Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mom's Chicken and Dumplings

My mom was a fabulous cook.  She was one of those cooks who measured by a "pinch" of this and a "dab" of that. We were after her all the time for more precise measurements.  "How much, mom? How much?"  It's really hard to duplicate those pinch and dab recipes, so I really never tried to make her delicious chicken and dumplings.

My sister and I were down home a couple of weeks ago for some Papa time. Tracy came across multiple copies of mom's handwritten recipe with actual measurements. What a find!

Sometimes in the struggle of juggling work, baby, house, bills, school and just life alone...I miss my mom. She was the great encourager when it came to tackling life as it comes and making the most of every situation. "You can do it! I know you can!" Despite the petty criticisms most daughters endure with our moms, I always knew that if she believed in me, I would be ok!

It was one of those days; one of those weeks missing mom.  Then I remembered the recipe for chicken and dumplings. I pulled it out and in one hour, viola~ I have mom's homemade chicken and dumplings. Delicious! Not only did it make me feel closer to mom, but Gracie helped me cook. She's a quick study, learning the best part of cooking is stirring, then licking the spoon. She did a great job rolling out the dough and my fingers. It was a memory cherished and a memory made with my little girl. The dumplings were yummy.  They weren't quite as good as mom's, but we are on our way.  I talked to Tracy this week. Guess what she made over the weekend?  Yes, she made mom's chicken and dumplings.

So for those of you who want a good southern chicken and dumpling recipe, I am happy to share this one. No family secrets here! Mom loved to share her recipes and goodies with others. I plan to fix a batch for the neighbors soon. Enjoy!

Nellie's Chicken and Dumplings
In medium size bowl, beat 1 egg well. Add 1 cup chicken broth, 1 TBS melted butter or margarine and 1 1/4 tsp salt, mixing well. Gradually add 2 cups all purpose flour. Mix well. Dough will be stiff and sticky. Add more flour if needed. Divide into thirds. Roll out onto well floured surface to about 1/8 in thick. Cut into desired size, shape dumpling. Drop into 6-8 cups of HOT (boiling) chicken broth in large pot. Use fork to separate dumpling and keep them from sticking to each other while dropping into the pot. Leave on high heat until bubbly then turn down to low. Cover and cook until done. Add cooked, de-boned chicken to dumplings. Shortcut: use canned chicken broth. Uncooked dumplings can be frozen for future use. Enjoy!


Jessica said...

Carmen, thank you so much for the recipe. Anything that has to do with my wonderful grandmother is held very dear to my heart. I miss that woman every day and am thankful to come across anything that will remind me of her. The chicken and dumplings that she made for all of us in her family were a favorite and i am now glad that i will be able to make them for my own children and they can be a favorite of theirs as well.
Love always your neice,
Jessica Lynn

Anonymous said...

Carmen, thank you! I cannot tell you how much I've been missing Aunt Nellie's chicken and dumplings.

I know it might sound silly/exaggerated, but honest to goodness, I was thinking JUST YESTERDAY that I need a good c&d recipe. But then I thought "some stranger's recipe off the 'net won't taste right. Nothing will compare." And so I just quit searching for a recipe, then and there.

And now today,I find your mother's recipe in the archives of your blog. Sometimes, Carmen, I forget what it's like to have a sense of family. Finding your mom's recipe here was exactly what I needed this morning. And yes, I'm aware that that probably makes no true sense to anyone but me. :)

Love you, Carmen. Miss you. Miss Tracy. You can't possibly know how much I miss you, and wish...

Bleh. I have to go study for that four chapter Microeconomics test we're taking today. And the final is in just a few days. I can't satisfy my addiction to A's by sitting here crying. Time to shake it off and redirect my thoughts and energy.

Thanks for the recipe, the morning smiles, and the nostalgia.

Love always,