Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vacation eating--and good at home, too

We were in Montana a couple of weeks ago.  Can it really be a couple of weeks ago?!  We rented a house and spent our days skiing our legs off.  So at the end of the day, we'd pile in the hot tub and then relax in front of the television.  The last thing I wanted to do was whip up a gourmet meal in the kitchen!  And the second-to-last thing anyone wanted to do was sit in a restaurant to eat anything.  We wanted easy and comforting after a long day on the slopes.

Here's one dinner that I make at home all the time, but hadn't realized how really simple it is.  We had a simply-stocked kitchen, and I had also picked up Bisquick along with our other staples because we like pancakes or biscuits in the morning.  One evening we were hungry for a little taste of home:

Chicken and Dumplings, Vacation-Style

Two or Three Chicken Breasts--boneless or not.  (Pick bone-in for better broth, but boneless for quicker cooking)
Onion if you have one (I didn't)
A couple of celery sticks if you have them (I didn't)
A couple of carrots if you have them (I did)
Two cups of Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
A bag of mixed frozen veggies (the old-fashioned cubed kind)

Trim as much fat as you can from the chicken.  Place the chicken in a pot and cover with water.  Season with salt and pepper and add the fresh veggies if you have them.  You can also add thyme and oregano if you have them.  Heat over medium heat and boil for  little while.  For boneless chicken I always go about twenty minutes.  That might be too long but I am completely paranoid about undercooked chicken.

Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it.  Pour the broth into a bowl and strain it back into your pot.  Make sure you remove your cooked veggies.  These should look gross now anyway.  This is where it is important to have trimmed a bunch of fat off the chicken--it's really hard to defat your broth because you don't want to wait around for it.

Put your shredded chicken into the pot with the broth.  Add more water (or canned broth if you have it) to cover the chicken and a little more.  Toss the frozen veggies in, too.  Bring this to a boil.  While it's heating, mix the Bisquick and milk.  When the broth is boiling, drop small biscuit-size pieces of dough on the broth.  You'll end up covering the entire surface of the broth with the dumpling dough.  Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, and cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.  
That's it.  Not fast, but easy, hands-off, and really tasty and warm.  The frozen veggies let the mom in me feel okay about the endless chicken fingers, hot dogs and hot chocolate we were consuming during the day. 

I didn't think about a picture of dinner when I made it, sorry, but the picture up there sums up part of our apres-ski routine every night.  I think they were watching Idol or something.

This post links back to my friend Mary's blog at Homegrown Learners, and her "Wednesdays What's for Dinner."  She is such an innovative mom, full of great ideas for homeschooling and being a mom in general.  Of course, she's also a really nice person, too.  Hopefully I'll have a French Fridays with Dorie post again, but for now my quick recipe here will have to do!


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1 comment:

musicalmary said...

You are so sweet! I love this recipe, Cheryl. I need you to give me cooking lessons, ok??