Thursday, March 24, 2016
Stop & Chat: March 20-23
Yesterday was a good day for me. I made some chicken and dumplings! Sort of. I heavily modified Alton Brown's recipe to fit the ingredients I had on hand. The end result is in the picture above but you bet your butt I took some pictures of the process. Are you ready?
Technically this calls for a whole chicken/hen. I chose to use chicken breasts for ease of use. I also don't have a pressure cooker, like the original recipe calls for. I wasn't about to spend the money on a piece of equipment for an experimental project, so I settled for the slow, long boil. The water is about one inch above the breasts.
Then the dough! I combined the ingredients, replacing the shortening with 3/4 stick of butter. I put the remaining 1/4 stick in the chicken water.
They rolled out okay. I don't think I hit the 1/16th inch width, but it turned out okay. I also read comments on the recipe page that said an entire 8 hours of letting the dough dry wasn't always necessary. Good, because at the time of making it I had less than 6 hours before I had to leave for bowling.
Then came the waiting. I left the dough out to dry and left the chicken to simmer for about an hour while I surfed the web and cleaned up the dishes I had dirtied.
Once the chicken had been sitting for a while I began pulling each breast out and shredding/cutting it into bite sized chunks. Then all the chicken went right back into the broth. Alton's recipe calls for the leftover broth to be strained. I didn't, because I'm a rebel. Also we didn't have a strainer fine enough for this purpose.
I then took a pizza cutter and started making strips out of my dough. I did cut each piece in half, leaving some rather long pieces. If I were to make this again I would cut the pieces to be smaller.
See how long the dumplings ended up? I disobeyed the recipe's orders and stirred the noodles as they cooked to get them to break up into bite sized chunks. I also took this time to add a tablespoon of cilantro and a teaspoon of black pepper.
So you don't have to scroll back to the top, here is the final product! I made a mistake here; I did not wait the full 10 minutes for my dumplings to cook. So my first bowl wasn't the best. I thought I messed up in how thick I made my dumplings and they tasted too hearty with me subbing in butter for the vegetable shortening. In reality, they just weren't fully cooked. Good thing there weren't any eggs in this. LOL When I got home from bowling the dumplings tasted perfect!
After making the food I cleaned until I had to leave for bowling. I also had a cup of coffee from our brand new coffee maker we finally picked up on Tuesday. Remember way back in January when I mentioned that our coffee maker was broken? Yup. I'm ashamed to be such an avid coffee drinker and yet wait so long to get a coffee maker.
Bowling was so much fun! I was N's sub for this week and got to play on T's team, and the team we were playing against has people that I can easily talk to. In reality everyone on the bowling league is easy to talk to now that I'm finding more comfort in being there, but the particular group I bowled with is closer to me in interests/age so we have more that we can talk about. I'm also proud to report that on all 3 games I beat my previous high score in a bowling game. Previously my highest was 100. Yesterday I got a 125, then 105, then 114. WOOHOOO! I know it's not actually that good of a score, but dangit it's good for me!
Michael got home right after I did and he finally got to try my dumplings. He said they're good! This is something he wouldn't mind me making again. That's the best cooking praise I've ever gotten from him LOL. He's the cook, okay? Not me.
Okay, enough babbling for me today. I'm going to heat up some leftover chicken & dumplings and have that for breakfast, buahahaha!