Chicken & Dumplings

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My darling husband came home with 50lbs of chicken. First, who does that?! Yep, my husband. And then, he thought it was boneless/skinless…but it wasn’t either. So, I’ve been looking for recipes…

INGREDIENTS

CHICKEN.
4 large bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts
2t savory
1T garlic powder
1t salt
water…enough to cover the chicken. 5 cups?*
*you will need 4c broth later*

1. Boil chicken for 20-30 min till the chicken is cooked and easily falls off the bone. Strain broth into a large bowl, set aside. Dice chicken and set aside.
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MOVING ON….
1/4c butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2c chopped onion
1/2c chopped celery
1/2c chopped baby carrots
1/2c all-purpose flour
2t white sugar
1t salt
1t dried basil
1/2t ground black pepper
4c chicken broth
10oz frozen or canned peas, drained
4c diced, cooked chicken meat

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

3. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots in butter until tender. Mix in the flour, sugar, salt, basil, and pepper. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, boil 1 minute, reduce heat, and stir in peas. Simmer 5 minutes, then mix in chicken. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.
**I used a cast-iron dutch oven for everything from the chicken to sauteing veggies, to the oven.**

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BISCUITS!!!
2c all-purpose, unbleached flour
2t baking powder
1t salt
1/4t baking soda
7 T unsalted butter, chilled in freezer and cut into thin slices
2t dried basil
3/4c cold buttermilk***

TIP *** WHAT? You don’t have buttermilk? Me either. NO.BIG.DEAL. Take 3/4c milk, add 3T distilled white vinegar and mix together. Let sit 5 minutes. VOILA!!!

4. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, basil, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

5. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 5 minutes. OR you can toss the butter into the freezer and slice it ULTRA thin and continue using that whisk.

6. Make a well in the center of butter and flour mixture. Pour in 3/4 cup buttermilk; stir until just combined. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 balls. On floured wax paper, use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball of dough into a circular shape; place on top of chicken mixture.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake for 10 more minutes. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over biscuits. Enjoy!!!

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Classic Goulash

INGREDIENTS

2lbs lean ground beef or turkey
2 large sweet yellow onions, chopped
3T minced garlic
3c water
2 (15oz) cans tomato sauce
2 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes
3T soy sauce
2T dried Italian herbs
3 bay leaves
1T seasoned salt, or to taste
2c uncooked elbow macaroni

PREP

1. In a large Dutch oven, cook and stir the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown, about 10 minutes. Skim off excess fat, and stir in the onions and garlic. Cook and stir the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 more minutes.

2. Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and seasoned salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the macaroni, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and serve.

TIP: Right after cooking of ground beef OR turkey is complete, before additional ingredients are added, add 2-3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Drain into a colindar and rinse with hot water. Add back to the pan and add the rest of your ingredients. This will boil additional fat/oils out of the meat making the meal much healthier.

Zesty Chicken Barbecue

bbq chicken with broccoli slaw and blue cheese crumbles...YUM!!!

INGREDIENTS

3-4 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
12oz bbq sauce (our fave is Sweet Baby Ray’s honey)
1/2c Italian salad dressing (MY fave is Marzetti’s roasted garlic Italian vinaigrette)
1/4c brown sugar
2T Worcestershire sauce
1T minced garlic (optional)
1/2c baby carrots (optional)

PREP

1. Place frozen chicken in a slow cooker/crockpot (and carrots if you’re hiding veggies). In a bowl, mix the bbq sauce, Italian dressing, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Pour over chicken.
2. Cover, and cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
3. Shred chicken with a couple forks, and mix the chicken in the sauce.

Serve on a whole wheat hamburger bun.

Items to incorporate…sharp cheddar cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. Or with out the bun over garlic mashed potatoes topped with cheddar for the GF folks!

TIP: If you’d like to hide veggies in this, carrots are PERFECT. Just add carrots to your crockpot with the chicken and mash/mix in when you shred the chicken!

