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Chicken and Dumplings
4 pounds chicken - cut into serving pieces
3 cups water
2 cups chicken broth - strong
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove - minced -- (about 1 tsp)
1 1/2 celery ribs
1 large e onion - halved
2 tablespoons parsley - chopped
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons flour - mixed with 1/3 cup water
To make chicken stew: Place chicken in a 4-quart Dutch oven with the water, broth, salt, white pepper, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and skim foam for a minute or two. Reduce heat to a simmer and add garlic, celery, onion, and parsley. Cover and simmer gently 1-1/4 hours before adding dumplings.
To make dumplings: Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together. With a fork or pastry blender (or in a food processor), work the shortening into the flour mixture until the texture is that of cornmeal.
Rapidly stir in buttermilk. Form dough into a ball and with floured hands knead it on a floured board for a few seconds, until bouncy. Roll out dough into a square or rectangle 1/2 inch thick and cut it into 1-1/2 inch squares. Drop into the hot chicken stew when the chicken is nearly done, cover the pot again and simmer 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove chicken and dumplings to a platter or serving dish. Off heat, stir the flour paste into the broth left in the pot. Return to low heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened to a gravy. Pour the gravy over the chicken and dumplings and serve immediately.
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