Chicken and Dumpling Soup

It’s chilly outside and we had one remaining pack of leftover chicken from the Halloween party, so I figured a soup was in order.  I decided on Chicken and Dumpling Soup after consulting Cooking Light’s Way to Cook.  Considering I used only ingredients I had in the pantry, fridge or freezer; it was a simple and tasty soup.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light: Way to Cook
Ingredients- Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup carrots, skinned and chopped
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 14.5 oz. can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Ingredients- Dumplings

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour


  1. Heat olive oil in large Dutch oven.  Add thyme, oregano, and basil; and stir.  Add carrots; stirring to coat.  Cook 1 minute.
  2. Add broth and wine; bring to just boiling.  Reduce heat.
  3. Add chicken, beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stirring.
  4. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine cream and lemon juice; set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, combine flour, rosemary, baking powder and salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  7. Add egg to milk mixture; whisking to combine.  Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
  8. Combine 1/4 cup all purpose flour with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.  Stir into soup and cook for 3 minutes.
  9. Drop dumpling dough, 1 tbsp per dumpling, onto soup.  Cover and cook 7-9 minutes (do not let boil).
  10. Sprinkle with black pepper before serving.

Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

When I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner last night, I decided to get a little inventive and create something without consulting my cookbook library or the internet.  The end result was tasty enough to convince me that I don’t always need someone else’s help when putting together a dish.

Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, dried, and pounded to 1 inch thickness
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 slices Prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine goat cheese, 2 tbsp wine, rosemary, salt and pepper; mixing well.
  3. Spread goat cheese mixture on chicken breasts.  Top with prosciutto.
  4. Pour remaining wine into medium baking dish.  Place chicken, prosciutto side up, in baking dish.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Experimental Game: Dove Stew

My Dad went Dove hunting over the weekend and brought me home a bag of fresh Dove breasts.  After a quick search through my cookbooks and good ‘ole Google, I discovered that there’s more information out there about Dove Chocolates than there is about cooking Dove breasts!  I figured you can’t go wrong with a stew, so I just started making things up. 

One forum told me that Dove meat was very rich and flavorful, so I figured I needed something to balance that out.  I chose sweet potatoes, thinking the sweetness would offset the dark meat.  Turns out, the sweetness simply overpowered the stew. 

I started out by pressure cooking the breasts to soften the meat and loosen it from the tiny bones.  The broth was oily and yellow, not at all what I expected, so I opted to discard that and use chicken stock to create the stew.  The freshly cooked meat was tender and moist, with a flavor stronger than dark meat chicken, but not quite gamey. 

All in all, the Dove breasts would do better in a soup/stew more closely related to a Chicken Pot Pie Soup.

Dove Stew

10 Dove breasts, cleaned
1 cup red wine
4 cups chicken stock
3 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
lots of fresh herbs, minced (I used rosemary, sage, thyme and 5 bay leaves)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2 cups green peas

Place breasts in pressure cooker and cover with water.  Cook on high for 15 minutes.  Let pressure release naturally.  Drain breasts and remove meat from bones, shredding as you go.

Combine remaining ingredients except peas in pressure cooker and cook on high for 15 minutes.  Release pressure slowly.  Add peas and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Who doesn’t love Chicken Nuggets?!  My brother ate so many as a kid, you’d expect him to be walking around clucking.  Seeing as we don’t eat much processed food around here, I came up with a simple homemade chicken nuggets recipe that will win over Ronald McDonald!

Chicken Nuggets

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup plain yogurt OR 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp finely grated, fresh parmesan cheese
1 tbsp minced rosemary
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into nugget size pieces
olive oil cooking spray

Place yogurt or egg in a flat dish, suitable for dipping.

In a similar dish, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, rosemary, salt, & pepper.

In another dish, place flour.

Dredge chicken pieces in flour, then egg or yogurt, then coat with breadcrumb mixture.

Lightly spray a foil lined baking sheet with olive oil spray.  Place nuggets on sheet and lightly spray the tops of nuggets with spray.  This will allow the breading to “crisp up.”

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Cinnamon-Stewed Chicken with Spicy Roasted Coriander Rice

I came across this recipe in a magazine.  We’re big fans of anything cinnamon, so I thought it’d be worth a try.  After making it, I wouldn’t say that cinnamon is the primary flavor, but it’s nonetheless a delicious and easy dish!

