Monday, June 25, 2012

Making a Change

Last June we moved into the house and all the space was amazing......then winter arrived and we froze. The furnace does not heat the whole house and the propane bill was almost four times what we paid at the old house. With all that in mind hubby has decided he wants to move...where?  That is yet to be seen, since the place he wants needs some major rehab. He has purchased an old barn and about four acres of land. The barn is amazing, yet needs much work. I can close my eyes and see a big country kitchen and all the bedroom space, a loft for the grandkids to come stay and the thought of not a neighbor in sight. The question is, where to stay until the barn is livable. That to be would mean the roof fixed, wall closed and water and electric run with my number one must have ...a bathroom! Hubby claims to have a plan that he will hopefully share with me. If there werent so many of us I would say get a camper , park it and live there while you work. The rest of the family is not so keen on that idea. There is an artesian well and beautiful views from all four sides. I am ready for a change.....sounds of chicken and the morning rooster wake up call. A goat of two grazing in the pasture and maybe I can grow something!  That part is questionable LOL.

All this said I went outside yesterday to find the boys busy. making a chicken tractor.....WHY...because they bought three chicken and a duck! Jumped the gun, I think, but they are here. The dogs enjoy them , the cats were curious and oh how I hoped whatever got BINGO did not come down the hill for a late night snack.

I woke this morning to find them all fine, thank goodness. I did not want to explain to two little boys about missing chickens.

 JJ and his chicken Batman ( we don't know boy or girl chicken, but he names everything Batman )

Carsen being brave to let Batman sit on his shoulder
Carsen chicken "DORA"

Dad's girlfriend and Mandy checking out the chickens

The BOYS getting Daddy to hold DORA.

Now let me say when I dreamed of chicken I thought big fluffy hens who lay eggs each day....I will need to be patient I guess. They say be careful what you wish for....In this case I totally agree. All this could have been mush worse, where they bought the chicken there were horses for sale. They could have brought one of those home.
Now between packing to move, college courses,crocheting for the shop...I will be watching two boys, four dogs, cat and three kittens, three chicken and a duck! 
Before all this amazing fun arrived I had just finished this cute catepiller set, all it needs is antennaes and it is ready to go.
With chicken on our minds I went to an old favorite for dinner tonight.

 Chicken and Dumplings

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  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (cut Up Fryer)
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • Dumplings:
  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
  • Salt As Needed

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.
In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.
Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
Try this and enjoy your day!

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