By Carmon Hacker
While I’ve made this Southern favorite completely from scratch, first stewing chicken pieces, then making homemade dough, I wanted to create an easier version! After all, on workdays I often drag in the door feeling like a ravenous grizzly, in need of a catnap and comfort food without much effort. So, I created a quicker, easier version for such times, and the results? I still received rave reviews from family and friends who’ve tried it. Best of all, after just a couple of bites, both my spirit and stomach are transformed to a place of culinary nirvana! My family enjoys them with hot cornbread, cole slaw, as well as fresh tomato wedges and green onions.
- 1 roasted chicken from the local grocer, about 2 lbs.
- 1 32-oz. carton chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- About 6 drops yellow food coloring
- ½ tsp. each, salt and black pepper
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose baking mix
- About ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
- Lift chicken carefully out of bag and transfer onto a dinner plate or platter. Carefully pour all of the drippings in the bottom of the bag into a large soup pot. (If chicken is cold, spoon out the congealed drippings and place in pot. These add rich, delicious flavor.) Pour chicken broth and 2 cups of water into pot, along with yellow food coloring and salt and pepper. Cook on low, while you assemble the dumplings.
For dumplings, combine baking mix and buttermilk to create a soft dough that sticks together easily, being neither too dry or gummy. Place about ½ cup of all-purpose flour in a dinner plate, and using a soup spoon, scoop out 6 heaping spoons of dumpling mixture onto the flour.
Roll until each dumpling is well-coated and place in the simmering broth. Repeat the process until you have 12 dumplings cooking. Let them gently boil for about 7 minutes, then use a large spoon to gingerly flip them over and let the other side cook for around 5 minutes. Finally, repeat the process with remaining dough. You will need to flip over this last batch as well. Altogether, you will have around 18 dumplings. While dumplings are cooking, shred the chicken. (My family likes a little skin left in the chicken, and we like both light and dark meat.)
To serve, place about 3 dumplings in a bowl with gravy, and place about ½ cup of shredded chicken over top. You can top with a bit of additional gravy if you like. Makes about 4 to 6 servings.