Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings of two great meals!  Chicken in the crockpot and if you're lucky like me, you have a neighbor who has rosemary in their garden and she lets you come over and take snips of it, as much as you like!  I learned something new about crockpot cooking from Pinterest, but I lost the original pin.  Put 4 pieces of crumpled up aluminum foil underneath the meat... that simple!  I was skeptical that I would taste foil, but you don't.  I also did it with a pork tenderloin.  Now tis chicken is so juicy, its amazing! 
Okay, here we go, start with a whole fryer/roaster - get a large one, salt and pepper it, slice up some onion, throw on some garlic, slice a lemon and tear up some rosemary.  Put some of the onion/lemon/rosemary inside the bird.  And be sure and clean out the chicken really good, (shame on me - I don't save the neck and gizzards, I just toss 'em) cut off the big hunks of fat - there will be plenty enough for the stock.  Don't forget to throw the 4 balls of foil underneath.  Throw a few carrots and potatoes in there, if you're so inclined.  Cook it for 8/10 hours - 6 if you're in a hurry. 
Now that's a great meal, with some potatoes (baked or mashed) the carrots can be your veggie.  The chicken is super moist and juicy.  And frankly, I'm not a chicken fan but I like this kind.  For the second meal, pick all the meat off the bones and strain the juice - keep them separate and refrigerate overnight.  The only reason to do this is to let the fat gel and scrape it off. 
The new day - skim the fat off the top of the stock.  Melt 2 tbsp of butter and throw 1/4 cup flour on it, stir and let it brown up for a minute or so and then slowly add your stock.  Or you can cheat and use Wondra.  Add another box of chicken stock (32 oz), throw in the chicken meat.  Add 1-2 cups of water and 1-2 cups of half and half.  Slice up a couple of carrots and some celery if you have it.  With all those liquids, you'll need to salt and pepper it all.  Now I'm lazy about dumplings, I use canned biscuits, about 4-5 rolled out and slice in half, then in thirds.  Throw them in all that liquid and let it cook for at least 30- 45 minutes or longer.  Now, enjoy a bowl of it with maybe some cornbread.  I love crockpot cooking and Pinterest!