Monday, November 8, 2010

Not your typical date night...

Okay, so if you are checking the date stamp on this post you will see that it is not Monday, and if you check out the photo below you will also notice that we are not dressed in proper "date night" attire. (Well Landen is but he looks like that everyday and I like to come home and jump straight into my jammies!).

This week is slightly different for us in terms of our Date Night Tuesday. Since we have several previously-committed-to meetings, dinner dates, etc we decided to stay home, relax and cook our favorite homemade meal...CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS! Believe me when I say...WAY worth spending DNT indoors in our little abode!

I was so excited about tonights Date that I decided to document the whole process with you and even share the recipe in case you would like to try them yourself! It is hands-down the best dumplings ever...well, except for Aunt June's dumplings that is but that is a no brainer for our family! No one is EVER going to have dumplings as good as Aunt June's!

So to begin the night we dressed in our lovely date night attire and posed for our "Date Night Tuesday" glamour shot.

As tradition goes in the kitchen, I do all the fun stuff (baking, dicing, rolling, kneading, etc) and Landen does all the hard tedious stuff that I bore of easily (pulling the chicken off the bone, pulling more chicken off the bone, etc). We usually try and use chicken breasts that are already off the bone but in this case we had some bone-in breasts in the freezer so we went with those. Landen did an amazing job of pulling the chicken and I whipped up a pretty good batch of dumplings (if I do say so myself!)

After waiting patiently for the dumplings to float to the top in their all their plump glory, and after adding one more quick dash of chicken stock, we were able to sit down and enjoy our homemade chicken and dumplings! Not as good as Aunt June's but they are a pretty delicious substitute!

And here's the best part: THE RECIPE!

Chicken broth
Chicken stock
chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, but like I said bone-in will work too, just more work)
All purpose flour
Self-rising flour
shortening (Crisco)

Step 1: Put the chicken in a stock pot, cover with water, put the lid on and cool until chicken is cooked.
Step 2: While chicken is cooking go ahead and make up the dumpling dough:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 cup Crisco (cut in the crisco using a fork until the mixture resembles something like cornbread

Add milk: HERE IS THE TRICK PART! I add milk a little at a time, I don't use an exact measurement. If you have any experience with baking you will know when it's ready because it will resemble any other type of dough. If you need to add more flour to it then add a little at a time. I find that adding the milk in just a teaspoon or so at a time makes it much easier to judge!
Knead mixture into a nice ball of dough, cover, and refrigerate while you finish preparing chicken.

Step 3: Once chicken is cooked remove from water and cut into small pieces if boneless of pull meat off bones if bone-in.
Step 4: We always dump out about half of the water in the pot because we will add the broth and stock into the pot. HOWEVER, there is no substitute for fresh chicken stock (which is what you have just made by cooking the chicken in water) so don't dump it all out. Add chicken broth to your desired amount (we use about 1 1/2 boxes of broth) and then add the stock (we use one of the little boxes). Turn the heat up to medium high and let cook until boiling.

Step 4: Here you have two options. You can roll the dumplings, cut them and then drop them, OR you can do like us and just pull them off in chunks, flatten slightly, and then drop. I love the thicker consistency and I think the imperfect dumplings look so much more legit!

Step 5: Drop all the dumplings into the pot and cook until dumplings float to the top.
Step 6: Mix about a tablespoon of all purpose flour and a tablespoon of milk together and add to pot. This helps all the wet ingredients thicken up a bit.

And that's it! Homemade chicken and dumplings. It's so easy and well worth it!

Make sure you let us know if you try these out yourself.

Until next week!

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