Thursday, August 5, 2010
I have a confession, I like to take the easy way out when it comes to cooking sometimes. I love the idea of being all Martha and such but I'd also love five minutes to sit and read a good book occasionally. Plus after making breakfast, lunch and all the snacks in between I'm just pretty worn out on the concept of cooking an elaborate dinner for the family. I still want them to have a nice meal though. I'd also like to keep our spending in check. So I set about to make a few easy meals that seem spectacular (or at least to my family).
At the store this week I bought a whole chicken, about five pounds and a package of chicken thighs that were on sale, there were five of them in the pack. The whole chicken was about five dollars and the pack of chicken thighs was right about at three. I threw them all on the crockpot with some rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion, set it to high and let it cook all day. When it was done I got out two plates and separated the skin and bones from the meat. I do this fairly carefully because I don't want any skin in mine. Then I strain all of the broth left in the crockpot and put it in a bowl in the fridge. After a few hours the fat rises and you can skim that off and discard. Now you have enough chicken for at least three meals and broth for one. For my first meal I made Chicken and Dumplings. It was easy and fast I swear. Here is the recipe.
Chicken and Dumplings
1/3 of previously cooked chicken in chunks
stock from cooking chicken
3 c. water
1 bay leaf
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
salt and pepper
4tbs melted butter
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chives (dry)
1 tsp parsley (dry)
In a large stock pot pour stock and add chicken, bay leaf, parsley, sage, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper. I don't measure these but a tsp of each is probably about right. Let come to a boil and add mixed vegetables. Reduce heat. Meanwhile make your dumplings. In a medium sized bowl add flour, baking power and salt, stir to combine. Mix herbs with melted butter and add to flour mixture, stir with a fork. Slowly add the buttermilk a little at a time, stirring with fork. When mixture starts to come together I switch to my hands and work the dough till all everything is combined. It should look like biscuit dough.
You can drop your dumplings by a spoon into the stock, but I like to form mine first. I take about a table spoon and a half of dough and form it into a log shape.
When all are formed drop them one by one into the chicken and vegetable stock. Put a lid on and let simmer for 20-30 minutes stirring gently once or twice during cooking.
To test for done, remove one dumpling and cut in half, it should look like a cooked biscuit on the inside, not doughy. The stock will thicken up from the flour in the dumplings and you now have chicken and dumplings.
This was really easy. Making the dumplings takes less than five minutes so don't be intimidated. While the dumplings were simmering I read my good book :) Oh and by the way, Happy 100th Post to me today!
Posted by kimar9791 at 7:32 AM