Ma Ma's Chicken and Dumplings
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1-1/3 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Pour the chicken broth into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and when the broth returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer the chicken for 18-20 minutes. To be sure it is cooked completely you can remove one of the breasts and insert a probe thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees. Remove breasts from the broth and set aside to cool enough to handle. Leave the broth simmering.
For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Use your fingers to work in the shortening, pinching it and incorporating it through the flour mixture. Mix in one cup of the hot broth and one cup of buttermilk. Dough should be about the same consistency as biscuit dough. Place the dough on a floured surface and work in enough flour so that you can use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to just a little thicker than piecrust.
Bring the stock broth up to a boil. Use a knife to cut bite-size pieces of the dough, dropping them into the boiling broth. As the dumplings are cooking, remove the meat skin from the chicken breasts and tear the meat into bite-size pieces.
The dumplings will only need to cook for 2-3 minutes. You can tell they are done when they begin to float and puff out just a bit. Stir in the butter and remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk to thicken the broth. Add the chicken pieces and serve immediately. This will make about four adult-