Ebony’s Stewed Chicken and Dumplings
This warming dish remains a constant in African American cuisine. Comforting and indulgent, it follows a formula that was familiar to Ebony’s audience. Published in 1962, the original recipe from the food editor Freda DeKnight called for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound stewing hen which, she wrote, could take 2 to 3 1/2 hours to cook “depending on the age and quality of the bird.” Today, smaller, fresh young chickens are readily available in most supermarkets, so the meat becomes tender much more quickly, making it easier to dig into this one-bowl meal even faster.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1(4-pound) whole chicken
- ½cup chopped onion
- ½cup chopped celery with tops
- 1 ½teaspoons fine salt
- ½teaspoon flavor enhancer, such as Ac’cent or chicken bouillon granules
- ¼teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼teaspoon paprika
- 1cup all-purpose flour
- 2teaspoons baking powder
- ½teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½teaspoon fine salt
- ½cup whole milk
- 2tablespoons finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
Step 1Prepare the chicken: Cut the chicken into 8 pieces with the back bones (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings). You also can buy the chicken already cut up. Place in a large, heavy cooking pot or Dutch oven and add the onion, celery, salt, flavor enhancer, garlic salt, paprika and enough cold water to just cover the meat (about 4 cups).
Step 2Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim any foam from the surface, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is almost completely tender, about 45 minutes.
Step 3When the chicken is almost done, make the dumplings: Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the milk and stir to form a thick, smooth batter.
Step 4Uncover the pot and drop heaping teaspoons of the dumpling batter on top of the chicken, spacing apart slightly. Sprinkle with the parsley and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes without lifting the lid. If you cut into a dumpling, the dough should be cooked through to the center. Serve the chicken and dumplings on a platter or in serving dishes, garnished with more parsley.