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Comfort Food: Chicken & Dumplings

This week I have been craving comfort food. So I decided to make one of my favorites. My grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings recipe. Not only did she make this often when we visited, but my mom made it at home as well while I was growing up. So to me, it tastes like home feels.

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I learned so much about cooking from time in the kitchen with my grandmother. And to this day some of my favorite made-from-scratch recipes are recipes I learned from her and my mom. Including chicken & dumplings.

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I know a lot of people like the biscuit dropping method of dumplings, but I grew up on the shortening ones that you roll out. It’s a little more work, but so very worth it.

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Momma Billie’s Chicken & Dumplings

Ingredients:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
10 cups of water
1 tsp sage
½ tsp salt

3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup – 3/4 cup water

4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 drops yellow food coloring

Directions:

1. Stew chicken in the water in a large pot. Season water with sage and salt while cooking.

2. While chicken is cooking, whisk together flour and salt. Using a dough blender, cut in shortening until evenly distributed into flour mixture. Add water, beginning with just 1/2 cup adding more as needed, and mix until it forms a dough (consistency of pie crust). Divide dough in half; refrigerate second half.

3. Roll dough out on a cutting board covered with a generous amount of flour. Cut dough into thin strips (about 1″). Place strips on a plate. Do the same with the refrigerated second half of dough.

4. Remove chicken from broth. Add chicken bouillon cubes to broth and a few drops of yellow food coloring for eye appeal and bring to boil. Drop dough one piece at a time into boiling broth. Press them down into broth if necessary. Reduce heat and simmer. Move dumplings around gently several times as they cook (about 25 minutes).

5. While dumplings are cooking, chop up or shred the chicken. When dumplings are done add chopped chicken back to pot and heat for a minute or two. Salt and pepper to taste.

We don’t make this very often because… well… flour and shortening are two of the main ingredients. Not exactly ideal for this health conscious family. 😉 But some days just call for comfort food. And in times like these, I’m grateful for recipes like this.

What is your favorite comfort food?

Love Rach

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My Grandmother’s Blueberry Muffin Recipe

From the time that I was a little girl until I was a college student, whenever I visited my mom’s parents there were a few things I could always expect. Normal things like warm hugs, laughter, and love, of course. But other constants as well.

with MB and DK(with my grandparents when I was a teenager)

For example, I could always count on my grandfather to offer a hair cut or trim if I wanted one (he was a barber and the only one who cut my hair until just a couple of years ago).

I could always count on him to make as many eggs as I wanted prepared any way I’d like (this was my favorite as a kid and I often ate half a dozen eggs for breakfast at their house – jokes were made about my future cholesterol, but I’ll have you know it’s still perfect today 😉 ).

And I could always count on waking up in the morning to the aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins. From the time I was a small child, that was the first thing that would greet me every morning as I woke up. The warm scent of blueberry muffins wafting back to the bedroom. Eagerly I would bound out of bed and run straight for the kitchen where, without fail, my grandmother would be pulling a fresh batch out of the oven.

with momma billie 1987.jpg(with my grandmother in December 1987 when I was 6 months old)

My grandmother lost her fight with cancer while I was in college. But only after beating the odds for 20 years. There are no words for how grateful I am to have had her in my life for those years. Today I am thinking of her and I wanted to share her blueberry muffin recipe with you guys. 🙂

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Momma Billie’s Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in dry ingredients until just moistened.

3. Fill 12 greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Every time I bake these and my house is filled with this sweet aroma, I am reminded of my grandmother. I might be a bit biased, but if you are looking for the best blueberry muffin recipe of your life, this is it. 🙂

Were there certain things you could always count on when visiting grandparents/aunts & uncles/etc growing up?

Love Rach