Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Best Chicken and Dumplings

Who doesn't love great tasting Chicken and Dumplings?  I've used various recipes over the years but I really like this one.  I found it in one of my Southern Living cookbooks.  If you are an avid cook, you really should check out the Southern Living cookbooks. . . a treasure trove of great recipes!

1 whole chicken
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for work surface)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons Crisco
3/4 cup buttermilk
chopped fresh chives

Place chicken, celery, and carrots in a Dutch oven, add water and 2 teaspoons of the salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about an hour.  Remove chicken from broth and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.  Remove and discard skin and bone from the chicken and cut/tear meat into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, combine, flour, baking soda and remaining1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the Crisco with a pastry blender.  Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened.  Turn dough onto well floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times.

Pat dough to 1/2 inch thickness.  Pinch or cut dough in 1 1/2 inch pieces and drop into boiling broth.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until desired consistency, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in chicken.  Garnish serving with chives.

Note:  While the recipe calls for "shortening", I am a true believer in Crisco!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Salsa time!

Yes, salsa is good any time of the year.  But somehow I think of it as a summertime food. . . don't know why!  Here is one that is especially good.  This brief (36 hours according to the weatherman) respite from the winter has got my mind thinking of firing up the Weber smoker out back!

2 cups black beans
1 papaya, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped with the juice
juice of 4 limes
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste