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One of our best meals

We eat a lot of chicken in our house; I’m always looking for new recipes. Chicken and dumplings make the best Sunday dinner. With banana pudding and fresh bread you can’t go wrong. – Pat

 

Chicken and dumplings

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 broiler-fryer chickens (2 ½ to 3 pounds each), cut up

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch piece

3 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper

8 to 12 cups water

Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs, beaten

Gravy:

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup water

Place flour in a bowl or bag; add the chicken pieces and dredge or shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil; drain. Place in an 8-qt. Dutch oven. Add celery, carrots, parsley and seasonings. Add enough water to cover chicken; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until chicken is almost tender, about 45-50 minutes. Remove 1 cup of broth to use for dumplings; cool, then add flour, baking powder and eggs. Mix well to form a stiff batter; drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken and dumplings to a serving dish and keep warm. For gravy, remove 4 cups broth and vegetables to a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Combine flour and water; mix well. Stir into vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Pour over chicken and dumplings. Serve immediately. Note: any remaining chicken broth can be frozen for future use.

 

Banana pudding

1 ¼ cups cold water

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 package (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix

2 cups whipped topping

24 to 32 vanilla wafers

3 large firm bananas, sliced

In a large bowl, combine water, milk and pudding mix; beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Chill for 5 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping. In individual dessert dishes, layer wafers, pudding, bananas and more pudding. Top each with a wafer. Chill until serving. (6-8 servings)

 

Herbed bread

½ cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk (120 to 130 degrees)

1 tablespoon sugar

1-½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dill weed

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1 package (¼ oz.) active dry yeast

3 to 3½ cups all-purpose flour

melted butter or margarine

In a skillet over low heat, sauté onion in butter until tender, about 8 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Place in a mixing bowl. Add milk, sugar, salt, herbs, yeast and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth, add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to greased top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch the dough down, shape onto a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack; brush with melted butter. Cool.

 

FOOD FACTS

• Freeze leftover chicken broth in ice cube trays, and then keep the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. When a recipe calls for chicken bouillon cubes, thaw out in the defrost cycle in the microwave.

• Have you ever wondered how restaurants serve a very tender, moist chicken breast all the time? They submerge the breast in buttermilk for 3-4 hours under refrigeration before cooking.

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