Do You Put Veggies In Your Chicken & Dumplings? The Great Texas Debate
A few years ago, my husband and I posted a question on Facebook about our dinner. Dinner that night happened to be chicken and dumplings, and the question we posed was 'Does chicken and dumplings have vegetables, or JUST chicken and dumplings?'
My husband was of the opinion that we add peas and carrots to the mix. My response was that I have only eaten chicken and dumplings with those two ingredients and nothing else (not counting salt and pepper, of course!)
The overwhelming response from my Texas-born relatives was that you can't add vegetables to chicken and dumplings, because then you make pot pie filling or stew. Here's the problem: once you add another ingredient, it's no longer chicken and dumplings, but chicken with vegetables and dumplings.
Of course, there were several people who said they didn't care, as long as someone was making dinner!
So I did some digging around, and found some interesting information. According to Eat This, Not That, the most popular slow cooker dish in Texas is actually French Onion soup. What?! Arkansas and Delaware are the states with chicken, dumplings, and veggies simmering in their crockpot.
None of this is accurate, at least not from what I remember eating at my Aunt Thelma's house in Robinson, Texas. She got her way of making chicken and dumplings from my grandmother, who made things without needing a recipe, but after quite a bit of research, I discovered a set of instructions that seemed to be the most accurate version of what I grew up eating.
'Chicken and Drop' dumplings are ok if you're hungry. No offense to the fans of that dish, but the only time I feel I'm eating REAL dumplings is if they are rolled out flat, dumped in the broth, and cooked along with the chicken. My dad was born in Iowa and did not care for chicken and dumplings made the Texas way. He didn't understand what the appeal was, and he never ate the dish growing up.
I believe this is the key. If you grow up eating a dish a certain way, that's just the way it's supposed to be for you. When offered an alternate option of the same thing, it doesn't feel right. Perhaps that's why everyone had such a passionate opinion on the chicken and dumpling debate.
Give us your thoughts and recipes. We'll see if we can come up with a winner winner chicken dinner, and announce the results in the New Year.