My life now is about comfort…
Shoes: I want them cute, cute, cute but not pinching, binding or otherwise making me look like Frankenstein’s monster when I walk and absolutely, positively no spike heels!
Well, okay, those are for the bedroom only, thank you very much.
Clothes: A great pair of jeans, with a fab-u-lous t-shirt, lots of gorgeous jewelry, a scarf, maybe a big-assed-hat if the wind is not blowing and a killer blazer.
Friends: A girl can’t get along with out her buddies, her pals, her mates. Someone who knows where all the bodies are buried and loves you anyway. Editor’s Note: Of course your friends know, they all brought shovels, another one loaned you her truck and they all showed with their very own special shot glass because they know there will be a great bottle of tequila to toast you and your new beginnings after the body is in the ground and all is neat and tidy. Ole!
Okay, with my friends, we would be doing shots while we were burying the body!!!
…and of course, food. Food is where I am going to concentrate today.
Comfort Foods. Everyone has a favorite….some thing that was extra special when you came home, either carrying your shield or on it. In triumph or defeat, there is that special something that calls your name and gets you past or into the next phase of your life.
Two of my favorite hot comfort foods is chicken and dumpling and macaroni and cheese. And I don’t mean the kind that comes out of that blue box. Please…reference the macaroni that swims in a cheese sauce and is just as good hot as it is cold. And oh, make that three comfort foods. Brown beans, pinto to the rest of the world…but they have to be cooked with a clove of garlic and just seasoned with salt.
But today, I am concentrating on chicken and dumplings.
When we lived in San Pedro, Tuesday night was bead night with a group of my friends…they are all highly talented artisans in their own field and they bleed over into so many other artistic endeavors that they could earn a living at that I could not list them all here. Just say that they are TALENTED. That evening, I made chicken and dumplings and they asked for the recipe…here goes.
I am a kinda fly-by the-seat-of-my-pants cook…which works for me but can make getting things down into a recipe format for others interesting.
CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
The day before I serve the dish, I cook
One chicken…(I buy a whole one and put it into the pressure cooker with water and cook…always follow the directions for loading your pressure cooker)…no spices, no salt/pepper…just chicken and water.)
***Just a pot with a lid would work as well, the object here is to cook the chicken and reserve the water that it has been cooked in.***
Cook…..Remove the chicken and cool in the fridge.
Pour the chicken broth into a container and place in the fridge….allow to cool until the fat all rises to the top.
The next day I de-bone the chicken and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. SALT and PEPPER to taste.
Take the broth from the fridge and skim off all the fat. You should now have some fab-u-lous chicken stock. I put this into a large pot that has a lid (lid is going to get to be very important) and add more water….anywhere from 2-4 cups, depending on how large of a crowd I am going to serve (that is the magic of soup, just add more water when company is coming).
Heat this and at this point I add the SALT and PEPPER to taste….Bring this to a boil…
Because here comes the very best part of this dish…the dumplings…
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk (I use powdered skim)
Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Plus milk and oil and stir, until moistened.
Drop the dumplings by spoonful into the boiling stock.
I use two soup spoons, one to scoop with, the other to push the little darling dumpling into its awaiting destiny in the merrily bubbling pot.
Cover with a lid. The mixture will return to a boil. The way that I know this is because it boils over so do not stray far from the stove. Whenever this happens I turn down the heat and DO NOT LIFT THE LID….have faith, my friend, and let the dumplings cook and steam for the next 12-15 minutes. And that is pretty much the secret to fluffy dumplings….they have to steam and any peeking does not allow them to fulfill their potential.
Okay, the timer goes off and now it is just this side of heaven. Have a dumpling to make sure that you are not going to poison your family. I always do this and sometimes I have to have a second, just to make sure…thankfully I have not poisoned anyone yet…better that I should fall in the line of battle, she said while blowing on the dumpling and having that first bite.
Add the cut up chicken and if no one is lactose intolerant about 1 cup of fat-free half and half or your milk of choice.
You can, of course, dress this up or down according to your family’s needs, wants, desires.
You could put all manner of herbs into that dumpling mix.
If there is any left over I mix in all those left over veggies that are in the fridge, make pie crust, and it becomes one of the best chicken pot pies, ever.
Now, I have purchased a chicken that has already been cooked, either from the deli area on in a can and used canned biscuits and canned chicken broth to do this…….but this is not even close to the same thing and to quote Strider/Aragorn, son of Arathorn, “It is just the shadow of a thought that you love.”
And welcome to a great and not so good mystery!
Sherlock has vanished from my FictionPad site! I attempted to load part XXI last night and it timed out and then…POOF! So did the story!
Today I am working to restore the story to the site…oy vey!
Have a most wonderful Friday….and on to the weekend!