A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from November 25, 2008
Chicken and Dumplings (Slickers)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Chicken and dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings is a popular soul food dish commonly found in the United States that is made by combining the two ingredients in its name. A dumpling in this context is a mixture of flour, shortening, and water or milk, formed into a ball. Chicken and dumplings is a combination of boiled chicken meat, the broth produced by boiling the chicken, multiple dumplings, and salt and black pepper for seasoning.

History
Chicken and Dumplings were first introduced in the early 17th century in what would become the USA. Dumpling is a British word.

International versions
Although the Dumpling has been around for many generations, each culture has their own way of individualizing the basic recipe of dumplings. While there are other international versions of chicken and dumplings, the Chinese culture has the Wonton which is similar to the Chicken and dumplings as we know it today. Additionally, the Iranian-Jewish dish called Gundi includes matzah ball dumplings which are also common in central European food.

Since the creating of the dumpling, various meats aside from chicken have accompanied it such as Beef, Lamb and Pork.

The Chinese culture associates symbolic meanings to various foods. “Chicken symbolizes happiness and is said to lead to a long, happy marriage. Dumplings and pot stickers convey good wishes toward one’s family.” Dumplings are available in many myriad Chinese or other East Asian restaurants. Dumplings are also available in other restaurants, but the menu selection is often less myriad and/or varied.

Cooking chicken
When looking at ways to cook a Chicken, there are different types of meals, as well as seasonings that can be used. The most common way to cook chicken and dumplings is either over the stove or in the oven. Using slow roasted meat can help create a mouth-watering meal. However while cooking chicken, there are simple precautions that must be taken into consideration to ensure that the meat has no bacteria which can lead to more problems. When in fact cooking chicken for Chicken Dumplings, one could pre cook the chicken in the oven, and then add the dumpling to it before it is completely cooked. One can carve a chicken in many ways, some of which are recommended and some of which are not recommended by many chefs. Different carvings change the texture of not only the chicken, but of the dumpling or dumplings involved. Adding the dumpling after the chicken is completely cooked is another common and tasty culinary attempt that does not have the same risk of bacteria in it.

Food Network
Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula’s Home Cooking
Episode: Cooking for a crowd
Ingredients
Chicken:

1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup
Dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Ice water (...)

Recipe Goldmine
Chicken and Slicks
Slicks are rolled-out flat dumplings, not the round kind.

1 cut-up chicken
1 1/2 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup Crisco
1/2 cup milk

Cover chicken with water, and let simmer until tender. Remove bones and return meat to water.

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in Crisco; add milk, mixing well. Knead lightly, then roll to a 1/8-inch thickness, cut into squares. Drop squares into pan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Slicker Dumplings:
Seasoned chicken, turkey or beef broth
All-purpose flour

Put seasoned broth into a mixing bowl. Add flour a little at a time, mixing after each addition. Keep adding flour until you can handle mixture. Roll out to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into squares. Drop into boiling broth. Cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Google Books
December 1888, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, pg. 878:
“We are going to have boiled chicken and dumplings, pet, but they won’t be done in a long time.”

9 April 1892, Waterloo (Iowa) Daily Courier, pg. 1, col. 6 ad:
CASEBEER’S
O.K. RESTAURANT AND LUNCH COUNTER
(...)
ENTREE.
Friccasee of Chicken with Dumplings. 30c

1 December 1893, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg. 1, col. 2:
Their bill of fare included chicken and dumplings, bread, cookies and coffee.

Chronicling America
9 May 1901, Hazel Green (KY) Herald, pg. 4, col. 1:
All three of these ladies were born and brought up near each other in Tazewell county, Va., and it is amusing to a kentuckian to hear them talk of old times, and to see how they always manage to fix up the “chicken and dumplings” for each other.

19 November 1907, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “What Did the Turkey Say?”, pg. 4:
“I think chicken and dumplings should be the fad.”
“Thanksgiving for turkeys is certainly sad.”
-- Miss Azalice Tiller, Box 977, Diamond Hill, Fort Worth.

15 August 1909, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, section 2?, pg. 1, col. 1:
This means that the threshes have been busy, and it means that wherever you go in the country the ladies have good home-ground flour for biscuits in the mornings, slick dumplings with the chicken stews and crust for the berry pies, apple pies, peach pies—this flour made at our home mills is not so white but it’s much better; break a biscuit and smell the wheat, and the man that can’t eat had better apply for a room in the sanitarium for incurables.

5 June 1932, San Antonio (TX) Express, “Menger Chef Will Be Guest at June Food Exposition,” pg. 6A, col. 2:
Her (Martha Jane Heath—ed.) menu will include chicken with “slick” dumplings (as distinguished from “fluffy” dumplings in the minds of Southern folk),... 

11 June 1932, San Antonio (TX) Express, pg. 16, col. 3:
Old South Menu Featuring Dish
Of Chicken, Dumplings prepared
At Express-News Food Exposition

Admitting that she did not recommend a steady diet of boiled chicken and slick dumplings from a dietetic standpoint, but that she wished her students to at least know the joy of tasting this old Southern main dish, properly prepared, Martha Jane Heath held the attention of a large audience of women Friday afternoon as they followed each step in the preparation of a typical “Old South” menu at San Antonio Express-Evening News June Food Exposition. 

