Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stretching the Chicken

I was talking to a friend (isn't that how most of these blog posts start?) and she was asking me about ways to use the chicken meat from the "Magic Chicken" post and possibly sharing a recipe or two.  I can do that!

I'm busy through the week, as I'm sure you are too, but I like to make weeknight meals that don't taste like they are quick meals.  That's why I love having chicken, broth and other things in the freezer ready to go.  

Here are some of the quick chicken meals that my family likes.  

Chicken & Dumplings 

I actually make Spaetzle, my German friend told me to pronounce it "spetch-la". That's as close as I can get to spelling the way she told me to say it.

Put about 8 cups of chicken broth and a cup (give or take) of finely shredded cooked chicken in a large pot to heat up


With a fork, beat one egg, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 cup of water together.  Slowly mix in 2 1/2 cups flour.  This mixture will be stiff and sticky.

Once the broth is at a simmer, dip a teaspoon in the broth and then get some of the dumpling dough on it and slip it off the spoon in the broth.  

***Hint-dipping the spoon in the hot broth will keep the dumpling dough from sticking to the spoon and it will slide right off but you MUST dip it in the broth before each and every dumpling.***

Let this simmer for about 10 minutes and you have dinner.

We call this next one "Grown Up Chicken Soup":

Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken-Corn Soup

Again, put about 8 cups of chicken broth and about 2 cups of finely shredded chicken in a large pot to heat up.

Once the broth comes to a boil, add 2-3 handfuls of dried egg noodles to cook.

After about 8 minutes, add a cup of frozen corn and 2-3 chopped up hard boiled eggs and a teaspoon of dried parsley.

In a couple of minutes, this is ready to eat.

Chicken Pot Pie

If you don't make pie crusts, you can use the pre-made ones that are sold in the dairy section of the grocery store. How ever you do it, if you have enough pie crust to make two pies, you have enough for 4 individual pot pies (with top crusts on them)

You can do this in a large pie pan but my family prefers them in individual pot pies.  

I put the bottom crusts in the individual pie pans

I peel, dice and par-boil a large potato (you don't want it totally done because it still has to bake in the pot pie)

In a sauce pan, melt 2-3 Tablespoons butter or margarine over medium-low.  Add the same amount of flour.  Cook for a minute.  Add 1/2 cup of milk and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth.  Cook until thickened a bit.  Remove from heat and add in the potato, 2 cups of chicken, and about 1 1/2 cups of mixed vegetables.  For the vegetables, I generally use what I have in the freezer:  corn, green beans, carrots.  Many will add peas, I'm allergic so we don't do peas!  Sometimes I even add a few sliced mushrooms.  You can really pick and choose what veggies to put in.  

***You do not want this to be soupy at this point.  If you think it is overly thick, then you're good!  If it is too loose, it will be runny when it's cooked!

Spoon the mixture into your pie shell until full and then put your top crust on. Be sure to crimp the edges to seal them well.  And you will need to cut slits into the top so that steam can escape.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Remember, the mixture is already cooked, you're only cooking the crust here.

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