Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings – the great controversy. Are the dumplings supposed to be rolled or dropped?

Well, I think this is based on where you were raised, honestly. Funny enough, my family is from Ohio/Kentucky/Tennessee/Georgia and we are in the dropped camp. I’m sure this generated from the Ohio (Cincinnati to be precise) group originally – so that probably explains the dropped dumplings. In the true South, dumplings are typically rolled out, cut into strips or squares and then places in the boiling broth (think Cracker Barrel).

Funny enough, my niece and nephew refer to these as poof poofs. Why? Well, in their world, dumplings are neither dropped nor rolled. Dumplings are fillings wrapped in pieces of thin dough that are either steamed or pan-fried – well, they are half Chinese after all. As Maggie puts it, “they look like poofs, so they should be named that.” The brilliance of a teenager.

My grandmother originated this recipe (best I can remember) and my mother tweaked it over the years. The beauty of this dish, is the simplicity and how this is a great weeknight dinner. I know you are wondering how this is possible. It’s a lengthy process…right? Nope! Go to the store, buy a rotisserie chicken, bag of frozen veggies and you may have the rest in your pantry. Okay, maybe not, but the rest of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand for the future.

The hardest part of this dish is pulling the chicken from the bone. And if you buy good chicken stock, you easily get all day cooked flavor in just 30 minutes. I actually really like Swanson, whether salted, low sodium or unsalted. It tastes the meatiest and least manufactured.

15895779_10154813151552978_8130071898803528352_oYields 4 servings
From Eileen Fight Sparks and Nancy Sparks Frank

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup chicken, cooked, white chopped or shredded
2 Quarts stock, chicken, low-sodium
1 Cup peas, frozen
1 Cup carrots chopped or frozen slices
1 1/2 Cup flour, all-purpose
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 Cups milk, skim

Directions:
Bring broth to a boil and add chicken and frozen veggies.

For the dumplings:
Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in center and pour in milk. Slowly incorporate milk into dry ingredients. It will look like wet biscuit dough.

Drop dumplings dough by teaspoon into boiling broth. Once you have covered the surface, use your spoon to drop the remaining dumplings below the fluffy ones on the surface.

Reduce heat so the broth is above a simmer at a low boil. Cover and stew about 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve.

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Garden Minestrone (Slow Cooker)

Yields 8 servings
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 Large onion, white minced
4 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls oil, extra virgin olive plus extra for serving
1 1/2 tsp oregano, fresh minced
1/8 tsp pepper, crushed red
6 Cups stock, vegetable OR chicken, low-sodium
15 Ounce(wt)s sauce, tomato
6 1/2 Ounce(wt)s beans, great northern, dried picked over
2 Large carrots peeled, cut in 1/2-in pieces
1 Large squash, zucchini 1/4 length, slice 1/4-in thick
8 Ounce(wt)s Swiss chard stemmed, leaves sliced 1/2-in
1/2 Cup pasta, ditalini
1/2 Cup basil, fresh minced
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 to taste cheese, parmesan, grated for serving

Tools Needed:
Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel
Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Directions:
Salt soak the beans: Pick through and rinse the beans. For every pound of beans, dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts of boiling water . Combine the beans and the hot salt water in a large pot and let the beans soak at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid, and rinse well before cooking.

Microwave onion, garlic, oil, oregano, and red pepper flakes in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir broth, tomato sauce, soaked beans, and carrots into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Stir in zucchini, chard, and pasta, cover and cook on high until vegetables and pasta are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in basil, salt & pepper to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese and extra olive oil.

Serve with: Rosemary Onion Focaccia

Farmhouse Chicken and Corn Chowder (Slow Cooker)

Yields 6 servings

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
2 Slices bacon, uncooked minced
4 tsp oil, vegetable
2 Large onion, white minced
6 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls tomato paste
2 tsp thyme, fresh minced
1/4 Cup flour, all-purpose
5 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium
1 Pound potatoes, small red scrubbed, cut in 1/2-in chunks
1 Large carrot peeled, sliced 1/4-in thick
2 Each bay leaves
1 1/2 Pound chicken thighs, boneless, skinless trimmed
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 Large bell pepper, red seeded, cut in 1/2-in pieces
14 3/4 Ounce(wt)s corn, creamed, canned
1/2 Cup cream, heavy
2 tsp pepper, chipotle, canned minced
3 Tbls basil, fresh minced

Tools Needed:
Crock-Pot SCVT650-PS 6-1/2-Quart Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel

Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

Directions:
Cook bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove bacon from pan.  Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and onions and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in 2 cups stock, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir remaining 3 cups stock, potatoes, carrot, bacon, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces. Let soup settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon; discard bay leaves.

Microwave bell pepper with remaining teaspoon oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

In separate bowl, microwave cream corn until hot, about 3 minutes.

Stir softened peppers, hot creamed corn, shredded chicken, heavy cream, and chipotles into soup and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Weeknight Chicken Tortilla Soup

tortillasoup

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbls oil, olive
6 Each tortilla, corn, small
2 Large onion, white chopped
1 Head garlic, fresh (12 to 14 cloves)
4 1/4 Ounce(wt)s pepper, green chile with liquid
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 1/2 Tbls Silver Service Chef’s Taco Seasoning
2 Quarts stock, chicken
2 Sprigs epazote, fresh, optional
4 Pounds tomato, beefsteak chopped
1 tsp salt
2 Cups chicken, cooked, white shredded
1/4 tsp pepper, white, ground

Toppings:
3 Each avocado diced
1/4 Pound cheese, monterey jack shredded
1/4 Pound cheese, sharp cheddar shredded
1/4 Cup cilantro chopped
1/4 Cup sour cream
2 Medium limes, quartered

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart DLC-2009CHB Prep 9 9-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless
Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press
Rosle Can Opener

Directions:
Chop 4 tortillas and cut the remaining 2 into match-long strips and set those aside. Separate and peel garlic. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped tortillas, onions, garlic cloves, green chilis (with juice), cumin and Taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent – about 7 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes and epazote, if using, and the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Place soup in a food processor or use a hand blender to puree. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chicken and pepper and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 5 minutes).

