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Chicken and Dumplings

4 lb chicken, cut into serving pieces
3 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 celery ribs
1 lge onion, halved
2 Tbsp chopped parsley

2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp shortening
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp 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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