The Best Ever Chicken and Dumplings!

CAUTION! Maybe I should put a disclaimer here. This is by no means a dieting recipe. It is a good hearty meal that goes over well all year round.

Every time I have asked my son Chuck what he would like for his birthday he always says Chicken and Dumplings. And now it is passing down to my grandson.

This is a chicken meal I came up with years ago when trying to create a different (for me anyway) way to serve chicken. It remains to be one of the more economical meals to feed a family.

It’s funny, I didn’t realize how endearing this recipe is to me. I hesitated posting on it because I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it. But here we are!

Whereas in the beginning I would buy a whole chicken and cut it up myself, now I purchase breasts, legs, and a few thighs already cut up. These are the pieces that are the main favorites.

Now, unfortunately, the chicken needs to have the skin on. I have tried using skinless and boneless and it just isn’t the same. However, if you start out using boneless and skinless chicken your family may not notice the difference. The gravy will still get you in the calorie count though.

I trim off any excess fat that I can before frying the chicken. I fry it in a little vegetable oil until it is browned. Then I drain off any grease that I can.

The pan gets put back on the stove with medium heat and I add enough water until it reaches about a half inch from the top. I’m old fashioned in that I still use boullion cubes, adding 8-10 of them to the simmering chicken. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for a good 20 minutes, checking it to make sure it isn’t sticking and that the cubes are dissolving.

Also, at this time I add dry mustard. Now I know that may sound a little odd and I don’t remember what possessed me years ago to add it, but it works. It just punches up the flavor. I use a heaping tablespoon for a 12-14 inch pan’s worth. Salt and pepper also get added to taste. I also tend to add a little garlic powder here.

After checking the chicken for doneness I remove it and place it in a bowl nearby. Using a whisk, I stir the gravy to loosen anything stuck to the pan getting it ready to thicken. I use cornstarch but you can use whatever you like to create a good thick gravy. About a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with a little water added to it first should thicken it properly. If not, repeat.

When it is good and thick add the chicken back to the pan, letting it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

It can be served from the stove or put in a large dish for the table.

The dumplings? Well, the recipe I use is one handed down to me from my childrens’ grandmother. She played an important role in my life. I would need to ask her family if it would be okay to broadcast her recipe. Any good dumpling recipe will work. Or mashed potatoes. Also, something that I have begun to use for another dish is frozen egg noodles. When cooked they taste similar to dumplings and are very much like homemade noodles.

Enjoy!
D.

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Chicken Fajitas

Want a quick and easy fajita recipe? I should mention delicious too! Then this is one for you! I don’t remember where I got this recipe from and I have made my own adjustments along the way, but it is definitely a keeper!

Chicken Fajitas

1lb boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
2T vegetable oil
2tsp chili powder
1 1/2tsp cumin (I don’t add this)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp seasoned salt (I use regular)
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilis (Rotel), well drained
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper

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400 degree oven.
Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
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In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
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Slice peppers and onions and drain tomatoes. I was using things up so this time I used a half of yellow and orange pepper instead of the red and green. Also, you will notice in the picture that I used 2 kinds of onion, not necessary to do this.
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Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the mix and stir to combine.
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Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
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ENJOY!

Have a great weekend everyone!
Doris

P.S. I am thinking that tofu could be easily substitued for the chicken in this recipe. What do you think?

I am also thinking that they could work quite well in the homemade pitas that my niece makes. Yum!