Mom’s Chicken and Dumplings

This is, for me, the ultimate comfort food: thick, creamy sauce covering soft, home made dumplings and juicy pieces of chicken. It beats mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, fettuccine alfredo. It’s the best of come-on-home Southern cooking. This is the recipe from my Mom’s book, verbatim. I think she copied it from her Mom’s recipe card… also verbatim. It sounds just like my Memaw explaining a recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 hen, boiled or pressure cooked
1 fryer
1 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 cups cold water
1 stick butter
Pepper, to taste
Milk

Instructions:

The night before, mix shortening, salt, flour and water. Add more flour if needed for the dough. Roll out on a floured board in small amounts, real thin, and cut in slices; lay strips on floured cookie sheets and cover with wax paper. Allow to stand overnight. The next day, boil or pressure cook the hen until tender. Cook fryer until tender; then remove the bones from broth, and set meat aside. Put the broth from both the fryer and hen in a large roaster or pot and bring to a boil. Add dumpling strips to boiling broth and cook until they are done, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add butter and pepper. Now add the meat and enough milk to make the whole real juicy.