In my latest release, Home is Where The Hunk is (Soul Mate Publishing), both my hero, Evan Carver, and his five-year-old son, Cody, love their housekeeper’s Chicken and Dumplings.
The recipe Maude uses is similar to my own mother’s. Unlike the usual fluffy dumplings, “slick” dumplings are thin and known to slide down your throat so easily you barely realize just how many you’ve actually eaten.
Chicken Stock Base:
1 whole cut up fryer (leave skin on but do try to remove some of the fattier edges)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 T good quality margarine or butter
1 T salt
3 quarts water
Wash the chicken thoroughly before cooking. Rub ½ of the salt into the chicken skin and set aside.
In large pot, melt margarine/butter over medium heat, cook onion until translucent. Add chicken, remaining salt, and water. Boil over medium heat until chicken is cooked through (approx. 40 minutes).
Strain broth from one pot to another to clarify. Set drained chicken aside until cooled enough to remove meat from bones, discarding the bones, skin and cooked onions. Break chicken up into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Strained broth (from base)
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into slices
2-3 ribs of celery, trimmed and cut into ¼ inch pieces
Simmer stock and vegetables on medium/low while making dumplings.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening
6-7 oz. very warm water
In a large bowl, mix flour salt and shortening with fingertips until no lumps remain. The mixture should resemble fine cornmeal.
Make a well in the center and add warm water gradually, stirring to make a soft dough ball.
Flour a clean surface and divide dough into two equal portions. Knead each portion on the floured surface 15-20 times. Roll each portion into a very thin triangle. Cut into 3 inch squares
Turn up the heat under the stock to a light boil. Carefully drop the dumplings one by one into the water. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the dumplings from sticking together. Your stock should take on a creamy texture as the dumplings cook. If necessary, cook in two separate batches, removing the first batch to a warm bowl using a slotted spoon. You can add a bit of the broth in the bowl to keep the dumplings warm.
Once all dumplings are cooked, add the cut up chicken to the pot and simmer for 2-3
A Blurb from Home is Where the Hunk Is: When globe-trotting photographer Allison Cain comes home to her family ranch in Montana it’s to get to know her nephew and to make amends with the widowed brother-in-law she’s left alone to raise his young son.
Evan Carver could never deny his late wife’s younger sister anything, despite the fact she’s been conspicuously absent over the past three years since her sister’s death. Now she’s home again on what she’s called an extended vacation. Evan’s first concern is for his son, Cody, and how his aunt’s visit will affect the five year old when she decides to return to her high profile career.
Allison has no intention of going back to work. In addition to getting to know Cody, she needs to confess her biggest secret to Evan. How do you tell the man you’ve always loved that you’re not just his son’s aunt, but also his mother?
Find Home is Where the Hunk Is at: Amazon
Find Nancy Fraser at: Website