to cool while making the dumplings.
In a large bowl blend together the four, baking soda, and salt.
Then cut in 3 tablespoons of cold butter.
Add in 1-1/2 Cups of the hot chicken broth and 1 beaten egg and mix together to form the dough.
The dough will be very soft (and sticky).
Pour the dough onto a well floured board rolling in the flour until you can pat it into a rectangle.
Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut into dumplings
and drop into the boiling broth.
Reduce heat and cover the pan. Cook the dumpling for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile shred the chicken from the bone. Once the dumplings are done remove from heat and stir in the shredded chicken along with the evaporated milk or the cream of chicken soup. Taste for seasoning adding black pepper and salt as needed.
Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
3 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup minced Onion
1 Clove Garlic, minced (or grated)
3 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Cup Warm Chicken Stock
1/2 Cup Warm Milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a medium sized skillet melt the butter. Over medium low heat sauté the onion in the butter until tender about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic and cook for one more minute.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the flour and cook for about one minute.
Slowly whisk in the warm milk and chicken stock
and cook until very thick over medium low heat, about 4-5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use as you would 1 can of condensed soup.