Chicken and Dumplings

I credit my love of cooking to my mother. She was always willing to have me help her in the kitchen and she seemed to share my love of baking. One of the things she gave me when I moved out on my own was a cookbook. I still have that cookbook and use it regularly.

Like a lot of recipes I use I’ve modified this one as well. The original, from that well-worn cookbook my mom gave me, had you boiling the chicken for 3 hours, straining it to get the broth, and then making the chicken and dumplings. Way too much work for me. This recipe takes a fraction of the time and is just as delicious. Enjoy!

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Chicken & Dumplings

  • 1 lbs potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup carrots, either baby ones or cut in 1/2 sections
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 chicken breast*
  • 4 cups chicken stock (more or less)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flour

Directions:

In a large oven proof pot, I use a large Le Creuset Dutch Oven, combine the potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, garlic and onion. Pour in the chicken stock. Here’s why I put “more or less” in the ingredient list. Really you only need enough to make sure all of the veggies are covered with stock. So depending on your pot and if you strictly follow the ingredient list (which you don’t have to) will depend on how much stock you need.

Bring to a boil and let simmer until the veggies are tender, about an hour. Then in a jar (this is really the easiest way to do it) add the milk and flour and shake vigorously until combined. Add to the pot and stir until well combined. Continue stirring slowly, it should start to thicken. Turn down to low and make the dumplings (recipe below). Spoon in the dumpling and cook, covered, for 15 minutes.

Meantime turn your oven to Broil. After 15 minutes, uncover, and put in the oven to finish. You want the dumplings to become nice and brown, probably about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy.

Dumplings

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup of shortening
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the chopped chives and mix. Cut in the shortening until it resembles chunky, wet sand. Add the mix and stir until just mixed, try not to over mix it. If they’re dry lumps that’s fine as long as there aren’t too many or too big. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then drop into the chicken mixture using a regular tablespoon.

*ok what is with the chicken? Like my potpie recipe you have a choice or pre-cooking the chicken or cook it with the rest of the ingredients. I’m a HUGE fan of Anova Sous Vide (I promise I’ll blog about this device soon), which is great for pre-cooking stuff. If you do this add the chicken in just before the dumplings. If you want to cook the chicken with everything else, pour a couple of tablespoon of olive oil in the pot and saute for about 5 minutes. Then follow the recipe above.

Chicken Pot Pie

There’s nothing like a pot pie on a chilly fall night. I like this chicken pot pie which is based on a Martha Stewart recipe. I modified it somewhat, mostly the “topping” as she calls for puff pastry but I prefer pie dough, croissant dough, or biscuit dough (store-bought is fine by me). The ingredient that Martha uses that really make this recipe different is a little cognac. It really add a richness to the pot pie. Now you can also make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable stock instead.

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Chicken Pot Pie

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 lbs of potatoes (I like the small yellow ones) cut into small pieces, about 1/2 inch
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 chicken breast cut into 1 inch pieces*
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen green beans, small pieces
  • 5 oz mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2  cup cognac
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 or so sprigs of thyme (tie these into a bundle)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dough of your choice (I use store-bought)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottom pot, again I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender (about 8 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the cognac and cook for a minute. Add the flour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Pour in chicken stock, milk, and thyme bundle. Bring it to a simmer, stirring, until it’s thick and bubbly.  Add chicken and green beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Now transfer it to either a casserole dish or ramekins, which is what I like to use, removing the thyme bundle. Now roll out your dough and cut it to fit your dish and place it over your dish. Cut a hole in the middle so the pot pie(s) can vent.

Bake in a 400 degree oven, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes. Now you can make the crust nice and golden brown by adding an egg wash. 1 egg and about a teaspoon of water whisked together and brushed onto the dough. I recommend putting your dish on a cookie sheet in case it spills over, it makes clean up easier.

*Now for the chicken you have 2 options. You can precook it, which I do using a Anova Sous Vide (I’ll be posting about what this is soon). Or cook it before anything else. In your heavy pot add 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken, that’ll take about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside, then follow the above recipe.

Quick Chipotle Chili

My future sister-in-law brought this healthy recipe to my attention. I really like it because it’s vegan/vegetarian friendly, all you have to do it leave out the chicken, add an additional can of beans, and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

As usual, I did make some modifications. When I first made it with the recipe it came out way to watery for my tastes. I like my chili a little on the thick side.

It’s pretty quick too. Pre-cook the chicken and it’ll take about 30 minutes. I like to make this in my Instant Pot. You can sauté the veggies in it and them program it to slow cook for however long you need. I can start this first thing in the morning and have it ready for dinner by the time I get home.

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Chipotle Chile

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 or so minced cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped*
  • 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 chicken breast, shredded (leave out to make vegetarian)
  • 2 (15-ounce) can beans, rinsed and drained (your choice of type, I like black and pinto)
  • 1 (15-once) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (6-ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and bell pepper and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Add in the garlic and chipotles in adobo and sauté for another minute, stirring occasionally.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir it together, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

*Why the asterisk? Chipotles are a tricky thing, you never know how hot they’ll be. So if you’re heat sensitive then you might want to start out with just one. If it’s not enough then you can add another. Or add additional Ancho chili powder.