When our kids were little tykes they introduced us to a whole new vocabulary; a new language, really. We called it “Kidnese.” One of the words they gave us was “dumps” –this was their gleeful acknowledgement that their grandma was making her famous dumplings!
Here is Rainy’s offering. We present it here with our sincere thanks:
CHEAP COMFORT FOOD: CHICKEN DUMPLINGS
During this time of year, money is tighter than normal for many folks…it is tax season, after all, and the cost of gas and groceries seems to climb higher with each shopping trip. Knowing how to stretch what you already have in your pantry and fridge is a great way to help keep those higher costs at bay just a little while longer. One of the best ways I know to fill up empty tummies with great tasting food is to make chicken and dumplings.
What if you don’t have chicken or it is a bit too pricey for your pocket book on any given day? Do you skip this great tasting nutritious dish for some other option? You don’t have to, IF you happen to have the fore-thought of freezing left over chicken bits from meals gone by…or you have some chicken stock on hand. If that happens to be a stretch too, you can use canned chicken…or on those really lean times…use chicken bouillon to build the base of your broth. The flavor will still be strong and wonderful.
Depending on the number of your dinner companions…pick a pan that will give you room to simmer your dumplings and goodies with room to spare. Fill your pan will water and chicken bullion or chicken stock if you have it; add chicken if you happen to have some on hand. Add to the pot some onions or onion flakes, some garlic, a little parsley and some salt and pepper. Bring this to a boil while you mix your batter for the dumplings.
Your batter will consist of flour, eggs water and salt if you desire it. In a large bowl whip your eggs (the number is up to you). Add a cup of water to this and your salt if you want it. Blend it well…then start adding flour until your batter gets stiff and holds a shape. Once that happens, drop it into your boiling broth by the fork or spoonful. The dumplings will sink to the bottom and you will want to use a long slotted spoon to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The dumplings will need to simmer for 20 minutes or so once you have dropped them into the broth.
If you have it on hand, you might like to add veggies to the pot to add extra nutrients. I often add carrots, celery and sometimes corn…but you can add what you like and what you happen to have. If you have fresh, add fresh…or canned. Frozen works just as well.
Spices add layers of flavor…you can add bay leaf, garlic, sun dried tomato flakes, basil, Italian blends…etc. This dish is really about bringing flavor and comfort to your family meal. Make it your own…but be prepared for the compliments. This is a big family favorite.
Add a side salad or crusty bread rolls and you have a complete meal. Enjoy!
Mother Connie here: That inspires me for tonight’s dinner, Rainy. I have a bowl full of veggies I roasted and set aside to be morphed into another meal. I love “dumps” as much as my children did when they were tiny and you said it all when you called it COMFORT FOOD!
People who depend on SNAP are doing all in their power to make those EBT cards work hard; WIC users are doing the same thing. Many of our club members depend on food pantries and food commodities. This idea will no doubt appeal to them and for cooks who are just plain old fashioned frugal–this is a true winner!
We trust our mission to help the 40 million Food Stamp users is a real assistance.
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