So...in our last installment, the rice became rice pudding. Now? The chicken must become Chicken and Dumplings of course. This recipe is not hard but there are a lot of moving parts, so I have broken it down into two segments to hopefully minimize the confusion. What do you make first? Why, the chicken stock of course...which is a very versatile component that gets quite a lot of mileage in our house. Typically after Thanksgiving I gather all the bones and spend a lazy Sunday making stock which will get frozen for use throughout the year. I always quietly hope my stash lasts till the following Thanksgiving...it never does. I love my stock.
Another reason why I chose to isolate this portion of the recipe is because of the aforementioned versatility. There will be recipes to come that will call for stock in large or small quantities, or places where I suggest swapping water for stock to get more flavor out of an otherwise bland element. Rather than repeat the recipe again, or have you schlog through the Chix and Dump recipe to fish out the stock directions, I have decided to let it be its own thing. Hopefully, though, once you've made it you will never have to look at the recipe again. It's not rocket science, but it is delicious.
Here we will be using the remnants of 'last night's' chicken to brew up this particular pot of liquid wonderful. First thing first, strip that bad boy of all usable meat and set aside. If you are terribly efficient you can chop the meat in preparation for the eventual dumlinging, but I don't really do efficient. Everything else will be detailed under the heading.