Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's for Dinner? (and other news)

 I know you guys probably all have Thanksgiving dinner on the brain, so you may not need a new recipe this week, but stash this in your winter favorite file.  This is comfort food at its finest, and needs to be eaten near a fire when it's cold outside.

Here is how this recipe came into my life:  on the night my dad died, when the rest of us returned to my mom's house, there was a big pot of Chicken and Dumplings sitting on my mom's front porch, cooked by a neighbor friend.  We all appreciated this meal so much, that it was just there waiting for us, and it also just happened to be so delicious and comforting that we all asked for the recipe.

This recipe is a little time consuming, but not difficult at all.  It's great for a Sunday when you are home doing things around the house, or in my case, when you are off running a race, but dinner is cooking away while you're gone.

Chicken and Dumplings

1 stewing chicken (4 lbs) or 4-5 chicken breasts
1 small onion, quartered
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 tsp salt
4 tbs butter
6 tbs flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup light cream or milk
pepper to taste

Lightly boil chicken, onion, carrot, celery, and salt in enough water to cover until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from broth and let cool, then chop or shred (I like to shred it) the meat and reserve.
Strain the cooked veggies out of the broth and add water if necessary to make at least 1 to 1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, melt  the butter.  Stir in flour and paprika (it will make a thick paste).  Slowly add the broth to the butter/flour mixture while constantly mixing with wire whisk.  Broth should end up quite thick.  Add the milk or cream and pepper, chicken chunks and adjust seasons if necessary.  Simmer over low heat.

Meanwhile, mix up the dumplings, which you can either make with Bisquick and use the dumpling recipe on the side of the box OR make them from scratch:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs shortening
3/4 cup milk

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Dip a tablespoon into cold water and then into dough and drop the spoonfuls of dough onto the bubbling chicken stew; one batch will make about 10 dumplings.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes until dumplings float to the top and become big and puffy.

Pure goodness.  And the chicken stew was even better the next day when I heated up the broth and made another batch of dumplings.  

Other news:
I am out of school for Thanksgiving break.  Tomorrow will be spent baking pies, and Skyler is my helper.  Her specialty is pressing the fork around the pie crust edges.  I will be baking 5 pies, so we will be busy.

Turkey Trek (click here for details):  If you are local and you are planning on joining us for the Turkey Trek run/ walk on Thanksgiving morning, please don't be scared by Wednesday's snow storm.  We doubt the trail will be too covered with snow to run, AND we think if it is covered with snow, it will only be more fun and more pretty.  So come anyway!  If there actually is a lot of accumulation and the trail is covered, we will snowshoe it.  That is to say, we'll be there anyway, so we hope you'll come too!

Sparrow Magazine:  The Winter Issue is coming out in less than two weeks.  Kelly and I are busy pulling it all together, and we are really excited to share it with you.  Stay tuned!  If you haven't already, you can follow us on facebook so you are totally in the loop about the release which will happen on December 1st.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving preparations and feast.  Thank you for sticking with me!


Kim Oldenburgh said...

Still planning to come to the Trek, as long as the road conditions are good, as it is a bit of a commute. I wanted to let you know because I did sign up to bring a goodie. Hope to be there with sneakers or snowshoes!