Yes, it’s true. Big Daddy did not marry me for my brains (which are twisted) or my beauty (which is questionable). He did, in fact, marry me for my chicken ‘n dumplins. It’s okay, though. I’ve come to terms with it. For the undying love of a man for both me and my daughter, all I have to do is make chicken ‘n dumplins. Much like the cornbread/tamale trade, I get the better end of the deal.
Besides, I have an uncle who once had a baby with a woman just because she made good biscuits.
I know you want to know about this one, so here’s the story:
I have an uncle who’s been married twice. With his first wife, he had two sons. They divorced. He later married a woman with whom he has a daughter. In between wives, he had a son with a woman whom he never married. The boy is a mysterious, mythical creature really, since our typically tight-knit family’s never spent time with him.
One Sunday afternoon, as we sat around the table at the local Southern buffet like a white version of the Klumps, the subject of the boy came up. My mom, the curious one, asked my uncle, “So, why did you have a baby with her?” Then, she said, “You know, you don’t have to procreate with these women. You could just date them.”
My uncle, a funny man with the matter-of-factness of a man who’s lived through a lot and has, later in life, become totally sold out to Jesus, and feels like he has nothing to hide because he’s been thoroughly and completely washed in the Blood, quipped, “Because she made good biscuits.”
(I can’t make this stuff up. Sadly, it’s my real life.)
That’s it. As it turns out, the way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach, so ladies listen up and heed my advice: make the chicken ‘n dumplins. Tonight. Hallelujah. Amen.
Oh, and there’s a super secret involved here, so if you tell anyone, then…well, you know what comes next.
Here’s what you need:
1 whole chicken (If you want to cheat on this part and buy one of those already roasted ones from the Piggly Wiggly, I won’t judge. They’re flavorful!)
1 4-pack of the cheap, canned biscuits (Get the cheap ones!)
chicken stock (I prefer it to broth, as it is more flavorful. You really only need one of these, depending on your dumplin’-to-liquid ratio preference.)
black pepper (not pictured)
Start like this:
Take the guts out of the chicken.
If you want, try to feed them to your dog and watch her work them around in her mouth and eventually spit them out. Laugh like a mad woman because you know that (a) watching her do that is funny and (b) the laughter will keep you from crying because you know that you have a dog on your hands who would prefer to have her food warmed up, thank you. It will keep up from shooting yourself. Or anybody else.
Put the chicken in the Crock, cover with water, and cook on low for about 8 hours.
While that’s cooking, go watch NG2 help the Baby Girl with her homework. Smile, because even though you have a “special” dog, you have 3 of the best girls in the world living under your roof.
When the chicken’s done, put a colander inside the stock pot and drain the chicken into it. The chicken will fall apart in the colander, and the good juice will be caught in the pot below for use in a minute.
Then, set the juice aside, and dump the chicken onto a plate. Cut it open so the steam can escape and it can cool.
Once, it’s cool, start pulling it apart and putting it in the juice. If needed, add more stock. I added one container of the stock above.
If you have bought a store-roasted chicken to use instead, you can skip everything before now. Just put two containers of stock in a pot, pull the chicken apart, add it to the stock and join us now.
At this point, the stock, with the chicken in it, needs to be brought up to a boil. When it’s rolling, begin adding the dumplins. Now, a better woman than me would mix them from scratch and roll and cut them. But, I’m busy. So this is my secret. Don’t tell it because, if you do, I’ll have to hunt you down, and (again) I’m busy.
Here’s my tip: open all the cans and dump the biscuits out on the counter. Get a kid or two and tell them to come help. Stir the pot constantly while the kid/s break each biscuit into fourths and drop them in the boiling stock/chicken.
If it’s not stirred, the starch in the biscuits will cause it to stick (personal experience), and you’ll have a big mess to clean up (again, with the experience), and it will taste scorched (once again).
Keep stirring/dropping biscuits until they’re all in:
Oh, and at this point, add the black pepper. I like alot, but the fam likes a smaller amount, so I add some to the pot then more to my bowl later.
Add some salt, too, if you want. Give her a taste test to see what she needs.
Keep stirring until it reaches the consistency you want. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will get as the liquid evaporates.
We stopped when it looked like this:
Let it cool ‘cuz it’s like liquid lava at this point.
Ladies, much like Jean Nate, it’s the good stuff that draws the flies.
This is better leftover. I hate leftovers and don’t say that much, but it’s true for this. Put it in a Tupperware in the fridge and warm up some tomorrow. It’ll bless your heart.
And maybe get you your own Big Daddy, if you’re in the market.
Printable recipe card: click, print, cut and go.