Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Before I wrote this, I had to get my oldest off to school.  For the last few months, I had taken her to school myself.  She was dealing with some anxiety issues around the time the baby was born so I thought it would be better to drive her to school until she got used to it before I put her on the bus.  Now that winter is here and she loves school and doesn't cry anymore, we decided it was time for the bus.  Driving wasn't feasible anymore.  We only have 1 vehicle and my husband works during the day so I would have to rely on my mother to come here and babysit while I take her to school.  Wisconsin winters can get nasty and with buses being late and vehicles not starting in the cold and my mother having to get my little sisters (ages 6 and 9) on the bus also, my child would end up being late for school most days.

Now, she loves being on the bus, and gets excited when she sees it coming down the road.  My only complaint is, that I have to get a 3, almost 4 year old, up at 6:30 in the morning just so she can eat, go potty and get dressed and be out the door at 7:40 to catch the bus....all for a 5 minute ride to the school.  Yep, we live about 5-7 minutes away from the school and she has to get on the bus that early.  Her class doesn't even start until 8:30 and she's only there for 2 1/2 hours.  While school has been great for her and in a few years she'd be riding the bus anyways I just feel it's a wrong to be making a child that young get up so early.  Perhaps I am over reacting or being overprotective but that really peeves me.

Anyways on to the recipe.  Growing up Momma always made pork chops and dumplings, which I love.  I LOVE dumplings.  My husband however never much cared for the pork chops part.  So I decided to start making chicken and dumplings.  Another really easy dish thats so yummy.  A classic comfort food for those of us snowed in...or not.

1/2 Stick of Butter or Margarine
1 Whole Onion, Diced
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Cup Frozen or Fresh Carrots. Chopped
1 Cup Chopped Celery
1 Cup Frozen Corn
1 Cup Frozen Green Beans
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 Cups Chicken Broth
3 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 Tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Turmeric, for color - Got this idea from PW

For the Dumplings:
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Tbsp Shortening
3/4 Cup Milk

Melt butter in a large pan and cook onions and garlic until onions are translucent.  Add in the rest of the vegetables and cook until tender.  You can either chop up you chicken breasts now or do that later....or leave them whole, whatever tickles your fancy.  I like to cook them partially and then cut them up.  Lay your chicken breasts over the vegetables and pour you chicken broth over everything.  Cover and cook.  After the outsides of the chicken is done I like to pull them out and cut them up and add them back to cook the rest of the way..why? I have no idea.  I imagined it would be easier to chop them up first but I'm complicated.  When your chicken is done, add the flour and seasonings.  In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening until mixture looks like small pebbles.  Add in the milk and stir until wet.  Drop large spoonfuls of the dumplings on top of the stew.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.  Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.  Enjoy!



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