Monday, October 03, 2011

Music Monday: Ahh...Fall!

Unless you slept through the weekend you know that we've hit October. That's right, friends! Now is the season of changing leaf colors, warm and gooey comfort foods, and holiday planning. We've only got about a month until we turn the clocks back one hour and night falls when most of us are heading home from work for the day.

HUBS and I had yet another EXPANSION weekend. I actually cooked our big weekend meal on Saturday morning, something I'd never, ever done before. Usually I wait until the last possible moment of Sunday evening to do any major cooking. This time, though, I'd been putting off the prep work of chicken and dumplings for about four days. I like cooking, but honestly? Whenever it involves a lot of cleaning and chopping of veggies or the handling of massive amounts of raw meat I always hesitate.

When I woke up Saturday I had the distinct feeling that if I waited any longer to make this dish, I'd end up not doing it until all the veggies I'd bought for it had gone south. And who wants to waste food? So I bit that bullet, scrubbed, chopped and boiled my little heart out. Our Sunday dinner was done by 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mad Hungry, and it's really rather simple:

Chicken & Dumplings (adapted from Mad Hungry)

1 3 to 4 lb whole chicken (neck and giblets removed)
Half bag Baby Carrots
3 Small/Medium Turnips
2 stalks Celery
1 half Onion
3 Green Onions
3 Parsnips
5 or 6 springs fresh Parsley
Salt, Pepper & Sage


1 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt
3/4 cup Milk
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Chop the veggies coarsely, except for the baby carrots which you leave whole, then put the first set of ingredients in a big pot and barely cover with water. Bring it to boiling and turn it down to a simmer and cover. The recipe said to leave it for 50 minutes, but I cooked mine for about two hours to make sure and it still turned out juicy.

Take out the chicken and veggies and when the chicken has cooled enough, take the meat off the bone and shred it.

To make the dumplings combine the dry ingredients and add the wet ones. Drop the dough by tablespoons into the simmering broth, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. When the dumplings are done, put the veggies and shredded chicken back in and viola! You've got chicken and dumplings.

I made the mistake of stirring the pot after putting my veggies/chicken back in and the dumplings, though done, all fell apart except for one. It just served to thicken the broth and was still tasty. Serve with your shredded cheese of choice and either hot sauce or soy sauce (really, HUBS liked the soy).

We also we to church for the first time in about a year and a half on Sunday. HUBS and I have been looking for a church that's modern, but doesn't try too hard to be hip. This church has only been open since August, but the group seems nice and the only knock against the minister is that he said (I kid not) "Peace Out!" when he wrapped up the service. I can still see myself going back, but HUBS isn't sure yet.

Now, enjoy some churchy, comfort foodie sounds!

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