Adventures in Janice’s “Vanishing Veggie” Chicken Stew…

I made this sort of by accident a few weeks ago, when I needed to get some more veggies into me, but didn’t want to know I was eating ’em. I managed to trick myself, and have made this recipe twice since then.

1. Forget to take any meat out of the freezer.
2. Come home hungry.
3. In a large pot, sautee some crushed garlic (about a tablespoon full) and a chopped onion (or wilting onion remnant, as the case may be) in as little oil as possible.
4. Once the onions and garlic are fragrant, and not burnt, pour 2-4 cups of water into the big pot, chuck in some chicken or mushroom buillion. (I can’t get chicken buillion here, so I use one precious OXO packet from home, and one mushroom packet from here.)
5. Take 1-2 ziploc baggies of frozen chicken out of the freezer. Pry the baggie off and dump the chicken into the pot.
6. As the chicken is thawing/boiling, wash yesterday’s dishes.
7. Grab 2-3 ziploc baggies of frozen veggies out of the freezer. (I use the mix from Costco, with the huge pieces of broccoli, cauliflower, and some orange things that aren’t carrots.) At this point, your options are plentiful. (a) You can toss the veggies in with the chicken, but you have to fish them out with a seive later. (b) You can put the veggies in a colander, and set it over the boiling chicken, to steam ’em. (c) You can boil them in a separate pot, and dump the veggie water into the chicken pot later. However you choose to do it, you need to cook the veggies.
8. Toss some potato chunks into the chicken pot.
9. When the chicken is 1/2 cooked, grab your tongs and kitchen scissors, and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
10. Put the cooked veggies in the blender, and whizzzz ’em up. Pour the pureed veggies into the chicken stew.
11. Add copious amounts of red and/or black pepper, along with some salt. LOTS of pepper.
12. Make some dumplings (some flour, some baking powder, some salt, some butter and some water or milk).
13. Drop the dumplings into the stew. Put the lid on.
14. Wash the dumpling dishes.
15. Voila. The stew should be ready to eat. It’s even nice with a little bit of sour cream on it.

It makes a nice chicken stew, with a thick broth, and you can’t even see the broccoli. You can make it without the dumplings, but why would you want to?

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