Cinnamon-Stewed Chicken with Spicy Roasted Coriander Rice
Adapted from McCormick

Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Black Pepper, Coarse Grind
3 pounds chicken breast, cut into pieces
2 cups water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Oregano Leaves, Mediterranean

Spicy Roasted Coriander Rice:
1 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Roasted Ground Ginger
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Red Pepper, Crushed
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt

In a mixing bowl, combine roasted cinnamon, sea salt, pepper, water, tomato paste, and oregano. In a 9×13 baking dish, coat chicken evenly with mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, for the Rice, combine roasted coriander, roasted ginger, red pepper, rice and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer 45 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Serve chicken over rice with juices.

Roast Duck with Pomegranate Molasses

Despite the fattiness, I love duck.  I found that BJs carries whole duck for a very reasonable price.  Martha’s recipe called for 4 hours of roasting time.  After 3 hours, my duck was overdone.  I also wasn’t a fan of the sauce, but my dinner guests were. 

Roast Duck with Pomegranate Molasses
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

5 pound duck
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (recipe follows)
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
Pomegranate Molasses (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 300.  Remove any extra pieces from the cavity and rinse thoroughly.  Lightly score the duck breast skin in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to pierce the flesh.  Season with salt and pepper inside and out.

Roast duck breast side up for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and prick skin all over to ensure the fat is rendering.  Turn the duck breast side down and roast another hour.  Turn duck over again and prick any fatty spots that aren’t rendering.  Roast for 30 minutes, or until browned. 

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.  Combine honey, molasses, and juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, and cook until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. 

Increase temperature to 400, brush the duck with the glaze and roast 10 minutes or until the skin is crisp and brown.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Serve duck with a side of Pomegranate Molasses.

Pomegranate Molasses
Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large, uncovered saucepan, heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved and the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1 to 1 1/4 cups.

Duck Breasts and Three Grain Risotto

My brother in law went to culinary school and worked as a cook for many years.  Whenever he comes to town, I always chose a dish that he can assist me with and teach me how to properly execute. 

Duck Breast with Orange Gastrique
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

1 pound duck breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 orange, peel sliced into julienne strips, and juice reserved
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Trim away excess skin from the duck, leaving ample enough to cover the breast.  Score the fat, first cutting diagonally in one direction and then the other in a crosshatch manner.  Cut all the way through the fat but avoid the flesh.  Season both sides with salt and pepper and place in an unheated 10 inch skillet, fat side down. 

Cook over medium-low heat until a small pool of fat forms in the pan.  Use tongs to turn breast over and then cook the other side 1 minute.  Turn breast over again and pour out fat into a glass jar, reserve for another use.  Continue cooking duck until the skin is nicely browned and crisp, 10-12 minutes, spooning off and reserving excess fat as necessary.  Turn duck once more and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 125 degrees.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Bring a small pot of water to boil, add orange zest and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain, saving zest.  Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat without stirring.  Once the sugar has started to melt, swirl the pan and continue cooking until it is uniformly amber, about 5 minutes more.  Pour in vinegar (watch your nose!) and stir with a wooden spoon to combine, then continue simmering and stirring until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 5 minutes.  Pour in orange juice and add zest, simmer until reduced to a thick syrup and a foam forms on top, about 5 minutes longer. 

Top sliced duck with gastrique and candied zest.

Three Grain Risotto
Adapted from Pure Flavor

5 cups Chicken Stock, low sodium or homemade
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 tbsp evoo
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup orzo pasta
1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 oz fresh goat’s milk cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and keep warm until ready to use. 

In a large, heavy bottom 10 in or larger skillet, toast the barley over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until it smells nutty, about 5 minutes.  Add evoo and Arborio rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the wine is absorbed.  Ladle 1 1/2-2 cups of hot stock over the rice.  Stir frequently until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Ladle in additional 1 1/2 cups stock and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add the orzo and continue adding stock un til the grains are al dente, about 30 minutes total. 

Remove pot from heat and stir in the Parmesan until it is melted and completely incorporated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately topped with a dollop of goat cheese.

Ryan Carr’s Asparagus
from my brother in law

Slightly bend asparagus to snap the ends off.  Fill a large pot with ice and water.  Bring another pot of water to boil.  Boil asparagus until bright green- about 45 seconds.  Drain from hot water and drop into ice water for 1 minute.  Heat oil (or in this case, duck fat), in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add asparagus and saute about 2 minutes.  Season with salt, freshly grated pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.