Courage, Charm and Chicken & Dumplings

Head shot of Terry Kirby, Red Sky, June Cline, Sandy Weaver Carman, Center for Laughing and Learning, Voicework on Demand, Happiness is Job One, happy, recipeTerry Kirby is a charming man who found out early in life that if he wanted something, he could get it by working for it. It started with a ten-speed and now is a successful restaurant that he and his partner started in 2008, just as the recession was settling in. His life story includes love, friendship and an incredible near-death experience where his assailant called him “sir.” June Cline and Sandy Weaver Carman love his restaurant, Red Sky, and love Terry, too. Push play on the podcast, spend 25 minutes with the three of them, and scroll down for his grandma’s chicken and dumpling recipe.

Terry Kirby’s Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings

4-5 lbs of chicken, either a whole chicken, cut into pieces, or thighs (my preference)
1 1/2 – 2 cups all purpose flour
2 quarts of chicken broth (not including the broth from cooking the chicken)
3 cans of Grands Biscuits, never use frozen “dumplings” (this is the time saver, unless you want to make enough dough for 30 biscuits)

Range/Stove ( 2 burners)
Rolling pin
cutting board
Pizza cutter
Large plate or cookie pan
plastic wrap or wax paper
Two 6 or 8 qt pots
Strainer or large slotted spoon (to scoop the dumplings out of the pot)

Place the chicken into one pot and cover with water, cooking on medium high heat until fully cooked. About 30 minutes.¬†While the chicken is cooking: lightly season the flour with salt and fresh ground pepper and sprinkle the flour over the cutting board and on the rolling pin. Place one or two biscuits on to the flour making sure to coat both sides of the biscuits with the flour and roll them out to about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch. Use the pizza cutter to cut the rolled out biscuits into approximately 1 1/4″ x 3/4″ pieces, then place the pieces onto the plate or cookie pan. Once the plate is covered in dough pieces, cover with plastic wrap or wax paper. These steps will be repeated over and over again. Don’t forget to check the chicken!

Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside while it cools. Remove any floating debris from your new broth and discard it. This pot should now be no more than 1/2 full. If it is, set aside the excess for future use. Add 1 quart of broth to the pot that you were using for the chicken and bring to a low boil. In the other pot, pour about 1/2 quart of broth and 1 cup of water then turn the heat to low. Slowly add the dumplings to the original pot, 15 or so at a time. Be careful not to let the pot boil over, gently stir if necessary. After about 5 minutes, use the strainer or spoon to check the dumplings by pulling a few out of the water. They are ready to transfer into the second pot once the dumplings are slightly translucent and puffed up. Continue this process until all of the dumplings are in the second pot, remembering to occasionally stir the second pot so the dumplings do not stick to the bottom. Use the excess broth in either pan as necessary while cooking. Check the fully cooked dumpling for the consistency that you want. If they are too thick with “gravy” you can add a little broth at a time to loosen them up. If they are too thin you can slowly cook down the liquid in the original pot and use that “gravy” to thicken the dumpling. This all depends on how you like your dumplings and how much flour you put on the dumplings before you started cooking them. Salt and pepper the dumplings to taste. Finally, remove the skin from the cooled chicken and shred it by hand, adding it to the dumplings as you go. Mix in the chicken and you, your friends and family are ready for a delicious treat made with lots of love. Now you know why grandma only made this once or twice a year!