Crockpot Chicken and Cornbread Dumplings
Yesterday I attempted to make the chicken and cornbread dumplings from $5dinners. However, I was short on some ingredients, and the white sauce recipe she links to on the page doesn't make enough for the chicken and dumplings, and so I got a little frantic. I had to throw in every frozen veggie I had, but I still came up 5oz short. Yikes. Then, when the sauce only made half of what the recipe called for (I could have foreseen this if I'd had time, but I had to get out the door and so had to do this fast) I threw in some more soy-milk into the pan with a little arrowroot starch and some scrapings of the already made sauce. I didn't have the time for it to fully reduce, but I put it in the crock-pot anyway. I slapped the lid on the pot, turned it on low, and got on with the rest of my day.
When I got home it was still cooking away, smelling pretty darn good. At about 4pm, the bf tells me that there's an event we might need to go to, so I turned the crock-pot on high. When 5pm rolled around I turned the crock-pot back to low for the rest of the hour and a half of cook time because it turned out that the bf(whom I will refer to as my nerd in future posts, just to get rid of this awful bf thing) decided there was no need for us to go, and that he'd rather stay home anyway. That's fine, I can go with that.
But the chicken soup didn't like that. The sauce separated a bit from being turned on high. *sigh* When 5:30 arrived I threw the pieces of cornbread on top of the soup as the recipe directed me to, and I wandered off for more studying.
When dinner time finally showed up I was ready for it. Serving up this concoction was rather a trial. Since the pieces of chicken were not cut into bite size pieces (I wasn't directed to do so), I had to use my spoon to break them in half. The cornbread didn't like getting shoved around and mixed about (especially since it is gluten-free) and crumbled quite a bit into the soup. Things were a bit more liquidy than I had anticipated (oh, I forgot to mention that I followed an old family trick of putting some instant mashed potatoes into the soup for thickening).
But, before I knew it, I had gobbled up every bite out of my bowl. I looked down, and it was gone. My salad had vanished too.
So, just because it wasn't pretty, was under-seasoned, was liquid-y, and had slightly separated, doesn't mean it wasn't delicious comfort food(a necessity after too much chemistry studying).
If I were going to do this again, I'd double the sauce recipe and add a lot more pepper. I'd also make sure I had enough vegetables, and I'd thaw them before adding to cut down on the melting water in the pot. I'd also cut the chicken into smaller pieces. I may thaw it too, but if I didn't I think things would be okay if I left the pot on low.
I'd say it was a good experiment in panic cooking and in learning to throw stuff together.
Thus ends the week of 20 some dollars to spend on groceries.
My budget has actually increased to 120 a week, but it's better if I don't go over 100 so that I can have money for Costco. More on that in the Thursday Meal Plan!