Thursday,fall officially begins and for me it is a time for celebrating the joys of cooking. The crisp cool mornings rejoice of the coming season.The landscape becomes a parade of pumpkins on beds of straw surrounded by bouquets of mums and the scarecrows that are keeping a close watch over them. Fall brings about such wonderful memories for me growing up on a small farm. Each year as autumn approaches my mind drifts back to those days.
As a child it meant coming home from school to a house filled with an aroma that would comfort the weariest of souls. One of my fondest memories was my mother’s homemade chicken and dumplings. When it comes to comfort food this is and has remained at the top of the list. While my mother made her dumplings from scratch,I adapted the recipe to fit our families busy lifestyle without giving up any of the flavor in this wonderful dish. For me,this is the perfect ending to a busy day.
Chicken and Dumplings
8 pieces of chicken (2 1/2 lbs.)
2 celery stalks
1 tsp. Red Monkey Garlic Salt
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans cream of chicken
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup half and half milk
1 can crescent rolls
Place chicken pieces, bay leaves,garlic salt and celery in stock pot and cover with water. Cook chicken on medium high for approx 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and remove 1/2 cup of the broth. Keep broth in pot on low heat. Allow chicken to cool until it can be handled safely. Remove the skin and chicken from the bone,discard the skin.Place the chicken pieces back into the pot. Add the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the 1/2 cup of broth and mix making a paste, set aside. (To make it more like a soup omit the cornstarch and broth mixture).
Bring the broth to a boil and add 2 chicken bullion cubes and the 2 cans of cream of chicken. Mix well. Whisk the cornstarch and broth mixture making sure that there are no lumps. Add the 1 cup of half and half and stir until completely mixed. Turn heat to medium and cut crescent roll into small squares. Add the squares to the mixture and coat dumplings with soup ,then cover. Do not remove lid as the steam from the soup is the secret to moist dumplings. Allow dumplings to cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Dumplings will float to the top when they are done. Grind fresh Red Monkey pepper medley over the top and serve in soup bowls.