Today I will spotlight Home Chef Jessica Burks from Houston, Texas. She is already a fan of Chef Trent and has been following me and my fabulous Bolivian adventures for many years. (Could be because she is one of my favorite nieces...ha!)She has been cooking since she was a child, has grown into a beautiful young woman AND a top drawer gourmet home chef. I asked her to send me her best recipe and this is it. If it is her best it must be sensational so give it a try. (I know I will and maybe I will feature it on my chalkboard menu at La Luna Verde in Samaipata. It looks that good!) By the way, there are so many chickens in Bolivia. We must do our part to deplete the population or they will over-run the other farm animals by making barn blockades and such until they are completely in charge. Please do your part by eating more chicken!
Jessica’s Texas-Made Chicken & Dumplings
1 Whole Chicken, rinsed and dried
2 gallons Water
1 tbsp Fresh Sage
1 med Onion, Finely Chopped
1 tbsp Cracked Black Pepper
½ tbsp Sea Salt (Note from Chef Trent: I have found sea salt in Hypermaxi)
2 cups flour, self-rising (If you have a question about where to find this in Bolivia contact Chef Trent)
2 heaping tablespoon Karina shortening (any brand will do)
1 cup buttermilk (none in Bolivia yet...sorry!) (or ½ cup Whole milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
1 cup boiling water from chicken, cooled
Last But Surely Not Least:
½ cup butter, cold
2 cups milk
Cracked Black Pepper & Sea Salt to taste
In a large soup pot
combine first five ingredients. Let them simmer slowly for about an hour or until leg quarter comes off clean. Take chicken out to cool, along with ½ cup of the water it was boiled in. Debone the chicken and tear or cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Add back into water and set on med- low temp.
To prepare the dumpins, combine flour, shortening, buttermilk subsitution, and the cooled water you pulled from the chicken pot. (Make sure the water is cool or else your dumplins will fall apart once you drop them back in the boiling water.) Mix together with hands until a ball is formed and ingredients are combined (Don’t Overwork the Dough Now!). Once formed, use rolling pin to roll out on smooth, clean surface. Cut into 1 inch strips.
Pinch off 1 inch. pieces from strips and drop slowly back into boiling water. DO NOT STIR DUMPLINGS (They will fall apart)! Instead, take a ladle or spoon and push the dumplins down, gently now, until they are all covered. Add last of the ingredients, ½ cup of butter, 1 cup of milk and season to taste with Salt & Pepper.
Let everything simmer in the pot for about 45 minutes, GENTLY stirring every 10 minutes or so. We don’t want our dumplins burning to the bottom now do we? The longer you allow the dumplins to simmer, the thicker and heartier your Chicken & Dumplins will come out. Ladle into big ol’ bowls and serve pipin’ hot! My fiancé likes to add his favorite hot pepper sauce for a little spice, try it if you like a little kick! Enjoy!