Monday, January 4, 2010

Home Made Chicken and Dumplings

The "Challenge" has really forced me to start cooking from scratch. Now if you know me at all (or have been talking to the hubby), you know that it is a hit or miss situation with me in the kitchen. By the time I'm done it looks like a tornado whirled through and that is not an exaggeration.

The hubby loves Chicken and Dumplings (his mother's to be exact!), however I have never been able to make them worth a damn, oops, darn. Well, I decided it was time to change that so I searned the web, pulled outevery cookbook I own and came up with a recipe that was pretty darn good. And of course, it had to be easy or I wouldn't have made it.

Here's what I did...

I took a soup type pot and pour 5 (15 or 16 oz) cans of chicken broth in it. To that I added 2 big chicken breast and turned on medium and let it go. While the chicken was cooking I added 4 stalks of celery, a big hand full of carrots (the little ones that come in a bag in your produce department), and 1 small onion that I chopped up in the food processor. Then I added 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp of minced garlic and 1 tsp Poultry season and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Once the chicken was cooked, I turned it off and removed the chicken. I let the chicken cool a bit so that I could work with it and then I shredded it with a fork and returned it to the pot.

Now for the dumplings.....take 2 cups of flour, add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Swirl that around with a whisk. Then add in 3 tablespoons of shortening. I cut mine in with a fork but you could use a pastry fork if you wanted to. Then I added between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of milk. I added it a bit at a time until the dough stuck togther.

Once the dough sticks together, add a little bit of flour to your counter, work top (whatever) and knead the dough about 5 to times then start rolling it out. You want it pretty thin because the dumplings plump up when they cook. I actually cut my dough into 3 parts and did one part at a time. While you are rolling it out, turn the pot bad on to about medium with the lid on so that it comes up to a slow slight boil. Then you will start dropping the dumplings in one at a time. I rolled my dough out into rectangles and cut into strips. Only drop a few dumplings in at a time and then stir or they will stick together. After you have all of the dumplings in the pot, I turned it down to about medium low and let it cook for about 8 minutes. When I took the lid off, my first thought spoken out loud was "holy hell I've made mud". The dog ran into the bedroom and the husband was cracking up. It took me a second to realize the Poultry seasoning change the color of everthing to a light mud color. However, don't be discouraged because it taste pretty good.

One note to you....I didn't realize it, but the chicken broth is pretty salty so when you add in the teaspoon of salt, it's that much saltier. The husband loved it, however I would have preferred it be a bit less salty tasting. If you are the same, then I would suggest a low sodium broth instead.

As cold as it was yesterday, home made chicken and dumplings hit the spot. I figured the price out to $3.22 and that was mostly the cost of the broth which I had purchased for $.40/can. I had 1 bowl each night, the husband had two bowls each night and I split a bowl between the pooches (yes they are horribly spoiled!). So the cost comes out to $.46 a bowl. It's very filling and taste great. (Remember if the hubby eats more than one bowl it has to be good - Picky picky man!!!!).

This post is part of the Becentsable Gathering

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