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How NOT to make chicken and dumplings

posted 4/16/2013 2:04:59 AM |
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  sawduster

It has been some time since I'd fixed one of my favorite one pot meals, and I'd forgotten why I quit making it. But it was the only thing my taste buds wanted, so I had to give in and what follows, well, you will probably ask yourself pretty much the same question I did, “Where's my sign?”

I'm not a fancy cook by any stretch of anyones imagination, but some things I do a pretty fair job, some are so so, and others, I don't even bother with anymore. Now one of the things I grew up with was chicken and dumplings. Mundane to some but being from a southern family, it was a staple. Anyway, it had been a long time since I's made any, and one reason is that I can't make just enough for one person, If it won't feed at least two, and big meals, it isn't enough. Big problem with that tho, I don't have much room for left overs in my freezer. And my selection of pots and pans with lids that fit them is limited. But, I figured out a workable combination and set about prepping things.

Got the chicken out of the freezer, surprised it wasn't freezer burned, it had been in so long, thawed it and while that was happening, cut up some celery and onion to go in for seasoning sit that aside, and look for the chicken broth I was sure was back on the utility porch/panty. Nope, beef broth, and a lot of different soups, but no chicken broth. OK, what do I have, ahhhhh, chicken base. Wunnerful wunnerful. Two cups of hot water should be enough, and about oh that much base. Ooppps, too much base, so add a little more water, finally get that about right. So far so good, but the best is yet to come. Got a package of 6 thighs, so pull 3 of them out and put the other three back in the freezer. This is a great crock pot dish, usually. So into the crock pot goes the broth, onions, celery and chicken. So far everything is going good, so far. Cook it all on high for a bit, then turn it down to low and go to bed. Next day, the meat is falling off the bone, as it should. Got plenty of room for the dumplings, and my mouth is ready for that first bite. The chicken has lots of flavor, and is oh so tender. But the veggies are a bit much, no problem strain the broth, and we are good to go. I figured that would be at least two good meals and maybe more.

Now for the fun part. Pull out the baking mix, read directions, twice, and try to mix a half batch. Then I pulled the crock out of the base of the crock pot, and oh oh, whats this I see? There is a crack that runs over half way around the bottom, and juice has leaked thru it. Hmmmmm, not good, so go to digging for a pan that will hold all of it, with out being too big. Ahhh, this one looks like it will work. So, transfer the chicken and broth to the pan, put it on the stove and bring to a rolling boil, drop the dough in and cover. But it is trying like crazy to boil over. So pull off the lid, and turn the fire down a little bit. Still got a good boil going, but I put the lid back on, just left an opening so it won't boil over. Check on it about 20 minutes later, and the dumplings are doughy, and not real appetizing. Don't taste very good either.

At this point anyone with sense would probably have just given up for the day, and gone on to something else. But did I ever claim to have a huge amount of that commodity? Not that I can think of off the top, and if I have, I probably meant it as a joke. Besides, my taste buds were fired up for chicken and dumplings, and nothing I could think of would shut them down. So, pulled the dumplings out of the pan make a fresh batch of dough up, read directions again, and guess what, I’d cooked them wrong. Cook UNCOVERED for 10 minutes, cover and cook 10 more.

And just to make sure I got the time right, or even close, I set the timer on the stove. Then came back and played on the computer for a little bit. This is where I needed that sign, I'd set the timer for 10 hours, not minutes. So I’m playing hearts or free cell, and I get I whiff of something, can't quite place it, but smells like something burning. Yup, definitely, OH SHIT. Off to the kitchen I charge and look at the clock. Then at the pan of now somewhat blackened dinner. And it didn't just burn a little, the chicken was so stuck, I wound up throwing pan and all out. The dumplings, had they not tasted like charcoal, would have been ok. Needles to say, many profanities issued forth from my mouth. After all that work, and nothing to show for it, you would think I'd learned my lesson, leave that dish alone. But, the next day I tried again, not as big a disaster, but far from what my taste buds had been anticipating. The barn cats from across the road got a big portion of that attempt. And they left the dumplings.

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Comments:

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mynameismarie

Apr 16 @ 3:59AM  
I'm not so sure if that was supposed to be funny, and if not then I'm sorry for laughing! I wasn't laughing at you though; I could so see me doing that! Maybe not chicken and dumplings, just cooking in general! Especially the timer and getting sidetracked :-) And, don't you know, third try is a charm. Supposedly!
I am sorry you didn't have the meal you were so anticipating!
Wordsofwit

Apr 16 @ 5:47AM  
In the kitchen I am good at some things, others not so much I tremendously enjoy chicken and dumplings as a change or pace More often than not it is in the dumplings themselves where it is the make it or break it. Doughy dumplings are just plane disgusting.

A friend of mine turned me on to pseudo variation that is fool proof, less labor intensive, faster, and with reduced mess. Instead of making dumplings, substitute torn up pieces of flour tortillas
Wordsofwit

Apr 16 @ 5:47AM  
In the kitchen I am good at some things, others not so much I tremendously enjoy chicken and dumplings as a change or pace More often than not it is in the dumplings themselves where it is the make it or break it. Doughy dumplings are just plane disgusting.

A friend of mine turned me on to pseudo variation that is fool proof, less labor intensive, faster, and with reduced mess. Instead of making dumplings, substitute torn up pieces of flour tortillas
LadyRamRod_

Apr 16 @ 8:20AM  
Hope you have better luck next time sawduster
soft_touch938

Apr 16 @ 9:56AM  
In the kitchen, I know my limits and I have a lot of them! I've never made dumplings in my life but that's probabaly because I don't like them. But I've had my share of other disasters over the years. Cooking is another good reason for being alone...I can keep it simple and I don't have anyone expecting me to be the chef.

But don't give up on chicken 'n dumplings Duster...practice makes perfect they say 'n pots 'n pans are cheap at rummage sales and get yourself a little timer you can set in front of your computer screen then ya know when what's cookin' is done.
sugarnspice005

Apr 16 @ 11:36AM  
I used to LOVE my Grandmother's chicken and dumplings! The chicken was so tender and the dumplings were tasty, and Grandma always cooked from scratch, none of that prepackaged stuff. I wish I could get a hold of her recipe for her chicken and dumplings, but, my aunt made a grab for everything after Grandma died, and will not give anything up. It's not that she's a cold bitch, because she's not, she's more like...how do I say it? She thinks because she the oldest, that everything is hers basically. She and Mom don't talk like they used to, their relationship has been strained since Grandma's passing.

Anyway, now that I've read this blog.......I really wish I could have a dish of Grandma's chicken and dumplings.
RJ53

Apr 16 @ 1:12PM  
Chicken and dumplings are pretty easy when you buy the dumplings already made in the frozen food section, I make a pot of them from time to time for my youngest son,
PinkToeNails

Apr 16 @ 6:54PM  
I love to make chicken and dumplings... dang! Cracker Barrel is sounding kinda good right now cause I don't feel like cooking. I usually roll out my dough, made with Bisquick.. roll them thin... cut into strips... I will let them "dry" for a while... not sure why, it's just something a great Aunt of mine did...lol
In a pinch though I will use frozen biscuits.. let them thaw and press thin and cut into pieces. I like to thicken my broth with cream of chicken soup and I will use chicken broth too... and I put a little broth into the dough when I mix it. My chicken and dumplings are THE SHIT!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I reeeeeeeeeeeeally want some now!!

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How NOT to make chicken and dumplings