Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

     I killed one of our surplus roosters several weeks ago. The main motivation was to make life easier for the hens. Unfortunately, the two roosters had been working together and the poor hens had little rest. It will be much easier for the hens now that the remaining rooster has to catch them unassisted.  However, I don't believe in letting meat go to waste so I cooked the rooster in the crock pot and made chicken and dumplings.  I took advantage of my Aunt Delores' visit to make her and Mom serve as official chicken and dumplings guinea pigs. They both have had considerable experience with that dish in their younger years.  The main thing I wanted was to tap into their experience and get the conversation started.  Dolores and Mom both had several useful suggestions.  First of all, Dolores suggested that I let the cooked chicken cool so that it is easy to remove all of the fat when it congeals. Otherwise, the dumplings will absorb every bit of the chicken fat as they are cooked on top of the liquid where the fat resides.  Secondly, they told me that I can cook the chicken in a crock pot, but that dumplings have to be cooked at a higher temperature. In other words, my dumpling recipe may be just fine, but my cooking technique was fatally flawed. Their instructions for cooking the dumplings was bring the stew to a boil, drop on the dumplings, cook them for ten minutes covered and then ten minutes uncovered.

     The most important thing to come out of it was a promise from Aunt Dolores that she would send me her chicken and dumpling recipe. I'm planning to feature that in a future blog post after I take out another surplus rooster. In addition to supplying the main ingredient for chicken and dumplings the rooster also provided some rather dashing tail feathers that I stuck in the band of my felt hat for trek. I thought it was a nice look. After a week on trek the feathers do look well worn.
Rooster tail feathers, a little worse for wear

   I spent some time at the library tonight and found a cookbook devoted to chicken recipes. I checked and found they had included a chicken and dumplings recipe.  I will be anxious to try that one out and to later compare it to Dolores' recipe.  I'm thinking the smart money will be on Dolores' recipe.


  1. Can I be a chicken and dumpling guinea pig?

    1. Of course you can. No experience is required. One of our Americauna chickens is looking and acting more and more like a rooster so it appears I still have a surplus rooster.