Today has been a chilly day.
It is spring break for Monkey Girl.
She is all snuggled with me on the couch with a blanket.
“Mom, she asks, can you make some Chicken and Dumplings?”
“Of course, I tell her, as I get up from the couch.”
It is these days, that just being with my family makes me the happiest.
I should be doing that load of laundry, but not right now.
Soon, my one and only daughter will be sitting on the couch, enjoying a warm comforting bowl of Chicken and Dumplings with me.
Can life get any better than this?
Chicken and Dumplings
1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Place the chicken, onion, bay leaves, and bouillon, in a large pot. Add 4 quarts of water, simmer over medium heat. Simmer the chicken until it is tender and the thigh juices run clear, about 40 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the pot and, when it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the pot. Keep warm over low heat.
Add the cream of chicken soup to the pot with the chicken and simmer gently over medium-low heat.
To prepare the dumplings: Mix the flour with the salt and mound together in a mixing bowl. Beginning at the center of the mound, drizzle a small amount of ice water over the flour. Using your fingers, and moving from the center to the sides of the bowl, gradually incorporate about 3/4 cup of ice water. Knead the dough and form it into ball.
Dust a good amount of flour onto a clean work surface. Roll out the dough (it will be firm), working from center to 1/8-inch thick. Let the dough relax for several minutes.
Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Pull a piece in half and drop the halves into the simmering soup. Repeat. Do not stir the chicken once the dumplings have been added. Gently move the pot in a circular motion so the dumplings become submerged and cook evenly. Cook until the dumplings float and are no longer doughy, 3 to 4 minutes.
To serve, ladle chicken, gravy, and dumplings into warm bowls.
Peace be with you,