Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When life throws you a curve, make Chicken and Dumplings.

I finally ordered The Joy of Cooking. I’ve been told, if you even remotely consider yourself a cook, dare I say home chef, this is a must in the kitchen library.

I have my old recipe for chicken and dumplings which include boiling some chicken, adding some good veggies and herbs and depending on my mood making the dumplings from scratch or using good ol' Bisquick. Hey, don’t disrespect, that’s some good shit right there. I learned this method from my mom growing up when money was tight, and this was a comforting and filling meal. As I grew up and could afford my own ingredients, I gourmeted it up a bit adding fennel instead of celery and shallots instead of white onions and lots of fresh herbs. It wasn’t bad, and tonight I was craving some good old fashioned comfort. Out of habit, I started the chicken on the stove boiling and the book caught my eye. I flipped through and found a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. So off I went, pulling the stock pot off the stove, draining the chicken and patting it dry to start over with The Joy of Cooking’s version of Chicken and Dumplings.



First step was to fry the chicken in butter, but I used Olive Oil that tastes like butter. I know...right! All natural, these are olives that taste just like butter! I feel it may be a healthier alternative, but honestly I really don’t know. This was just a good opportunity to use my 19.00 bottle of Olive oil. And yes, I know, things don’t brown as nicely in olive oil as they do butter, but I saw it as a great opportunity to use my new buttery Olive Oil.

See...not bad



Next step. cook onions in the juice of the chicken and that buttery olive oil...



Whisk in chicken broth, veggies and herbs, I added fennel. Now watch everything turn creamy and delicious....



Once boiling add chicken back with all it’s yummy juices and let cook just barely bubbling for 30 minutes...



meanwhile, make your dumplings...



Add dumplings and cook for another 10 minutes. I plated mine with a little swig of Fig Balsamic Vinegar...



Mmmm, the vinegar gave a tart and fruity surprise, like cranberry sauce with stuffing. If this is what I get when life throws a curve, I’ve hit it out of the park!