The weather in San Diego has been less than desirable and downright crappy. Yesterday it was sprinkling all day and today more of the same. With 12 more days to go, I’m looking at the weather very closely in case my beach wedding turns into something else like an indoor house party which happens to be on the beach.
With the weather as chilly as it’s been, I pulled out a recipe handed down from Paul’s mom for stewed chicken with dumplings. Paul waxes poetic about this dish. I think it reminds him of Michigan or Nevada. I really don’t know because I didn’t grow up with gravy.
When we first attempted this recipe we substituted the stewed hen in the recipe with chicken breast. Bad idea. There wasn’t enough chicken fat for gravy. On the second attempt we used a whole chicken, bones and all and it was perfect. The recipe for dumplings can be substituted with Bisquick or even spaetzel. Stew may require additional salt to taste.
Stewed Chicken with Dumplings
3 lbs. or more chicken , cut up
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 bay leaf
1 stalk of celery, chopped
flour for gravy
Barely cover the chicken with water. Add all the seasonings, including the celery and carrot. Heat to simmering, cover and simmer gently until meat is tender, about 3-4 hours.
Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Skim the fat from the top and reserve for later.
Take the meat from the broth and remove all skin and bones. Discard. Strain the broth and thicken for gravy.
Blend 1 teaspoon of flour and 1 teaspoon of fat for each cup of broth. Blend into broth. Return the chicken to the hot gravy and drop in dumplings (recipe follows).
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon butter
3/4 cup milk
Shift together the flower, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add milk gradually. Drop by spoonfuls on top of meat and inch apart and cover tightly. Steam for 12-15 minutes.