Friday, December 11

how hard was that?

Wednesday night we had chicken and dumplings for dinner. Sounds impressive, huh? After dinner I was thinking that it was the kind of meal that seems so difficult or time consuming but was so very simple. Here's how it happened.

I had to run errands in the morning and had a meeting in the afternoon, so I put a whole chicken in a big pot with water, some garlic cloves, salt and celery leaves first thing in the morning. (I could have added onion or carrots or any vegetable peels I had but I was in a hurry.) I let it go until about 3 that afternoon when I fished the chicken and bones out of the water. I let them cool in a big bowl for about 20 minutes until I could handle it all. Then I pulled all the meat off the bones and set it aside. I strained the remaining stock to make sure I had all the good bits out of it.

I melted 4 T of butter in my oval dutch oven, then sauteed some onions and added diced carrots. I stirred in 4 T of flour to help thicken it all up later then stirred in the stock from before. I added the chopped chicken back into the pot. I wished I'd had some frozen peas to add. That would have added some nice color, but we settled for only carrots. I stirred in about 1 cup of half and half and then the whole pot simmered for about 20 minutes to begin to thicken up and get the carrots nice and soft. Added some seasoning in there too.

Then Trey helped me mix up the dumpling recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. (We actually tripled the batch!) And he plopped those on top. Lid on, simmered for 15 minutes and we were feasting!

So it didn't take a lot of time. Probably less than an hour of real hands on time, but it was so good and so hearty. I'm glad my kids will grow up knowing that dinner doesn't have to come from a microwave. That they will know that real food is quite easy to prepare with just a few skills.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

That sounds so good! Of all the things I can prepare well, I have the worst time with dumplings for some reason. They have always wanted to get heavy even though they start nice and light and puffy. I eat them even if they sink like lead though! Thanks for such a great post. Makes me want to go buy a big chicken!