Can I get a show of hands of everyone who wants some good old fashioned comfort food? The sort of food that makes the house smell great, uses just basic stuff that we probably already have, and costs next to nothing?
That has been the cry around here from the husband and the teenager. I think its because everything seems so strange, and the news is just designed to scare us. It makes us long for things that are safe and familiar.
Last week, I did a nice plump roast chicken on Thursday, on Friday, the left over chicken became the most amazing chicken and dumplings I have ever had! And, its a crock pot recipe, so my house had that wonderful, comforting grandmother's kitchen smell all day!
Even better, my celery hating husband never even noticed the diced celery that I snuck into the mix. I left the carrots out though, he won't touch them.
Chicken and Dumplings
2 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion
3 ribs celery
1/2 lb 3-4 carrots
2lb (approx) cooked chicken
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
freshly cracked pepper
8 cups water
1-2 tsp chicken bouillon powder (if needed)
1 tsp salt plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
6 Tbsp cold butter
3/4 tsp sugar
2/3 cup milk
Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, basil, thyme, chicken breast, water, and some freshly cracked pepper to a slow cooker. Stir to combine and then cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
If you used whole breasts: After cooking for four hours on high or eight hours on low, remove the chicken from the broth and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Make sure to keep your slow cooker covered while you shred the chicken, to retain heat. Return the chicken to the pot. If you used shredded, left over roast chicken, skip this step.
Set slow cooker to high heat if you were cooking on low. Stir in 1 tsp of salt, and 1-2 tsp chicken bouillon (if needed) to the soup.
Continue to cook on high while you mix the dumplings.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, and sugar. Mix well. Add butter in small chunks and rub it in with your hands until the mixture resembles damp sand. Add the milk and stir until a very soft, thick paste-like mixture forms. If you need more milk, add it a couple of tablespoons at a time
Drop the dumpling batter into the soup by the heaping spoonful. Return the lid to the slow cooker and allow the dumplings to steam for 20 minutes. Although they may look moist on the outside, they will be light and fluffy on the inside.
Note to the wise: Do NOT be tempted to double the dumpling recipe. To much dumpling batter and they will not cook, you will end up with shreds of raw dough throughout your soup. Yes it is exactly as gross as it sounds.
- Garlic - protection, health, strength, endurance, male fertility, male potency, courage, inspiration
- Onion - oaths, promises, warding, protection, health, banishing, virility, potency, male fertility, energy, psychic, spiritual
- Celery - peace, soothing, relaxation, sex, desire, lust, grounding
- Carrots - banish, dispel illusions, fertility, clarity, clear vision, sex
- Chicken - health, healing, fertility, nurturing
- Bay Leaves - psychic powers, achievement, education, creativity, divination, dreams, healing, protection, awareness, purification, wishing
- Basil - love, protection, harmony, money
- thyme - dreams, sleep, healing, protection, emotions, love, purification, psychic, awareness
- Pepper - cleansing, purification, banishing, protection
- Salt - protection, banishing, exorcism
- Wheat - nurturing, prosperity
- Parsley - protection, purification, astral travel, funerals, accidents, poisoning, mood, appetite, liminal, otherworlds, ancestors
- Butter - spirituality, communication, reconciliation, enhancing energies
- Milk - Prosperity, Nurturing, Protection, Success
Photo Credit: Wikipedia