Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings Two Ways

I'm sorry I missed my Tuesday post. I had trouble with my laptop, and as I was finally typing out directions for the pizza dough I realized I really needed pictures to go along with it to explain fully. I'll be making homemade pizza within the next week, and I'll take pictures and share the recipe when I have those. I love this dough recipe and can't wait to share it with everyone.

Today I want to share two recipes for dumplings that I make with chicken. This last time I actually made both types to test which my family liked best. The first recipe is for a rolled, strip dumpling made from scratch. The second type is made with Jiffy or Bisquick baking mix.

(This is the link for Jiffy Baking Mix which is available in the grocery store. )

Let's start with the strip dumplings first.

Rolled Strip Dumplings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3 tablespoons shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut shortening into flour/salt mixture using a pastry blender or fork. It should work in, and turn crumbly. Stir in the water to form a soft dough. Use a little more if needed. Turn the dough out onto the counter that has been lightly floured. Roll out the dough VERY thin. You want to be able to pick up the strips, but it needs to be kept thin. Cut into 1 inch wide strips.

A serrated knife works well. Cut 1 inch long pieces of dough from the strips and drop into a simmering broth. Cook for about 10 minutes with the pot lid off, then 10 minutes more with the lid on.

Easy Drop Dumplings

(10-12 Dumplings)
2 cups "JIFFY" Baking Mix
2/3 cup milk

Combine ingredients until blended; the dough will be very soft. Drop dough by the spoonful into the boiling broth, stew or soup. Drop them next to each other, not on top of one another. Cover tightly; reduce heat and simmer 12-15 minutes.

Notes: These turn out fluffy, and delicious. I double the recipe and make them in batches. I remove the first batch to a bowl when done, and put in the next ones, cooking as instructed. IF you need to add more broth after the first batch be sure to bring it to a boil before the dumplings. I have also used Bisquick with really good results.

The Chicken and Broth for Dumplings

1 frying chicken, cut up 2-3 pounds thighs and/or breasts with bone
1 water to cover chicken
1 tbsp. poultry seasoning, or Italian seasoning
onion, chopped
salt and pepper to season

Rinse the chicken, removing any giblets or livers. Place the chicken in a large soup pot, add the chopped onion and seasonings, then cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about an hour until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken to a bowl or platter. Turn off the burner, and cool the chicken enough to handle. (Optional: Use a slotted spoon to remove the onion from the broth, and discard. My family doesn't like chunks of onion).

When the chicken can be handled, remove it from the bones, cutting it into bite size pieces. Place the chicken back in the broth, and bring to a boil. Add the dumplings per one of the recipes above.

Hands down the easy baking mix drop dumpling was the favorite by everyone in the family. The strip dumplings were good, but just not as good. They were more like a very thick noodles then a dumpling. I can see times where they would be good in a soup instead of noodles.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Three Easy Chopped Steak Meals

We often have from one to three extra teens at our house any day of the week, and especially on weekends. This week I'll be sharing meals on the blog that are fairly easy and inexpensive to fix when extra people are at the table. Below are the meals I will be sharing:

1. Today: Chopped/Cubed Steak

2. Tuesday: Homemade Pizza

3. Thursday: Chicken and Dumplings

Chopped steak, also known as cubed steak in some areas, is usually the least expensive of the cuts of steak. It's low in fat and very easy to cook with. The first method of cooking chopped steak that I'd like to share is grilling, which is the easiest and quickest. Figure on one to two steaks per person if they are about the size of a hamburger patty. My teen boys and husband eat two each, while my daughter and I eat one each. When buying the chopped steaks always buy a 2-3 extra and if they aren't eaten at the meal they can be warmed up the next day for steak sandwiches or salad.

Grilled Chopped Steak


1 to 2 steaks per person

Seasoning Salt

Adobo Seasoning

Season each steak on one side with the seasoning salt, and the other with the Adobo seasoning. Place on the grill, cooking five minutes on each side. At this point you can remove the thinner or smaller steaks, and continue cooking any that may need to grill longer. It's important not to overcook this type of steak or it will toughen. When done remove from grill and allow to sit in a platter for 5 minutes or so before serving. Note: if you can't find Adobo seasoning use a little bit of chili powder and garlic powder in it's place.

Pan Fried Chopped Steak


1-2 steaks per person

Seasoning Salt

Cajun Seasoning

Season the steaks with seasoning, and place in a large skillet that has been sprayed with pan spray. Cook on one side until the steak is browned well, then turn over. At this point the cooking time varies depending on how done each person desires the steak. Sometimes the steaks create quite a bit of liquid. Remove most of this to a bowl when it builds up, and set aside. After the steaks have finished cooking remove them to a platter. Toss in a can of mushrooms that have been drained into the same skillet. Cook til they are heated through, add the steak broth, and cook it down for a couple minutes until it thickens slightly. This can be served over the steaks or on the side. Onions can also be added with the mushrooms before stirring in the broth.

Chopped Steak with Mushrooms


1-2 chopped steaks per person

Seasoning Salt

ground black pepper

1 can mushroom soup

Season the steaks with the seasoning salt and place in a pan that has been sprayed with pan spray, or a very small amount of oil can be added to the pan instead. Brown the steaks for 6 minutes or so on each side, removing any juices that are in the pan. While the steaks are cooking place the soup into a bowl, adding 1/2 cup of the juices from the pan. Whisk this together well. After the steaks have been cooked on each side pour the soup over the steaks. Turn the stove down and simmer the steaks for about ten minutes. Remove the steaks from the pan, and spoon some of the soup over them on a platter before serving.

Notes on Side Dishes: I serve all three of these with garlic bread, baked potatoes and salad or a vegetable.