Ms. J’s Chicken and Dumplings
This recipe is my answer to the Matzo Ball Soup and the Baked or Roasted Chicken that are often a staple of a modified Seder Supper. Not being Jewish, but being Southern, Chicken and Dumplings seemed like the perfect alternative to these traditional Seder dishes. And as for the recipe title, well, that comes from Sweet Man’s nickname for me, in the southern tradition of Miss Ellie from the TV show Dallas .
This is a large recipe—enough for twelve adults. Note: You can use homemade or store-bought chicken stock, or a combination of both.
For the Broth
Bring 15 cups of chicken stock to a boil. Add the following to the boiling liquid:
3 carrots, peeled, washed, and diced (optional) 3 celery stalks, washed and thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon of salt
4 pounds of boneless chicken breast (frozen or thawed)
Once the chicken breasts are fully cooked, pull them out, and set them aside to cool. Reduce broth to simmer and leave simmering while you make the dumplings.
For the Dumplings
Mix together the following ingredients:
6 cups of flour
3 tablespoons of baking powder
3 teaspoons of salt
Next, cut in 1 cup of solid vegetable shortening (use either a pastry cutter, or 2 table knives, or your food processor).
Once the shortening has been cut in well (creating a crumbly texture), begin adding ice cold water, 1⁄2 cup at a time, into the mixture. I use about 21⁄4 cup of ice water (sometimes I use more, sometimes I use less, depending on the humidity in the air).
Your goal is to create a dough that is soft, smooth, and easy to roll out but is not leathery or mushy or grainy. Next, roll your dough out. These dumplings are Southern-style flat dumplings like we make in Arkansas, not the round fluffy “drop” dumplings that are common in the North.
Sista’ Tip: My good friend and baking mentor Lynn taught me this great kitchen tip: When rolling out dough, spread out a smooth kitchen towel on your counter (I prefer the flour sack variety) and cover it with a good dusting of flour. This will be your rolling surface, and after you are done, you can simply fold the towel up and take it outside to shake off the excess.
Roll out the dough, using a slightly floured rolling pin, to between 1⁄8 and 1⁄4-inch thickness. Next, using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.
Finally, bring your stock back to a rolling boil, and tear the cooked chicken breast into bite-size pieces, adding it back to the liquid. Once that is done, begin adding the strips of dumpling dough into the stock. Once all the strips have been added, give the pot a good stir, and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Check every few minutes, stirring gently, until the dumplings are tender and cooked through, about 15–20 minutes.
A Prayer for Maundy Thursday: An old mennonite song makes a wonderful prayer for Maundy Thursday – Sing the Journey
A Printable for Maundy Thursday –
Based on the traditional Seder Supper tradition of having four glasses of wine throughout the meal, each representing the four expressions of deliverance promised by God Exodus 6:6-7 : “I will bring out,” “I will deliver,” “I will redeem,” and “I will take.” Jerusalem has design a printable that you can give to each dinner guest, or print and deliver to neighbors with a jar of jam or bottle of wine. Frame with a dollar store clipboard or inexpensive frame or matte.
To download and print as many copies as you want, click HERE.
A Quote for Maundy Thursday: (based on Saltproject.org How to Respect Other Religions)
“How can we begin to show hospitality? Eat together. Pray together. Hold each other’s babies.” You can always visit Jerusalem at http://jerusalemgreer.com