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A little Dumpling Drama

As a child, I did not like chicken and dumplings one little bit.  I might have eaten them once, but that’s just conjecture.  I am the type of person who will determine if I like food based on the smell, visual appeal and texture.  Taste is not the only consideration, or even the most important one.  I suspect the texture of chicken and dumplings to be a factor here, but, again, I’m guessing.  Who can really say what was in my twisted little mind?  I am, after all, the same child who was once served a half peach on my school lunch tray and recoiled in horror because I thought it was a giant egg yolk.  Anyway, I have lived thirtyish years without chicken and dumplings and I’ve been perfectly happy about it.

They look like egg yolks, you know they do. Stop laughing.

But recently, I have been put in charge of making dinner for my family one night a week.  On weekends, hubs and I cook together and Tuesday through Friday, he cooks.  Monday is on me.  There are no excuses, because I have the whole day off.  I am expected to deliver.  My pride is at stake, because my ungrateful little children have recently taken to voicing the opinion that Dad cooks better than Mom.  Yes, everything is a competition in my house.

Enter chicken and dumplings, the ace up my sleeve.  My kids have never had it.  I do not cook things that I don’t like, unless it’s potato salad, which I will make two times per year, Easter and Christmas, non-negotiable.  Hubs doesn’t cook biscuit-y things, so we’re a dumpling-free family.  You say dumplings and my kids start looking for the wonton wrappers to make pot stickers (a really awesome and delicious family tradition we started by accident, but that’s another story.)

One gloomy and cold Monday, I decided to go for it.  After all, it’s pretty much just chicken soup.  Everyone likes that.  How much different could it really be?  So I spent the day making chicken stock, shredding (very, very hot) chicken and googling dumpling recipes.  On a related note, are you aware that some chefs, cough, cough, Michael Symon, cough, cough, call for CHICKEN FAT in the dumplings?  If you’d like to try that out, stop by my house for extra chicken fat, because in my house, we put chicken fat where it belongs, in the trash.  Gag.  Anyway, I cooked my heart out and served up chicken and dumplings for the first time ever.

I am hungry.

Hubs loved it, my daughter loved it, but they’re the easy ones.  Those two will eat anything, from nuclear hot chicken wings to buffet sashimi.  I found it to be delicious, which was a pleasant surprise, but the clear winner for the night was Picky McWonteatanything, my very discriminating son, who generally begins a meal with the words, “This looks gross.”

He LOVED IT.  He loved it so much that all these months later, he’s still talking about it.  Dad is a better cook than Mom, except Mom’s chicken and dumplings.  Ah, thusly, I am honored.  He’s been asking me to make it for a while, but we had an early spring and it’s been too warm outside for such a hearty meal.  More importantly, it’s too warm for me stand over the stove for the twenty thousand hours it takes to make the whole darn meal from scratch.

But I know something he doesn’t know.  On Monday, it’s going to be cool outside. I’m making chicken and dumplings.  I can barely wait to collect my praise and accolades.  I can also barely wait to eat chicken and dumplings.  Everybody wins.  Except the chicken.

photos via google images and www.bakingbites.com

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  1. April 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

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