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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables

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What’s the definition of comfort food?, Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables. It’s so comforting you’ll get warm fuzzies inside! I do have to honest here, I didn’t make my own dumplings or this dish, I took some help from my local grocery store. I mean, making your own from scratch is probably best and can make all the difference in the world to the finished dish except if you’re like where the value of your time is really important, these store-bought dumplings are a quick alternative to making your own, a great time saver.

One ingredient that’s a staple in my frig is, chicken fat. Steve loves to grill chicken thighs and doesn’t use the skin, he gives those to me. I render the skin down and collect all the drippings for recipes such as Matzo ball soup and this dish. Chicken fat can add extra flavor to your dish. I’ll show you how I incorporate it.

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Equipment: 4-quart sauce pot with glass lid, 6-quart stockpot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Note: While chicken is poaching, prep the vegetables.
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 tablespoons chicken fat (or 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
1 yellow diced yellow onion
3 diced carrots
3 ribs diced celery
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
pinch of dried rosemary (crush up in your hand)
1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1-10 1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings (12 ounces, break strips in half- freeze unused dumplings)
1 package frozen peas – optional
6 cups of low sodium chicken broth (make sure there is enough broth to come over the half-way mark)
4 tablespoons of corn starch
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of finely chopped, fresh flat leaf Italian parsley

Tip: While chicken is poaching, prep all the vegetables for this dish.

Directions For Poaching Chicken:
To start, place 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, in a single layer, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, into a large pot. Cover the chicken with either water or (I’m using) unsalted chicken broth. If the 1 quart of broth does not cover the chicken completely, add water so that it will cover the chicken by at least 1-inch.

Bring the chicken to a boil on medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the liquid starts to boil.  Since I’m not using the poaching liquid for this recipe, there is no need to skim this off, it’s fine to leave it.

As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. The chicken will typically finish cooking between 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it has a bone.  The chicken breasts are done when they are opaque through the middle, and an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken reads- 165 F.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, transfer the cutting board, and begin shredding them using two forks, transfer to a bowl.

Directions For Frozen Dumplings:
Gently separate the dumplings right before adding them to the broth.

Directions For The Chicken And Dumplings:
In a small dice, dice the onions, carrots, and celery.  Finely mince the garlic. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil, and chicken fat over medium heat. Add in all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, bay leaves, and a pinch of dried rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Saute until the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cream of chicken soup to the pot and stir. Next, add the chicken broth (making sure to add enough broth to where it comes up to over the halfway mark in the soup pot), and give another good stir. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings one by one. Let them boil in the soup, (45 minutes according to the package), stirring occasionally until they are all tender. Next, carefully fish out the two bay leaves.

Return cooked shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir through.

To Thicken Broth: Optional
In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water.
Add to the boiling broth, a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency.

 

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Pasta, Peas, And Pancetta

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This is a quick easy week night meal, and a great one you can serve up to guests. Let me show you how fast this dish comes together. I’m using a Fusilli pasta for this dish.

This is what pancetta (Italian bacon) looks like. I’ts similar to American bacon in that it’s cured, it is just not smoked.You can get this at the deli counter in your local grocery store. For this dish, you do not want to get it sliced, you’re going to want one thick slice about 1/2 inch thick. The deli employees will just adjust the blade on the slicer to the thickness you’re requesting. You may even be able to find pancetta already diced and packaged.

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Prep Time: 3-5 minutes
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 pound of fusilli
2-1/2 ounces pancetta, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, reserve 1/4 cup for serving
1 good size shallot, halved, and thinly sliced
1-10 ounce package frozen peas
Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup pasta cooking liquid
1 tablespoon of finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint leaves

Directions:
Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite.  Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Heat the olive oil in a medium  (10 inch) saute pan, add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally, until the pancetta is browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy pancetta over to a plate, lined with paper towel. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon dripping from saute pan.

Add the sliced shallots and minced garlic to the pan,  saute about 3 minutes until tender. Toss in the thawed frozen peas, to warm through, stirring everthing together. Remove from heat. Add the crispy pancetta back in with the vegetables and stir through.

Add the pancetta vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano, half the mint,and half the basil to the cooked pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by the tablespoon if needed. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil and mint on top. Serve, passing additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

 

 

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