Few recipes are more Southern or downright delicious than chicken and dumplings. Most folks won't get any more fancy with seasonings than parsley. The truth is that other fresh herbs, like chives, tarragon, or savory, are also good.
Both Roxie and my mother made amazing chicken and dumplings. But my first experience with the dish was from my mom’s recipe, which had really fluffy dumplings. Roxie’s dumplings were more flat and dense. They were good, but they didn’t look right to me. I’ll never forget the look on her face when I told her she was making her dumplings wrong. Thinking back now, I’m lucky I ever had Sunday dinner at her house again. Though their recipes were different, they did share the same secret, which is to start the day before so that you can remove the fat. In the South? Remove the fat? Yes, it is heresy, but it is true. Chicken and dumplings is just a better dish without the fat.
Perfect for a cold, rainy night, chicken and dumplings is a classic American comfort food dish that I originally found a recipe for in the Little Big Book of Comfort Food, but has evolved over time since I began making it in the easiest of all cooking appliances — the slow cooker. I also like to keep the cut of the vegetables large so that they retain some toothsomeness. While not exactly soup, the hot, steaming broth, large cut of tender chicken, aromatic vegetables, and boiled chive dumplings served in a shallow bowl equal a warming, hearty meal.
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