Though I love cookbooks and have an extensive collection, many of my favorite recipes originate from something I found on the Internet. Alton Brown has a lot of great, easy-to-follow recipes; inspirational (and mouthwatering) photos and recipes can be found at Smitten Kitchen; and for baking there is nowhere better than Never Bashful With Butter (Oooh You Tasty Little Things). The particular recipe I prepared tonight comes from another local blogger, Deby. I was bummed that I didn't get to meet Deby at the recent blogger meetup and am hoping to see her at the next one (hint, hint)!
It also turned out to be a "retro" night. A few weeks back a friend left their extra Crock Pot here after the Super Bowl. I washed it out but have neglected to return it. Oops! Anyways, my Crock Pot was in the dishwasher when I started dinner. Yes, we use it a couple of times a week, and I usually have to fish it out and wash it by hand. But today the dishwasher was actually running - so I found the visiting Crock Pot and put it to good use. Isn't it great? A word about older Crock Pots - keep a careful eye on the temperature and cooking progress. This particular unit tended to run a little hot, so I would turn it down for a bit every couple of hours to keep the food from sticking and burning. Also these are a booger to clean since you can't remove the crock part! Whoever came up with the idea to make the crockery removable is a genius, I tell you.
Chicken & Dumplings
4 chicken breasts or 10-12 pieces of chicken tender
2 T butter
1 "family size" can of Cream of Chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
red chili flakes
potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
1 pkg Pillsbury biscuit dough
Arrange chicken (frozen or thawed) in bottom of crock pot. Add butter, soup and broth. Sprinkle in pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary and chili flakes to taste. Set Crock Pot to high. Cook 6-8 hours if chicken is thawed, 8-10 hours if chicken is frozen.
About 90 minutes before done:
Wash potatoes and chop them into chunks. Put in microwave-safe bowl with 2 T water and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile use forks to tear chicken into chunks. Rinse potatoes and stir into Crock Pot. Tear biscuit dough into chunks and arrange on top of chicken mixture.
Cook for an additional 70-90 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.
This meal is always a big hit with my crowd. The proof is in the Crock Pot at the end of the night - only a small scoop left! Not even enough for a lunch tomorrow. If you do happen to have leftovers store the dumplings separate from the chicken mixture or they will be soggy and gluey... yuck! Also depending on your family's tastes you can toss in almost any veggie that's in season - especially peas, red bell peppers or corn. I recommend adding fresh veggies right before you top with the biscuit dough.