19 June 1932, San Antonio (TX) Express, “Woman’s Paage Edited by Martha Jane Heath,” pg. 6D, col. 5:
Chicken and “Slick” Dumplings.
One nice fat hen. Boil until tender in enough water to have an amount for gravy. Make dumplings of three cups flour, one cup of shortening or half shortening, half butter, one teaspoon of salt and one half teaspoon of baking powder. Enough cold water to moisten. Roll very thin. Cut in two-inch strips four inches long. Remove chicken from pot. Drop dumplings, a few at a time until all have been added. Return chicken and cook until done.

Google Books
1937, American Speech, pg. 153:
SLICKERS. Chicken dumplings.

29 September 1938, Middlesboro (KY) Daily News, “Tidbits of Kentucky Folklore” by Jordan WIlson, pg. 7, col. 4: 
SLICKERS
Not many will recognize the title of today’s essay as applying to anything to cut. More refined people call them, even in my time and place, dumplings. If I can keep my mouth from yatering for a while, I want to talk about them, call them whatever you desire.

Fried chicken is good, baked chicken with dressing is one of my standard foods, but stewed chicken with dumplings is, to my way of thinking, the best of the whole lot. Since it is nearly impossible to eat such things without making noises that are now forbidden in civilized society, one seldom sees this old delicacy. Again I do not know how to cook them, except to say that the bony parts of the frying-sized chicken are stewed in some salted water and strips or gobs of ordinary bread dough are added to the water at the appropriate time, so that the whole concoction gets one together. What Mrs. Post would do with such a mess it is wild to surmise; I know how to tackle it, though, with or without manners. Get a spoon and fork and wade in; use your fingers freely; make as many noises as you please; pile your bones on a plate or the edge of your bowl. That is sufficient, and what a thrill awaits one who has never tried slickers!

Please do not mistake this for chicken pie. That is well enough in its place, but it is a refined dish, capable of being served as food, with napkins and table manners. CHicken pie is baked; slickers are stewed. Some people regard them as food for semi-invalids, but a full-grown man with an appetite equally grown has found them in recent months as good as they were when he was a small child.

28 December 1961, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Two Versions of Traditional Dish, Chicken and Dumplings,” section 5, pg. 6:
The great American tradition—chicken and dumplings—is actually two separate traditions, each more or less geographically determined.

For instance, a chicken dumpling north of the Mason-Dixon line means something quite different from a chicken dumpling in the South. No one knows the reason—or which of the two, would be declared the true dumpling. But there is one fact about which there can be no argument, each complements savory cooked chicken in a wonderful way all its own.

In the South, chicken dumplings are sometimes called slickers. Flat, smooth and ribbony, they are egg dumplings that cook in the chicken broth. (Interestingly, this type is popular in northern New England, too.) The yankee-type, or northern dumplings, are a complete departure from slickers. Round, puffy and light, they cook on top of the chicken pieces, not in the broth.

Nowadays, both kinds are easy to prepare with convenience foods like instant nonfat dry milk. You’ll find the slickers extra flavorful as well as nutritious, enriched with milk nourishment not commonly present in this type of dumpling. They are dropped right into the chicken broth so that the rich, meat flavor cooks all through.

Northern-style dumplings are magnificent prepared with chicken that’s first been cooked with carrots, celery and parsley. These puffy dumplings are light as thistledown and so tender. The absorb the good meat and vegetable flavors while they steam on top of the chicken pieces.

5 March 1969, Salisbury (MD) Daily Times, pg. 2, col. 7:
Chicken and Slick Dumplings...$1.69
A Real Eastern Shore Favorite
(Buddy Boy Farms Restaurant—ed.)

Google Books
Mexico and the Old Southwest:
People, Palaver, Places

By Haldeen Braddy
Published by Kennikat Press
1971
Pg. 93:
Food is chuck, biscuits are sinkers, chicken dumplings are slickers; deer meat killed out of season is, euphemistically, goat meat.

13 January 1971, The Robesonian (Lumberton, NC), pg. 5 col. 1:
My thoughts turned to old-fashioned “Chicken slick” or pastry which would be enticing these cold winter days. The search for a written recipe has failed to provide accurate information to pass along to you. It has been interesting to talk with different people for suggestions but apparently most folks make pastry by instinct. One of the men specialists takes self-rising flour in a quantity to make desired amount of pastry, adds a small amount of cooking oil and enough water to make a soft dough. He rolls the dough very thin and cuts into strips. He adds the pastry to a stewed chicken and the broiling broth. (Chicken may be hen or large broiler-fryer. Cut into serving size pieces, if desired, before cooking in a generous amount of salted water until tender.) Cover pan and cook pastry approximately 15 minutes.

28 March 1971, High Point (NC) Enterprise,, pg. 11B, cols. 1-3:
Response to our recent article on Chicken Slick, Pastry, or Dumplings, as you choose to call it, has been interesting and varied. Comments and recipes have come from across the State and as far west as Seattle, Washington. Many answers have come from the older age group.

