Monday, October 31, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

We had our first taste of winter weather here over the weekend.  Fortunately we didn't get snow, but we did get a lot of cold blustery wind and rain.  We were all signed up to do the 5k "fun run" at little j's school on Saturday, but when we woke up to pounding rain it was clear that there would be nothing "fun" about it.  Then little j's soccer game was cancelled, so we had an unexpected free day.

As we sat snuggled up in the living room watching season one of the Muppet Show (awesome birthday gift from little j's uncle and aunt) we talked about what to do for dinner.  I suggested chicken and dumplings.  Big J enthusiastically agreed as did little j, until it somehow became clear that we weren't talking about the Chinese dumplings that we often get (why we would have chicken with those, I don't know).  So after some discussion we decided to go with our regular dumplings and hot and sour soup.

But I was determined to make chicken and dumplings the next day, and I was quite sure, despite her protests, that little j would enjoy it.  While I was pretty confident that I had the "soup" part of the recipe down (I was thinking something similar to the pot pie filling) but I needed some dumpling guidance.

I read several recipes and finally settled on one from Simply Recipes.  I learned that using cake flour for the dumplings was the key to fluffy morsels as opposed to hockey pucks (this has to do with the amount of gluten -- cake flour has less).  And I decided to use the whole recipe, as opposed to making my own "soup" and the dumplings from this recipe.

The Js were both happy with the results.  little j seemed surprised that it was as good as it was.   I was as well, but I think I can do better.  I wanted a bit more depth of flavor from the chicken and vegetables.  So I will review my pot pie filling and see how that might be modified for this recipe, but I am definitely keeping the dumpling portion because they were tender and moist -- definitely something you'd look for in a dumpling!

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