This is another of my favorites; the only thing that I do differently is that I never use bacon drippings in my dumplings. In my opinion the bacon grease overpowers the taste of the dumplings.
After making the dumpling dough I knead the dough about 12 to 15 times. We like chewy dumplings and to get the chewy you have to develop a little gluten. I also make drop dumplings; I cut the dough into rough balls with the large side of a melon-baller and dust them with flour and stack them on a plate. I then dump the whole plate of dumplings into the broth and stir to separate.
I then return the broth to a boil, stir one more time, then reduce the heat to a bear simmer; cover and cook for 25 minutes without lifting the lid until done.
Southern Living CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
Makes 8 servings
Top-Rated Recipe, November 2001
Southern Living On-Line
1 (2 1/2-pound) whole chicken, cut up
2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
3 cups self-rising flour (I just use all-purpose flour and add 3 tsp. baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/3 cup shortening
2 teaspoons bacon drippings
1 cup milk
COVER chicken with water, and bring to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and next 3 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken, reserving broth in Dutch oven; cool chicken. Skim fat from broth; bring to a simmer.
SKIN, bone, and coarsely chop chicken. Add chicken, bouillon, and remaining salt and pepper to broth. Return to simmer.
COMBINE flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Cut in shortening and bacon drippings with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
TURN dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch pieces.
BRING broth mixture to a boil. Drop dumplings, a few at a time, into boiling broth, stirring gently. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring often, for 25 minutes. Prep: 30 min.; Cook: 1 hr., 30 min.