As yet no solution has been reached as to where the term “Chicken Slick” originated. One reader thought the term began in Louisburg, N. C. Another person indicated that “slick” was used for a dumpling with no baking powder. One friend opined “That that’s a city dish—like a city slicker.” Regardless of the origins of the name, chicken pastry (or dumplings) needs to be rich and “slick” to be good.

Recipes varied greatly with some requiring self-rising flour, others plain flour and baking powder, and some with plain flour or corn meal. In most cases shortening was added to the flour. Liquid was chicken stock, milk, water, or very hot water. Occasionally eggs were added in making dumplings.

Though no two readers gave identical recipes, there was an agreement that a nice fat hen made the best chicken dumplings, but a large broiler could be used. Apparently this is a favorite food for many families. It is a wise choice, for North Carolina has an abundant supply of excellent poultry. It would be hard to feed the family a better or more reasonably priced main dish than “Chicken Slick.” One suggested recipe follows.

Chicken “Slick” or Pastry
1 fat hen, or large broiler
Salt and pepper to taste

In large Dutch oven or pot, cover chicken with water, add salt and pepper to taste. Boil chicken gently until very tender, and meat falls from bones.

Pastry
3 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons lard or shortening
1 cup of more hot water

Cut lard or shortening into flour. Add enough water, as hot as hand can stand, to flour mixture and work to form a firm dough. This requires some kneading to make smooth. Roll out dough very thin on floured surface. Cut dough into strips approximately 1” x 3.” Drop strips of pastry into pot with boiling broth andchicken. It is suggested that only one layer of pastry be put in at the time. Replace lid, cook pastry a few moments, stir, then add enother layer of pastry until all is used. Replace lid and continue cooking about 15 minutes until dumplings are done. (You may prefer to take chicken from the pot before adding pastry and remove the bones. Return chicken after the pastry has finished cooking.)

3 January 1976, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “When Indian Woman Had Slave-Husbands” by Frank X. Tolbert, section D, pg. 3:
A LETTER has arrived from a Houston inhabitant, Mrs. Bertha Green, who describes herself as a “Chicken and dumplings freak.” Mrs. Green says she travels a lot and she finds chicken and dumplings on the menus of few cafes. “And the ones who do serve chicken and dumplings seem to get them from freezer packages.”

Now as far as I’m concerned chicken and dumplings could be omitted from all the restaurant menus in Christendom.

However, I have good news for Bertha Green. Some reliable and often sober friends of mine in Woodville, Texas, tell me that the best chicken and dumplings are found in that beautiful city among the pines, at Clyde Gray’s Pickett House. What’s more, chicken and dumplings are served every day in the Pickett House, the building converted from a 1906 schoolhouse.

Roadfood.com
topaz
Posted - 03/15/2006 :  16:14:28
The ones with square-shaped noodles are popular with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Variations can be found across the country, but are especially popular in the midwest and south. The Pennsylvania Dutch dish is called chicken bot boi or pot pie, but isn’t like the usual pot pie that is served in a pie crust. The Pennsylvania Dutch dish is more like a stew, and it has tender chicken pieces in a thickened sauce, and its only “crust” is in the form of large, semi-thick noodles. I’ve also heard this dish referred to as “slippery pot pie,” and some places in the south call the dumpling noodles “slick” dumplings.
(...)
Pogo
Posted - 03/17/2006 :  22:55:58
I’m a Southern boy. Grew up eating and loving what my family called “slickers”, as in, Chicken n’ Slickers.

Some of the Womenfolk in the extended family make their dumplings light, with a cakelike texture. Some make theirs thin and leathery (well, leathery sounds unappetizing..... lets call it chewy).

I prefer the “chewy” ones. Take plain flour, little tiny bit of baking soda, salt, and add the broth from the dish to the flour mixture instead of milk, etc.. Roll out till paper thin and cut into strips 1 inch wide X 2inches long. Bring the broth to a boil and drop in the dumplings, let em sit and idle for a minute and then reduce the heat to keep them from breaking apart. Cook until they float and they are ready. Cover the pot..... Dont cover the pot.... Whatever floats your boat.

Mind you now, you need an old fat sitting hen to stew so you get that thick,rich, fatty, flavorful broth that is so important. Another local favorite is Squirrel and Dumplings,,,, and rabbit and dumplings. both are much more flavorful than the chicken. It is also traditional to add a pinch of thyme to the broth and mix in coarse black pepper into the dough.

Some heathen ladies actually used cornmeal to make dumplings! HERESY!

St. Louis (MO) Post-Dispatch (January 16, 2008)
“The first Saturday of each month, we have what they call ‘slickers’ here,” Arnold said. “I call them chicken and dumplings. That always brings people in.” Chicken-fried steak and fried chicken are other favorites.
(Fran and Marilyn’s in Jerseyville, MO—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Tuesday, November 25, 2008 • Permalink


Thanks for the recipes; they sounds really easy! Have to give it a try.

Posted by rototiller reviews  on  12/29  at  08:58 PM

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