Feeding your family is serious business. It requires a lot of thought on the part of the homemaker. Planning menus, buying the ingredients, remembering to make sure anything frozen that is required to prepare the meal is thawed out in time ...well, it can be work. I sure don't want to waste any effort so if I can double my ingredients and make two meals at once and freeze the other for another day, it's a win-win.
Today, I'm sharing a comfort food recipe, chicken and dumplings that is one of my favorites. If I have prepared ahead, it is also a really easy meal.
Step one is to buy a whole chicken, cook it in the crock-pot with onion, celery, carrot, chicken bouillon and a little poultry seasoning. Cook on low for eight hours. Strain the broth and freeze in quart jars (leave some room at the top of the jar so the frozen broth can expand. Pick the chicken off the bones and freeze in quart zip-lock bags. I like to freeze one cup of chicken in each bag. I can get about 4 bags of chicken on the average. This means at least 3, maybe 4 meals have the chicken already prepared and ready to go.
Step two is to make my aunt's fabulous recipe for dumplings. Triple the dough if possible and freeze the dumplings uncooked for later meals. You can drop the frozen dumplings in boiling broth and it cooks great, you just might need to cook a little longer.
Once all these are frozen, an comforting meal can be made quite easily. Thaw out the broth. Get about 6 cups boiling in your dutch oven. (I usually use about 2 C frozen broth and then supplement with Swanson's chicken broth in the box.) Plop in your frozen dumplings, bring back to a boil, then stir and cook on medium for 20 minutes. Add in your cup of chicken that you thawed in the microwave while dumplings are cooking. Cook for about 15 minutes longer or until you feel dumplings are done. Salt and pepper and season to taste.
Talk about the ultimate comfort food! It's so handy to have when you find out company is coming in a couple hours, or if you hear of someone who is ill and needs a meal brought in. You are ready to bless with a jar of broth, a bag of chicken and a bag of dumplings in the freezer.
It's true that food can be comforting to the body. Pulling up to the table and eating a warm bowl of Chicken and Dumplings can certainly make you feel better.
We can also "comfort one another" with scripture when death comes to our families. Although we are sad because of missing our loved ones, believers do not have to sorrow like those who do not know the Lord. We have hope!
In today's world, we have to remind ourselves - it's not always going to be this way.
What's your favorite way to comfort?
During April, I’m participating in the A-Z Challenge. My theme is Feasting Body and Soul from A-Z. Over seven hundred writers (as of last count) will be posting in various categories. Visit here to see a list of all the fantastic bloggers – a veritable smorgasbord of entries to feast upon!