Wednesday, June 9, 2010

for a slight change of pace {a recipe}

Sometimes I actually feel like cooking/baking.  I actually tend to do it in big spurts.  Nothing spectacular and then something freshly baked three days in a row...what can I say?  Sometimes I am quite the overachiever.  Tonight, I finally felt recovered enough from the past few harrowing toddler-crazy days to think about something decent for dinner.  Of course, not until about 4:50, but the kiddos were very patient.  I kind of used a recipe for part of it, but mostly just threw stuff in, so I figured I should write it down somewhere since it went over so very well :)

For a delicious catch-all {meaning, includes pretty much all food groups} dinner, Chicken Soup & Dumplings.


First, chop up all of the following via your food processor {SUCH a time saver}- it will all be super small pieces

  • 2-3 stalks of celery, depending on size
  • 1 sweet/vidalia onion {the only kind I get these days}
  • 2 cloves garlic
In a large pot {trust me, large, those dumplings really plump up later!}, add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add all of the vegetables and saute for about 3 minutes.  Make some space in the pot to add:

  • 1.5 lbs. of boneless, skinless chicken thighs {thighs are dark meat, which tend to make better soups, more fat :)}
  • maybe 3/4 of a cup of water, to keep it all moist
Cover and let simmer over medium-low to medium heat until cooked through.  What I ended up doing after the chicken was cooked was throw it through a quick food processor run as well.  This makes the soup much easier to eat for my kids, who tend to give dirty looks to large pieces of  Throw said chicken back into the pot.  Add the following:

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups milk {preferably 1%, but skim would probably work}
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • parsley to taste
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
Simmer the soup until heated through, mixing occasionally to make sure everything is blending well.  While simmering, concoct the following delectable dumplings:

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2  teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 3/4 cup milk
    Mix the dry ingredients together.  Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly.  Gradually add the milk, stirring mixture into a thick batter.  I used a melon baller {divine creations} to scoop and drop my dumplings onto my simmering soup and it worked like a charm.  I have a baller that probably measures out a tablespoon at a time, so my dumpling batter balls {lol} were probably a heaping Tbsp.  Once you've used all the batter, cover your pot {try, try not to open it for the duration of dumpling cookage} and let simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

    This soup really was great.  For younger eaters who find soup kind of hard to deal with {think drippy spoons}, this came out pleasantly/helpfully thicker than most soups.  It has something to do with the really small vegetables I think...if you mash up some of the dumplings into the soup even more than they already are, that makes it accessible even for a baby {i.e. Bennett, who was able to pick up whole handfuls}.  Everyone in our family loves this and I will definitely be making it again.  Bon Appetit!

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