Check out my review on the restaurant review page. I have all good things to say ab out this one.
Even though the weather warmed up a bit this week, I felt the need to make one of my favorite comfort foods. I did not make my momma's version, even though she makes a mean chicken and dumplings. She typically just uses chicken breast, and I wanted to use the whole chicken and make the broth. She uses Cream of Chicken soup to add to the broth, and I wanted to see if I could do it the way they did before Campbell invented cream soup. The first step was to boil a whole chicken, fat and all. Please don't buy a skinless chicken for this recipe. Basically, I stuck the chicken in the pot and covered it with water and added poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and parsley. I let the chicken boil for almost two hours. This led to a bit of difficulty in removing the chicken from the broth. It fell completely apart. I strained the broth from the chicken, saving the broth of course. I let the chicken cool a little and then pulled the meat from the bone. Then, it is time to make the dumplings. My momma typically uses self rising flour and cold water. I think I prefer this style best. I tried something a little different. I mixed together 2 cups of self rising flour with 1/2 cup skim milk, a 1/4 cup of oil, and an egg. Then I patted the dough out by hand and cut the dumplings and added to the boiling broth and chicken. I let the mixture boil for about 15 minutes. Do not mix the dumplings before they have cooked. They break apart, if you didn't know. This version was softer than my momma's. They still tasted pretty good, because the broth was excellent. My husband said it was more like something his mom made, so he was a fan. Just make sure you add plenty of pepper. Chicken and dumplings are nothing without pepper.
Southerners love Martha White. Why? If you are not old enough to have had a flour sack dress, then you have had plenty of friends and family tell you about it. I do remember flour coming with a wash cloth attached to the larger sacks. I was quite small, because all I could see was the bottom shelf if I recall. My friend Betty sent this picture. This one has a really nice pattern. I have seen photos of people in dresses that actually still have Martha White wrote across them. If you want to learn about recycling, go back in time. Everything was saved and reused. Anything could be made into clothing or a toy of some kind. Trust me, my daddy spent a lot of time creating toys out of things around our house. He worked 2nd shift, so he had us all day during the summers and much of that time he had our twin best friends. He was some sort of saint to try to entertain four girls. I remember spending an entire day "skating" on the carpet in the living room. He stuck two-sided tape to our socks. Children entertained. Back to Martha White. Of all the brands, this one is everywhere in my cooking. Another friend gave me an older Martha White cookbook. Betty reminded me of the connection of Martha White to the Grand Ole Opry. She is obsessed with Lester Flatt of Flatt and Scruggs. You may know them best as the people who created the theme song for "The Beverly Hillbillies." Anyway, take a few moments to express your love of Martha White today. I'm sure she will appreciate it. Maybe she will call me and tell me what to do with All Purpose Flour.
You are not a true Southerner unless you know of a gas station that serves a great breakfast. My dad always went to one that was a gas station and auto parts store. The one that I like best also sells fishing poles and tackle, and you will stand in line on a Saturday morning to get your food. My favorite gas station breakfast is on the way to what I consider the best flea market in the world - mostly for its corn dogs and roasted peanuts (I am sorry; I am not a boiled peanut gal). Anyway, it is quite a ways to that gas station, so I decided to make my favorite at home - pork tenderloin biscuit. Yes, I did use a frozen biscuit. This does not happen at the gas station; they have a man who makes wonderful homemade biscuits right beyond the magazine stand in the store. My biscuits still turn out like hockey pucks. I will let you know if that changes. I started with cubed pork tenderloin. I floured the tenderloin, put it through an egg wash and floured it again. I think using the term egg wash makes me sound like I know what I'm doing. I had mixed salt and pepper with the flour. Then, just put it in hot canola oil and start frying. I will have to say that this was a pretty successful experiment. It was just almost as good as the gas station food. I can't say that about everything I cook.