Before y’all judge me, let me explain. I am a vegan, I try to be a good vegan (I try my very best), but I will make compromises from time to time. The Hubs and little one always eat whatever I cook and that’s usually a vegan dish. They make compromises all the time. So, I decided to compromise with the chicken and dumplings. Just because I made the choice to be a vegan doesn’t mean I should force it on others. The Hubs didn’t make the decision to be a vegan, and the little one is too little.
With that said, I am not going to raise the little one as a vegan. There are people out there who raise their children to be vegans and are successful at it. However, I want my little one to make the choice as he gets older. Whether he wants to be a vegan, vegetarian, bacon lover, meat lover, or whatever I will support him and respect his choices.
Ok, now that rant is over, I can continue on with today’s post. Here is my view as I’m working on this
You’ll have to excuse the little one’s toys in the background. Sometimes the dog will start snoring or even dreaming! More often than not, something rotten will escape his butt and fill the air in the living room with grossness.
So, back to the dish. In my opinion, chicken and dumplings is the ultimate Southern comfort food. There’s nothing like having this goodness on a cold day when it’s snowing outside. It’s also my go-to dish when someone is sick or just not feeling well. I think the little one has a slight cold as he was spitting up a few times the other day, so I decided to make this dish. My Dad (an old school Alabama man) used to always make this dish. One of the key ingredients is garlic. However, I never use it when I make it. I also add carrots and celery just to add a bit of pizzazz.
I went to my local butcher (if I’m going to cook meat, I’ll always go to the butcher instead of the grocery store), and bought a whole boneless chicken. At least I know the chicken from the butcher isn’t from a factory farm. The chickens are usually from the Hutterites around the area.
I just cut it up into manageable pieces and removing the skin and any fat. I just put the chicken pieces into a pot and cover it with water and let it boil for about an hour. Then you skim the fat and any junk off of the surface of the water. I shredded the chicken and then added it back into the pot with the carrots and celery. You can chop it up or whatever to cater your personal tastes. Next, you add two chicken bouillon cubes and a bit more water if you wish. Then you work on your dumplings. I had originally planned on making gluten-free dumplings for myself but as I was making dinner and looking at the clock, I quickly realized that it was a lofty goal and I’d be delaying dinner which would mean dealing with the wrath of the little one when he’s hungry. So, I opted not. What a great way to see if wheat really does make me sick, right?
For the dumplings, just take 2 cups of flour and add a bit of salt and 3/4 cups of water (or take 3/4 cups of the broth) and knead the dough. You’ll want to roll it out with a rolling pin next. Then you can either cut it into nice, neat squares with a knife or pizza cutter, or just rip pieces off like I do. It just gives it a bit of a rustic look when you rip pieces off for the dumplings. You’ll want to have the pot on a medium heat and drop the dumplings in one-by-one and not on top of each other. When they start to float to the surface, then you’ll know they’re done.
When you finish adding all of your dumplings, adjust the seasoning of the broth to your taste. I add a handful of Himalayan pink salt and some pepper. So, taste taste taste. I can’t stress that enough. I’ve learned the hard way. Trust me. When I think the seasoning is just right, I’ll call over the Hubs and the little one. The little one LOVES doing taste tests for me. I know it’s good and when asks for more. Or yells and points is more like it.
You can let the pot cook for a little while longer or you can serve it as soon as the dumplings are done and your seasoning is just how you like it. This is my final product. The chicken and dumplings my Dad used to make didn’t look so watery/brothy. To this day I have no idea how he gets the broth to be so thick.
I must confess that this dish will always make me fall off the vegan wagon. Even if the whole time I’m eating it I’m thinking of the chickens. And to answer your question about the wheat test, I did feel a bit “drunk” last night a few hours after eating. I don’t know if it had something to do with the bouillon cubes I used or the flour. So, I had some leftovers for lunch today to see if I get that feeling again. It’s been an hour so far and I feel nothing. So, I’m actually going to go out and do a few errands before the snow here in Edmonton gets worse.
Tonight’s supper is Mongolian Beef with rice. It’s more for the Hubs and little one. I’m toying with the idea of using tofu instead of flank steak for me. I’ve noticed that when I eat meat, my “plumbing” isn’t quite right.
I’ll keep y’all posted!