Cut the avocado into ¼-inch dice. Distribute the remaining tortillas (matchsticks), the avocado and the cheeses,among individual bowls. Ladle the soup over and sprinkle top with cilantro leaves, if using. You can also drop a teaspoon of sour cream on the soup for a delightful presentation.  Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Chef’s note: If you prefer, you can fry the matchsticks in hot oil and place these on top of the soup instead of in the bottom of the bowl.

Hearty Lentil Soup (Slow Cooker)

lentilsoup

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients:
4 Tbls oil, olive, divided
3 Large beef bone, round with marrow (for soup)
2 Large onion, white large dice
8 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Pound sausage, kielbasa sliced into discs
3 Cups ham, cooked diced
2 Cups carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 Cups celery cut into 1/2-inch slices plus leaves
2 Large tomatoes, red, fresh, wedged
1 Pound lentils, dried rinsed and picked through
1 1/2 Tbls Frank’s Red Hot
1 to taste salt and pepper
1 tsp Southwestern Seasoning
4 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium
24 oz (fl) beer, (Dark German beer such as Bock or Hefeweizen)
12 oz (wt) spinach, fresh baby spinach

 

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat.  Add the beef bones and sear on each side, for 1 minute.  Add the onions on top and saute for 5 minutes.  Remove bones and move to the slow cooker.  Add the garlic to the onion and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add onions and garlic to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add sausage to skillet and saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and add ham to skillet.  Saute until it begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Move to slow cooker.

Add last tablespoon of oil to skillet.  Add in celery, carrots, salt, pepper and Southwest seasoning.  Saute until they begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add to slow cooker, along with tomatoes, lentils, hot sauce, stock and beer.  Your cooker may be full to the top.

Add lid and set on low and cook for 5 to 6 hours, until lentils are done.  The vegetables will still be crunchy.  Remove beef bones.  Fold in the spinach and let wilt, 5 minutes.  Serve with crusty bread with an herbed butter.

Chef’s Note: If you cannot find a beef soup bone, you can make this without, just add 1 to 2 teaspoons of beef bouillon granules when sautéing the sausage. 

Asian-Style Beef Stew

beefstew

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 Large onion, white minced
3 Tbls tomato paste
2 Tbls oil, vegetable
2 Tbls ginger root grated
9 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Cup stock, beef
1 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium
8 Ounce(wt)s carrots, baby
1/4 Cup soy sauce, low sodium
1/4 Cup sherry, dry or dry white wine
2 Tbls tapioca, Minute
2 Each bay leaves
3 Pounds beef, stew meat
1 to taste salt and pepper
6 Ounce(wt)s snow peas trimmed and cut in half
8 Ounce(wt)s water chestnuts, canned, sliced drained, patted dry
4 Each onion, green sliced thin
1 Tbls sugar, light brown, packed
2 Cups rice, jasmine cooked

Directions:
Add onions, tomato paste, oil, ginger and garlic to slow cooker.

Stor together the two stocks, soy sauce, sherry (or wine), and add to cooker. Add in carrots, bay leaves and tapioca. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste and nestle into the cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9 to 11 hours on low, or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Remove beef and transfer to a bowl or cutting board. Let cool slightly, then using two forks, shred beef into bite-sized pieces. Remove any fat from the surface of the stew. Discard bay leaves.

Return beef to cooker, and add in the snow peas, water chestnuts, brown sugar and scallions. Let heat through. Serve over cooked rice and drizzle with extra soy sauce, if desired.

Homey Chicken Stew

photo (6)

Yields 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
3 Pounds chicken thighs, boneless, skinless trimmed
1 to taste seasoning, Greek
1/4 Cup oil, vegetable
2 Large onion, white minced
6 Cloves garlic, fresh minced
1 Tbls tomato paste
2 tsp thyme, fresh minced
1/3 Cup flour, all-purpose
1/2 Cup wine, dry white
4 Cups stock, chicken, low-sodium
12 Ounce(wt)s potatoes, small red scrubbed, cut in 1/2-in pieces
4 Large carrots peeled, sliced 1/4-in thick
2 Each bay leaves
1 Cup peas, frozen
1/4 Cup parsley, flat-leaf minced
1 to taste salt and pepper

Directions:
Dry chicken with paper towels and season with greek seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of chicken lightly on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes; transfer to bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more oil and remaining chicken; transfer to bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon more oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, tomato paste, and thyme, and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stor in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly whisk in wine, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in 1 cup stock, smoothing out any lumps; transfer to slow cooker.

Microwave potatoes and carrots with remaining tablespoon oil in covered bowl, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are nearly tender, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stor remaining 3 cups of stock and bay leaves into slow cooker. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juices into slow cooker. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.

Chef’s Note: If you are cooking this for 6 hours, do NOT microwave the vegetables.

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-sized pieces. Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.

Stir shredded chicken and peas into stew and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust stew consistency with additional hot stock, if needed. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.