Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chicken and Dumplin's and a Snake in the Driveway

Last night I was scanning the freezer looking for something to thaw for the weekend and gave up trying to decide, so I asked the children what they wanted to cook. Now usually the response to that question is "spaghetti," followed by "macaroni and cheese," then "pizza". The order may be reversed, but those are always the first three suggestions. I was quite surprised to get a request for "Dumplin's" and the other for "Crab samwitch." You can probably guess by now who wants what.

Anyway, there was plenty of chicken lurking in the freezer, and a couple of cans of crab, so guess we will have both. ( You knew that was coming. ) The boys will have some chicken and dumplings and the girls will have crab. (although it will be mini crab cakes on whole wheat slider buns with broccoli slaw and not the Crab Melt ala Lulu that she asked for)

It is wet and nasty outside, and there was a three foot long dead snake at the end of the driveway this am, so I guess we need some comfort food to soothe the nerves. Big Daddy nearly had a cow when he saw the snake......Mama and baby girl had to go out and get it and bag it up while the man of the house cowered inside. It was a pretty big snake, and I would have taken pictures except we were out there in our jammies and I had to get on with the program.

So, here is how I make Chicken and Dumplin's. This is a great way to use what you have on hand, so there are alternate suggestions at the end. Enjoy.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

1. Put 2 quarts of water in a large pot. ( I use a cast iron dutch oven with a lid)
2. Put chicken in water. ( 1 whole fryer or a pack of boneless breasts is fine)
3 Add 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and a little pountry seasoning
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmering . Let simmer until chicken is done.
5. When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot and set aside to cool.
6. Add a can of cream of chicken soup to the broth pot and then turn the heat off .
7. Make some simple biscuit dough. Bisquick is fine or you can use canned or frozen biscuits. Cut the biscuits dough into 1 inch squares or quarter canned or frozen biscuits .Just remember to thaw the frozen ones a little before you try to cut them. They break into shards if you don't let them soften up a bit.
8. Bring the broth back up to a boil, then drop pieces of dough in one at a time. They will sink for a second, then they float. If you drop them in to fast, the lumps will stick together and you will have mega dumplings....not so good.
9. Taste the broth and add salt, pepper, and more poultry seasoning to taste.
10. Pull the chicken off the bones and cut into bite size pieces and add to the dumpling pot.
11. Turn in all down to very low heat to keep warm.
12. Call the people to come and eat!

* There might be easier ways of doing this recipe ( some use tortillas) but this one is the way my picky little son likes them, so I take the extra time with the biscuits - for this bisquick works fine, and I do sometimes use "Mary B's" frozen biscuits from the grocery.
* If you want to vary it a little, you could use cream of mushroom soup and add some frozen peas and carrots to it. That would not go over well at this house, so I don't do it.
* I usually use a small whole fryer, because the fat from the skin makes it really rich. Today we are going to use a pack of tenders and 6 thighs. This should give the same results, but if you have only skinless, boneless chicken breasts, you could add a little butter to rich it up, or just leave it as is for a lighter version.

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