When the folks at Harvestland contacted me about developing a recipe using their products I got really excited about it. I’m pretty picky about who I do this for… I look at you guys as part of the family and my deciding factor for determining who I do sponsored posts for it pretty simple: if I wouldn't tell my mama she ought to try it, I’m not going to tell you to.
So once I did a little research about them and tried their products for myself, I was totally on board. You can read all about what makes their products taste better here but aside from the better quality meat, the thing that really spoke to me about Harvestland is their “eat like your ancestors” campaign.
Y’all know how much my county upbringing and old family recipes mean to me so working with a company who has devoted so much to getting back to your roots really appealed to me.
I decided to make chicken and dumplings like Nanny used to. I used a whole chicken, cooked it down low and slow to make a rich, flavorful stock and hand-cut homemade dumplings to go in it. It takes a little time to make something like this from scratch but I enjoyed every minute of it. There’s something so therapeutic and calming about loving on a dish all day. And the reward of serving it to the people you love makes it worth every minute.
Nanny didn't make doughy dumplings. She made more of a pastry (some folks even call this preparation ‘chicken and pastry’ instead of ‘chicken and dumplings’). You can use this recipe to make your dumplings the way you like them best. You can roll them thicker if that’s what you like. You can add them to the pot immediately after cutting them if you like them doughier (the longer they ‘air out’ the less doughy they will be).
Nanny’s Chicken & Dumplings
Chicken & Stock:
1 large whole Harvestland chicken
5 cups water
2 stalks celery, quartered
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups self-rising flour, plus more
4 tablespoons shortening or lard
1/3 cup ice-cold water (approximately)
Make the Dumplings:
For pastry-style dumplings (more like a large, thick noodle), make the dumplings now so that they can dry out for two hours before starting the chicken. For doughy dumplings, proceed to cooking the chicken then make the dumplings after you've cooked the chicken.
Cut shortening into flour in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or paddle attachment of a stand mixer until shortening is pea-sized. Slowly mix water into flour just until dough pulls away from the bowl and starts to form a ball.
Turn dough out onto liberally floured surface and knead 2-3 times. Roll dough out to desired thickness (I rolled mine out pretty dang thin – about 1/8 of an inch). Sprinkle dough with more flour (about 1/4 cup - the extra flour will help to thicken the broth). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into 1”x2” strips.
Cook the chicken and make the stock:
Add chicken, water, celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme to a large pot or Dutch oven then bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let pot rest on the burner, covered, for 1 more hour.
Remove chicken and vegetables from stock using a slotted spoon. Discard vegetables. Remove skin and bones from chicken then chop chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set chicken aside.
Bring it all together:
Bring chicken stock to a low boil over medium-high heat. One-by-one, add the dumplings to the boiling stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and let the dumplings cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the chopped chicken to the pot and carefully stir. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 5 more minutes.
Cover pot, turn off heat then let the pot rest for 15 minutes or until broth is thickened. Serve and enjoy!
Oh, I almost forgot! We usually add 3-4 sliced boiled eggs too! I didn't this time because I was slap out of eggs! This is, of course, optional but I like it best with the eggs!
This blog post and recipe are sponsored by HARVESTLAND®. As always, all opinions are my own.