Wednesday, March 7, 2012

chicken and dumplings

Sorry for the picture quality. Bad
lighting. I'll just keep working on
it, shall I?
Allow me to interject a brief interlude from my travel stories. Thank you for your patience!

I made dinner on Valentine's Day. Since the boyfriend had already taken me out to a delicious but very expensive dinner over the weekend, I wanted to do something for him the day of.

Enter chicken and dumplings; one of his favorite foods. Seriously, watching him eat this at a restaurant called Mama Dips in Chapel Hill, you would have think he had died and gone to heaven and Jesus had given him his choice of BMW.

I've always been a little confused over this dish, because to me, "dumplings" have stuff in the middle. So I find my version of dumplings more satisfying, but hey, that's what you get when he grew up in the South (of USA) and I grew up in China.

Moving on. I've never made this dish, but since he loves it so much, I decided to try my hand. I gave it a "ehh" and he gave it a 94/100. I guess that's reasonable for a first go.

Here is the recipe I based my cooking on, but I sort of altered it as I went. I'll do my best to reconstruct what I did. I doubled the recipe because the pot I used was bigger than it was supposed to be, so to compensate, I just added more! Here is my recipe with a few alterations to the original (the recipe here is not doubled).

Note: there are larger quantities of ingredients pictured here
than you'll actually need. Unless you're feeding an army.
Or a hungry boyfriend.
1 1/2 + 1/3 cups of milk (extra for the dumplings)
1 cup of frozen corn, peas and lima beans (you can add a little more if you'd like)
1 cup cut up cooked chicken (I just bought some rotisserie chicken)
about 1 cup of cooked potato (also to your preference of potato ratio)
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of normal Bisquick
dash of thyme and paprika (optional and to your flavoring)

To Create:
  1. Prepare ALL your ingredients ahead of time (seriously, very important)
  2. I used small red potatoes- boiled them, then sliced them into quarters; set aside
  3. Prepare your dumplings- mix Bisquick, 1/3 cup of milk and some thyme; set to the side. (Note: when I made it, I think my dough was too moist, so in hindsight I would have added more Bisquick to make it firmer. You don't want the dough to stick to your hands too much)
  4. For this serving size, use a 3qt saucepan. Heat 1.5 cups of milk, soup, vegetables, potato and chicken to a boil. STIR A LOT
  5. Gently drop in dollops of dough to your mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. I don't think you need to stir. I stirred and my dollops started to deconstruct a little. It turned out fine, but I believe your dumpling-biscuits will be more intact if you just let them sit.
  6. Cook uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes, then cover and let it cook for 10 more minutes.
You can make yourself a comforting
honey and lemon hot drink to calm
yourself in this process, as I did.
Voila! Home cooked southern chicken and dumplings!

It really would have helped to have everything prepared ahead of time. Since I was cooking on my own, I couldn't stir and prepare at the same time, so the soup and a little of the chicken burned in my pot, resulting in a smoky flavor throughout my dish. If you like smokiness, then my all means, let it sizzle a little (just a little-- I am not responsible for any fires or calls to the firemen), but otherwise, turn your heat down a little and keep that spoon stirring (P.S. letting it sizzle a little may or may not cause your apartment to smell smoky for hours and ruin a pot--consider yourself warned).

Abraham actually liked the smokiness, so the meal wasn't a catastrophe, but I would probably make it in this order next time as opposed to the order of the original recipe. And have him help me. And keep my stove on low heat.

Not actually on the menu. Abraham got me orchids!
He once got me potted tulips and so he says that once you
go live, you can't go back!
For those of you wondering, to combat aforementioned smoky scent, I turned on my stove's vent and put dryer sheets around my kitchen. Consider yourself absorbed Super Stubborn Smoke Smell! There's probably a better way to do this... but this worked.

But wait! That's not all. I couldn't have Valentine's dinner without dessert. So that'll be next up. What did I make? Well, you'll just have to wait and see!

Let me know if you decide to try this and how it turns out!

1 comment:

  1. from Your Mama: hummmm, he is either very easily satisfied or he is trying to please you or Both :-) U have 2 make that 4 UR Ddy, Harv, N Al n C if it measure up w/ UR Granny's Chicken dumplings :D Loving U always, YOUR MAMA!