Betsy Simons learned Southern cooking from her mother in the small town of Saluda, South Carolina. She brings that homestyle goodness to her 1950’s style diner in Aiken, Betsy’s on the Corner, complete with an old fashioned soda fountain. One of the top requested items is chicken and dumplings, which take comfort food to a whole other level.
We were fortunate to be able to eat at Betsy’s while filming in Aiken, and Betsy has been kind enough to share the recipe so you can try to make it at home.
Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Ingredients
1 whole fryer chicken
2 stalks celery, cut in large pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in large pieces
1 med. yellow onion, peeled, large diced
1 Tbls. salt
Approximately 2 qts. water
6 cups self-rising flour
Extra flour for working the dough
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
4 Tbls. butter
1 cup milk
Place fryer, celery, carrots, onion, and salt in large soup pot. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is “fall-off-the-bone” done. Remove chicken from broth, and when cool enough to handle, pick chicken off the bone, removing all skin. Dice the chicken into large pieces and set aside.
Strain broth and discard vegetables. Set aside about 2 cups broth. Return remaining broth to pot and bring to a boil. While the broth is heating, in a large bowl, stir reserved broth into self-rising flour to form a sticky dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until dough looses its stickiness. Roll dough out to about a¼” thickness. Cut into 1” strips, then cut again diagonally creating small dough squares. (I use a pizza cutter for this.) Generously spread cut dough with flour; then using a spatula or bench scrape, remove cut dough from cutting surface, tossing in the flour. (This is just to keep the dumplings from sticking together.)
Drop dumplings into boiling broth. Add chicken, loosely cover, and cook 25 minutes. Stir in eggs, butter, and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.