Monday, October 27, 2008

Herbed Chicken and Dumplings

When we sat down to plan our menus for this week on Sunday, one of the recipes we picked out was Herbed Chicken and Dumplings from the October 2008 Cooking Light magazine.

We picked it for a couple of reasons. One, it was a fairly simple recipe that didn't call for a lot of ingredients. (Sometimes we'll make recipes with lengthy ingredient lists, but not often.) And second, most of the ingredients we already had, meaning it would use up leftovers and ease our grocery bill.

To begin, we had to cube up 8 ounces of chicken breast and cook it in a pan.

After that was done, we set that pan aside and kept the chicken warm. In a Dutch oven, we sliced up carrots and celery on the bias and added onions, thyme, parsley flakes and a bay leaf and sauteed that mixture. (We added more vegetables than the recipe called for, which is something we do quite often. It's a great way to get more vegetables into our diets and the recipes often don't need to be tweaked that much to accommodate the greater amount of vegetables.)

After the onions were tender, we added the chicken to the vegetables and let that sit for a minute. Then we put in the chicken broth. (We added more than the recipe called for to match the amount of vegetables.) Once the mixture has been brought to a boil, cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes.

As the soup was nearing the 30-minute end time, we started on the dumplings. We added flour, parsley flakes, baking powder, salt and milk.

Then we formed those into dumplings and dropped them into the soup. (We also made a double batch of dumplings.) Let those firm up for about 10 minutes.

The end product was good, but not great. The base was flavorful and the vegetables were tender. We thought there should have been some garlic, though. In addition, the dumplings were not so great. The recipe calls for fresh parsley, but we used dried flakes instead because we didn't want to buy a bunch from the store and then use just a small amount of it. If we had used fresh parsley, it would have been better. Also, the dumplings were kind of flavorless. They would have been better with some other seasons. In single servings, we added ground black pepper and ground garlic salt, and that helped improve the flavors.

We'll try this again with those changes sometime.

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