Friday, December 28, 2012

Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Happy Holidays!  Today I'm celebrating that we've survived the madness of shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating and the like.  I love this time right before the new year begins.  The house is a wreck and we're making our to-do lists for next year but we get to sleep in, stay in our jammies until noon and generally recoup in front of a cozy fire while watching the snow fall.  And a big bowl of this is also not a bad thing!  Nice riff on the standard chicken and dumplings and with a few basics, we had this ready in no time with minimal effort. 

For chicken:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa verde (2 cups)
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk (or 2/3 cup fat-free half and half)
1 rottiserie chicken cooked & deboned with meat chopped or at least 3-4 cups chicken

For the dumplings
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof skillet. Cast iron is great too!  Whisk in the flour to make a paste. Add broth, salsa verde, and evaporated milk (or half and half) and whisk vigorously until thick and bubbly. Stir in chicken and turn heat to low to keep warm.

Dumplings:  Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until warm but not boiling. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, scallions and cilantro in a separate bowl with a fork. Pour in milk mixture and stir to form a dough. Drop spoonfuls of dough into the skillet with chicken mixture.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until dumplings are cooked through, and the edges are crisp and golden brown.

Note: This meal can be made 2 days ahead up to the point of making the dumplings. Reheat it before topping and baking. If you want to double the recipe, use a large heavy roasting pan set over two burners.

Recipe and pic from Pam Anderson's Perfect One-Dish Dinners

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mustard Maple Chicken

This chicken has a wide fan base already but I'm posting it because if I ever misplace this recipe, I'd be shunned from the family.  It's that good.  I don't know why.  My daughter debated licking the pan.  On the web you'll find this under "Man-Pleasing Chicken" but who are they kidding?  This is pure people pleasing magically goodness. 

Chicken thighs- 2 packages (about 12 thighs)
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup real maple syrup
2 Tbls. rice wine vinegar
Couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix together dijon mustard, maple syrup and rice wine vinegar. Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.  Bake for 40 minutes. Halfway through baste the chicken with the sauce.  Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Then sprinkle with fresh rosemary.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Crockpot Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Our crockpot has been getting a lot of love lately.  Maybe it's the hours at the office, sport practices, Christmas shopping or just plain exhaustion when we get home but in terms of my favorite things - it's a close second to my iPad.  This is a bowl of comfort and was a HUGE hit at our house. 

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild Rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half  - fat-free works just fine
1 cup grated carrots or pre-shredded from the store

Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, chicken and rice (along with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks and then add back into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on low for 15 more minutes.

Recipe from 360daysofcrockpot