April 3rd, 2009

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Recipe: Chicken & Dumplings

I made this for supper today.

Chicken & Dumplings


Ingredients:
2 cups chicken stock
1 chicken breast (bone-in)
2 carrots
2 celery ribs
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1/8 cup half-n-half
1 1/2 cups JiffyMix
1/2 cup milk


Directions:

Pour the chicken stock into a crock pot. Add the chicken breast. Cover and turn on Low.

Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery. Add vegetables to the crock pot. Cook for 2-3 hours until chicken meat is done.

Remove chicken breast. Use forks to separate meat from bones. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return it to the crock pot. (Skin and bones may be saved for making stock later.)

Add 1 can cream of chicken soup to the crock pot. Stir to combine. Pour 1/8 cup half-n-half into the empty soup can. Swirl it around and scrape the sides of the can with a spoon to remove as much of the condensed soup as possible. Then pour into the crock pot. Stir, then cover and cook for another 2 hours.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups JiffyMix and 1/2 cup milk. Drop dough by spoonfuls into the hot chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until dumplings are puffy and almost dry on top. Makes four servings.


Notes:

If you don’t have chicken stock, substitute something similar such as chicken broth, vegetable broth, bullion and water, etc.

This recipe should also work with leftover chicken that is already cooked. Use 1-2 cups of bite-sized meat. Add it later, when you add the condensed soup. I just happened to have one raw chicken breast that wouldn’t fit into the previous night’s casserole pan.

Different vegetables can be substituted instead of carrots and celery, such as peas, corn kernels, pearl onions, diced potatoes, etc. Use about 1 cup each of two vegetables, or 2/3 cup each of three vegetables.

This is a “cream of anything” soup ingredient. You could use cream of celery, cream of mushroom, or anything else that seems to mix well with chicken.

There are no spices added to this recipe. The stock, condensed soup, and other ingredients provide enough flavor for a mild yet rich dish. If you want to jazz it up a bit, try pepper, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, and/or rosemary.

It should be possible to double this recipe, but then you’d need to fix it in a wider piece of cookware to allow room for more dumplings. I got nine dumplings into my big crock pot, and that was just enough for the four of us.
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Republicans for Environmental Protection

I was delighted to find this post about Republicans for Environmental Protection:

Republicans For Environmental Protection: ‘Conservatives, Of All People, Should Not Ignore Basic Principles Of Economics’

Republicans for Environmental ProtectionWhy are so many Republicans in Congresslying about green economy legislation? Republicans for Environmental Protection have no idea. In a sharply worded press release, this organization of conservation-minded conservatives criticize the Hill Republicans’ $3100 light-switch-tax lie, which is based on a deliberate misinterpretation of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis of carbon pricing. They describe the GOP pattern of lying about energy as “a disservice to American citizens” and “a dangerous unwillingness to learn the right lessons from the election debacles of 2006 and 2008″:



These folks are getting back to some basic conservative principles: 1) If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 2) If you don't know how it works, don't mess with it. 3) Conserve what you have; don't waste it. Live within your means. 4) Be cautious about making changes, until you know what the results will be.

Those are some good principles for dealing with the environment, because it's easy to damage and we don't really know enough to fix it easily after we've broken part of it. There is clear recognition that a healthy environment will benefit business and improve people's health and happiness. Over the last several decades, the Republican Party has drifted away from its genuinely conservative roots into some rather radical and not very constructive directions, to the disgust of liberals and some older-style Republicans. So check out this group. Some conservatives are seriously fighting the good fight. I like that picture of the future they're painting. I'm not the kind of liberal who wants to wind up in a subsistence future because people wrecked the environment and the economy.