This is an American comfort food classic which I have often made camping. The first time I remember making it, I was at Pine Springs Campground in the Guadeloupe Mountains National Park in West Texas. I had the entire dish in the pan on the stove cooking away, and was sitting in a camping chair waiting for it to be done, when I felt something like a cat brush my leg, except that the fir seemed stiffer than cat fur. I looked down and was disgusted to see that a skunk had brushed my leg. Fortunately, the skunk and I maintained a non-aggression pact, and eventually the skunk went away, with no harm and no foul. The next night we were very careful to remove skunk attractants from our campsite.
Two key tips are to ensure that the dumplings are heated until they are fully cooked, and to be patient enough for that to happen. On another camping trip, I felt rushed by everyone’s hungry eyes, and I stirred the dumplings to cook them more quickly. I ended up with something a lot more like chicken with dressing, instead of chicken with dumplings, as all of the sauce got absorbed by the dumplings.
These amounts are for 5 servings.
10 chicken drumsticks
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cups bisquick
1-2/3 cup milk
2 cups, chicken broth
Put a few tablespoons of flour in a large ziplock baggy with the chicken drumsticks and shake to coat them. Lightly brown the chicken in 2 Tbs. of oil and then remove from the pan. Add the chopped vegetables and some more oil if necessary, and sauté until soft. Add three Tbs. of flour and continue sautéing until the flour is browned. Stir in one cup of the milk and the 2 cups of chicken broth, and return the chicken to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Make the dumplings by mixing together the bisquick and the 2/3 cup of milk. Add the dumplings to the top in spoon fulls, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are fully cooked through.