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Comfort food lovers, you are in the right place. Southern chicken and dumplings just like your mom or grandma used to make, coming right up!
I have been absent from my corner of the Hinternets for awhile. It has been only a week, but it feels much longer than that.
On Saturday, The Beloved and I attended a dear friend’s older brother’s memorial service. Rich was one of a kind. His family requested that his favorite song, The Wheel by The Grateful Dead, be played at his service. The Episcopalian priest who officiated told them that he could lose his job if he did, but he used the text of the song for his homily, referencing Voyage of the Dawn Treader to boot.
Everyone who knew Rich had a favorite Rich Story. This one is mine.
One day as Rich was working in his yard, some Jehovah Witnesses approached him. Rich never shied away from conversation, so he engaged them. They stood talking on his lawn for about 45 minutes. At one point, Rich had them bend down to grab a handful of dark, moist earth, telling them that this was what it was all about. I wonder if those Jehovah’s Witnesses still talk about their encounter with Rich.
After the service, we all returned to Julie and Scott’s house, which is right across the street from the house where Rich, Scott and their sister Cindy grew up. Lots of the guys played Frisbee in the street, using Rich’s discs from his Ultimate Frisbee days. As daytime shadows lengthened into early evening shadows, the game was periodically interrupted when someone would shout “Car!” They’d all grudgingly move aside only to resume their positions as the car passed, much as slushy ice reforms in the wake of a slow-moving ice breaker. Those cries of “car!” took me straight back to my childhood, as I played with many of the same people in the same neighborhood thirty-five and forty years ago.My dad was scheduled to have a pacemaker inserted (implanted?) on Monday morning at 6:30am, so I drove to my parents’ home on Sunday afternoon while The Beloved drove home so he could go to work. What we thought was to be an out-patient endeavor turned into three days. First we were informed that dad would be spending the night and be able to go home Tuesday morning. That added one day to my trip, since I’d planned on being home Monday evening. By Tuesday late morning, dad was told he’d have to stay because one of the leads was loose and needed to be more firmly implanted. That happened around 7:30am yesterday, and he made it home around twelve hours later. Needless to say, he and mom were exhausted. I had headed home Tuesday afternoon and spent yesterday curled up in a fetal position on the couch and streaming shows through Amazon Prime.
I’m happy to report that dad is doing very well thus far, so that’s a good thing. Still, after memorial services and surgeries and delays, I find myself wanting nothing more than southern comfort food today.
While it is still quite warm and sunny here, the breeze is cool and holds a promise of autumn. The chill breeze and a whole free-range chicken in the fridge were all the incentive I needed to make a big vat of chicken and dumplings. Southern Chicken and Dumplings. Flat or slick dumplings. Some folks even call it chicken and pastry. No puffy, bready dumplings for me, friends. Give me deep, rich chicken flavor in a broth that clings with dumplings you can cut with the side of your fork. I don’t need “crumb” in my dumplings. I leave that to bread. Just a little puff from baking powder, and some smoky goodness courtesy of bacon fat.
Southern Chicken and Dumplings
Using boxed chicken stock for the initial cooking liquid adds depth and intense chicken flavor to the dish. You don't have to use bacon fat in the dumplings. You don't even have to season the dumplings. But I think you'll be happy if you do both! Notice I'm not giving weights here. No need to be super precise, even with the dumplings. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For the Chicken
For the Dumplings
For the Chicken
For the Dumplings
Using boxed chicken stock for the initial cooking liquid adds depth and intense chicken flavor to the dish.
You don't have to use bacon fat in the dumplings. You don't even have to season the dumplings. But I think you'll be happy if you do both!
Notice I'm not giving weights here. No need to be super precise, even with the dumplings.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Thank you so much for spending some time with me today. Enjoy these comforting chicken & flat dumplings, y’all, and I hope you have a lovely day.
Yet one more reason for comfort: I literally just received a call from my mom, and she had her sweet China put to sleep today. China was fifteen years old and the best girl in the world. We will all miss her so very much, but she is resting now.