Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 11/9 (Chicken & Dumplin Review)

Ham, Green Beans, Potato Salad

Homemade Pizza, Salad

Lemon Pepper Baked Chicken, Corn, Asparagus

Taco Soup

I rolled over two meals from last week because we had something different than I had planned one night (spaghetti) and then we had chicken and dumplings 3 nights in a row! It made SO much! I had laid hamburger meat out to thaw, to go in my Taco Soup but for some reason or another it never got cooked and put in the crock pot. So here it was, almost supper time and I needed something to make. I almost always have spaghetti noodles and jarred spaghetti sauce or a spaghetti spice packet and some kind of canned tomatoes in my pantry. I also have a saved recipe from allrecipes that I've used that is SO good for homemade spaghetti sauce. But again, that's for when I have more time because the sauce needs to simmer for a while. Lets face it, some days don't go as planned! We often do sandwiches on those kinds of days but sometimes it's nice to have a quick, hot meal as an option too!

Today, I'm cooking a big ham that I got on sale! So, tonight we'll have that and instead of having ham sandwiches with the leftovers tomorrow night, I plan on making breakfast: biscuits, ham, scrambled eggs & fruit. Whatever is left I will freeze for soup!

So, for those of you who are interested in how my chicken and dumplings turned out.. they were really good! I used the frozen dumplings. I was afraid to try my own the very first time I made them! I cooked three chicken breast (about 3 lbs, bone in, skin on), one chopped onion and a big tablespoon full of garlic in about 5 quarts of water until the chicken was done and pulling away from the bone. I took the chicken out of the water to cool and added a little extra water to the broth. Some of the liquid had evaporated and I wanted to make sure I had the right amount. I brought the broth back to a boil and started adding the frozen dumplings, one at a time while stirring often. I only added half of the packet of dumplings. I could have added them all but I just wasn't sure, it seemed like a lot to me and turned out to be plenty. After the dumplings were all in I brought it to a rolling boil and then turned it down to simmer and covered. They cooked for about 45 minutes. I just stirred them every so often. During the cooking time I shredded my chicken and then around the 45 min mark I added the chicken and seasoned with salt and pepper. I actually added some salt & pepper earlier just to the broth and chicken but I had to add more after everything was back in the pot. It wasn't as thick as I wanted it so I took about a cup of the hot broth out and whisked in about 2 TBS of flour and added it back to the pot and brought it to a rolling boil. This helped but I'm just not sure if there is a way to get that much liquid good and thick without making a rue or something from the very beginning. I'm going to work on that and get back with you! If you have any tips, let me know! I think I had in myhead they should be like Cracker Barrel's chicken and dumplings... big, chunky dumplings with a really thick sauce. These were thin dumplings with a brothy sauce. They were SO good though and had a great flavor. And actually I think my dumplings (hah!) have a better chicken flavor. I must say that on the 2nd and 3rd day they were much better than the first! The broth was much thicker after it sat in the refrigerator! Maybe that's the trick, make them a day ahead! Eli LOVED the chicken out of it! He couldn't get enough! Luke, of course, wouldn't touch it. Next time I am going to attempt my own dumplings!

I've also been working on biscuits! I've found a recipe that is really good but it needs a little tweaking! I made the biscuits Friday night to go with our leftovers. The recipe made 9 biscuits and I was thinking that we'd have some for breakfast the next day. Nope, our little family of four ate all nine biscuits in one night! So, I guess they're pretty good as is, but I think they can improve! I'm determined to one day have kids and grandkids who rave about my biscuits! :)

Check out for more menu and recipe ideas!


gclayton said...

I make my dumplings from bisquick! They turn out yummy and make the sauce thicker too!

♥Mimi♥ said...

Jump right in making your own dumplings. They are nothing to be afraid to do - honest. They are one of those things that after you've made them once you will laugh at yourself for hesitating!

Jessica said...

Glad your dumplings turned out =)
Your menu sounds yumm-o! as always!!

DonnaK said...

hey Crystal. I don't know what brand of dumplings you used.....and I can't remember the brand I use (the long flat ones that are frozen), but when Matthew has cooked them before (using the same kind of dumplings) his always come out thin. When I do it I break up the dumplings (he doesn't). I don't know if that helps them to thicken faster or what. But they aren't runny or brothy. The "sauce" part thickens the longer I cook it. I have never had to add anything to thicken it. Maybe since you didn't add the whole package of dumplings, it may not have thickened as much. I don't know if you have ever had the chicken and dumplings from the Village Inn, but that is what they remind me of. They aren't like Cracker Barrel though, that makes me think of doughy-er dumplings. All this talk of it makes me want some!!! Yum!!