Parsleyed Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings is an old-time favorite. Sure its great, but you can supe it up with a bit of parsley in the dumplings - as well as the stew. Parsley is a spice that tends to mellow strong flavors and enhance weaker ones. Parsley also gives the dumplings an attractive appearance that will impress guests and family with your culinary abilities.

Ingredients:

1 diced boned and skinless chicken breast (both halves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium potatoes diced
2 stalks celery chopped
4 carrots chopped
1 onion diced
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
1 can chicken broth
4 cups water
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon powdered thyme
1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 cups Jiffy Mix or Bisquick
1 more cup water

Directions:

The dumplings are the easy part of this recipe. The hard part is chopping up all the ingredients. Begin by spreading the olive oil around the bottom of your stock pot. Place the pot over medium heat while you cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Toss the chicken into the pot and listen to the sizzle. Now add 1 of the tablespoons of parsley along with the rest of the spices. Putting in the spices before the other ingredients allows the spices to adhere to the meat.

Next dice the potatoes. I do this by first cutting them in half length-wise, then slicing each half several times length-wise, but keeping the pieces together; then spin the potato 90 degrees and make little rectangular chunks that are the equivalent of about 1/3 of a bite. You can chop the carrots any way you want, but it is fun to chop them at an angle so that they look like an oval from the top and a parallelogram from the side. Make sure you throw these ingredients into the pan even as you cut them, they need to cook longer than the remaining vegetables.

Now finish chopping the vegetables and toss them into the mixture (except the peas). Be sure to stir the pot frequently at this juncture to prevent sticking. Turn down the heat as necessary to prevent scorching. When you stab the potatoes and they feel tender, add the chicken broth and water to the stock pot. Turn up the pot to medium high.

While you are waiting for the mixture to boil, pull out your favorite mixing bowl. Pour in 3 cups of Jiffy Mix or Bisquick, add 1 cup of water (I have found that this works as well as the milk called for on the side of the box). Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of dried parsley and mix. Set this aside as you go to thicken the chicken broth.

In a small cup or bowl, mix the corn starch with about 4 tablespoons of water. Mix thoroughly so that all of the corn starch is wetted. When the chicken and broth begin to boil slowly pour in the corn starch stirring all the while. This should quickly thicken. Turn down the heat to simmer. Add the peas (please). Place blobs of parsleyed dumplings on top of bubbling mixture. Cover the pan and wait about 20 minutes. The parsleyed chicken and dumplings are done when the middle of the dumplings are no longer doughy.

Next Page: Parsley Potato Salad

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