Mac-N-Cheese

This is the first meal I can remember making as a kid….7-8 years old? I found it in one of my mom’s cookbooks and I’ve been making it ever since. There are some great things you can.not.ever change.

mac-n-cheese

INGREDIENTS

2-2 1/2c shredded colby jack or cheddar & jack cheese
2c milk (2% or whole)
2T butter
4T flour
1t yellow mustard
2c dry elbow noodles
salt/pepper to taste

PREP

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start your noodles per the boxes directions.
2. Melt butter over med-low heat. stir in flour and continue to stir till there aren’t anymore lumps. Turn up stove to medium heat and add milk a little at a time, again, stirring out the lumps. It will gradually thicken. Add mustard and 1-3/4c cheese. Allow to melt till it’s super smooth…DO NOT LET YOUR CHEESE SAUCE BOIL. Taste for adding salt/pepper.
3. Mix noodles and cheese sauce and pour into a oil sprayed/oven friendly dish.
4. Cover and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Top with remaining cheese, and bake for another 10 minutes uncovered.

TIP… When the fun2 were little, before Tyler caught onto me, I would take one to one and a half cups of frozen broccoli flowerettes and grind them down to green dust with my food processor and add to the cheese sauce before adding the mustard. The only challenge this caused was when Ty told another mom she didn’t make her mac-n-cheese correctly during a playdate and refused her meal. Ooops!!!

Marinara Sauce

I’m good if you think I’m crazy after getting through this recipe. Everyone has their “go-to/quick” meal. Mine is a little out there, and it takes a little time on the back-end, but is as quick as opening a jar of marinara sauce in a pinch! This has my favorite ingredients all in one recipe, and it’s insanely good for you!

Okay, so I’m going to start this by saying you may think there are typo’s in quantities here…that is not the case. This is my base sauce for quite a few things from when we have marinara sauce over cheese tortellini and creamy marinara sauce (add alfredo sauce!), to adding more tomato paste and using on homemade pizzas. I will freeze it in “meal-size” amounts in freezer ziplock bags (4-5 ladles per bag). When I say base, every meal can be different. Add a little oregano, or an Italian seasoning. Add a little more sugar. Add sweet Italian turkey sausage or ground beef. It works as a great sauce for crockpot/slow-cooker or regular lasagna, and works great with “no cook” noodles!

cook as many hours as possible...

INGREDIENTS

300oz whole or diced all natural canned tomatoes
3/4c sugar
1/2c sea salt
16oz frozen spinach
1/2c minced garlic
1/2c dry leaf basil
1 sweet onion
1 small bag of baby carrots
2.5-3lbs summer squash, the smaller the better (almost seedless). chopped.
2.5-3lbs zucchini, the smaller the better (almost seedless). chopped.
12-14oz light olive oil
6oz tomato paste (optional)

1. Add all veggies to a good size stockpot. Add 1/2c sugar and 1/4c salt, only. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the tomato paste. Simmer on low-medium for at least 4-5hrs (no, that was not a typo).

look at all those veggies!

This is mine... Cuisinart CSB-77 Smart Stick Hand Blender with Whisk and Chopper Attachments...from BABY FOOD to HIDDEN VEGGIES!!! can't.live.without.it

2. You will need to use a handheld puree-er to get a smooth consistency, and yes this takes time. You’ll find out now if you need the tomato paste. After puree-ed, taste. Does it need the additional 1/4c sugar and 1/4c salt? Those are the key ingredients to cutting the acidic taste. If it tastes like it needs something, add a little more. I’ll continue to cook on low for 6-8 more hours if I can. Reason is it makes the sauce very rich tasting.

pureeing may take 10-15 minutes to get desired smoothness...

When cooled, ladel 4-5 scoops into each quart size freezer bags. Place in deep freezer. Yield 18-22 meals depending on how much you package per meal. <- NOT a typo.

I'm missing one bag here. We needed dinner! ūüėČ

Cream-of-Whatever Soup Substitute

THANK YOU to A Frugal Simple Life!!!

Basic White Sauce(thick):

3T butter or oil
3T flour (substitute rice flour to make GF)
1/4t salt
dash of pepper
1-1/4c liquid, milk or stock

Melt butter or oil in saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Add liquid slowly, stirring with wire whisk to prevent lumps. Cook until thick. Makes 1 cup or 1 can of condensed soup.

Tomato Soup: Use tomato juice for the liquid. Add dashes of garlic, onion powder, basil and oregano.

Chicken Soup: Use chicken broth for half the liquid. Add 1/4 t. poultry seasoning or sage.

Mushroom/celery/chive soup: Saute 1/4 C chopped mushrooms, celery or chives and 1 T minced onion in butter before adding flour.

Allergy Suggestion:  If you use a gluten-free flour (rice, tapioca, etc.), you can make the soup gluten-free.  And if you use a stock rather than milk, you can make it milk-free, too.