Chicken & Dumplings, our Nebraska family farmhouse favorite. This is a delicately, simply flavored chicken stew, topped with puffy pillows of dumpling comfort–an 1800’s little jewel.
A recipe that is truly a family gem–Chicken & Dumplings is simply delicious, and one I had hoped to include it in my first digital cookbook, Family and Friends, but ran out of room. My first digital cookbook, which includes my other exclusive family recipes, is available for dowload in the shop.
This dates back to my Great Grandmother, a settler in the wilds of the Nebraska plains. Rare family photographs indicate a difficult life, perhaps not such a ‘little house on the prairie’ experience. Over the generations not much in this recipe has changed, except for the dumpling recipe.
Let’s talk dumplings. My family’s original 1800’s dumpling recipe (which I was unable able to locate) was replaced over the generations with one utilizing Original Bisquick mix (1930’s), which is the way I remember the dumplings–with that salty, baking powder infused lightness. I did a little research out of curiosity, and 1800’s pioneer dumpling recipes appear to include flour, baking powder, eggs, salt and melted butter mixed into a stiff batter. Milk is sometimes included, if available. Some options if Bisquick mix does not appeal to you, are to use an organic biscuit baking mix or make the dumplings from scratch, Betty Crocker’s recipe is a classic.
The stew is clearly of the period, frugally using just one flavor note, that of the celery grown in the garden, including the tops. As in many families, there were no formal written recipes, no measurements, and as my Mother tried to write this recipe for me she started with one line, “Simmer chicken with celery until tender.” Ok, then? But after years of cooking this recipe for my own family, I do admit there is quite a bit of leeway in this recipe, it’s not that exact, and you can of course add your own touches to make it your own Bijouxs!
Farmhouse Chicken & Dumplings is one of the most warm and comforting old-fashioned bowls-perfect for the cold, wintery weather which still find its way to us in February.