Gumbo Alternative: Grammie’s Chicken And Dumplings
When the cooler weather takes over in Acadiana, we can't stop cooking gumbo. Seafood gumbo, chicken and sausage gumbo, shrimp and okra gumbo. Truth be told, the gumbo pot rarely gets put away after being washed. It normally goes back on the stove for the next gumbo.
This may be blasphemous, but eventually we get tired of it. You can only eat so much, so we have a go-to "gumbo alternative": Grammie's Chicken and Dumplings. "Grammie" is what my kids call my mom and she will probably be mad that I'm sharing her 'easy' recipe for our family favorite. Now these are not "biscuit type" dumplings, but dough strips that cook down into a creamy soup.
There is a "from scratch" version, but this one is just as good and takes less than half the time. It's something that can be cooked in one pot, has only a few ingredients and warms your body to the core. Just like gumbo!
Grammie's Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 pack (1.5 lb) frozen strip dumplings - We use Mary B's Dumplings Value Pack
- These need to be defrosted and soft before you start cooking
- 2 12 oz. cans evaporated milk
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- salt to taste
Place whole chicken (giblets removed) into a stock pot. Cover with water. You'll want water to come about an inch over the uncooked chicken. Season water with garlic powder, black pepper and salt to taste. You may need more salt by the end, but don't over salt on the front end. Bring water to a boil until chicken is cooked all the way through. (Roughly 90 minutes for a 6lb chicken)
Remove chicken from pot, set aside to cool. Keep chicken stock at a rolling boil. Skim the top of the boiling water for any fat or chicken pieces that may have fallen off. You want a clean broth as a base. Add two cans of evaporated milk and continue to boil. Cut dumplings into thirds and add them one by one into the broth. Add the entire package and continue stirring so they don't stick together or to the pot. Cook for 45 minutes.
When chicken is cool pull chicken from the bone and dice it. When the dumplings are cooked (soft, but not chewy) add the cut up chicken to the pot. The dumplings are ready to serve. The broth will be soup-like, but will thicken when cooled. Enjoy!