Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chicken Cheep!

I had a couple chicken carcasses left from eating roast chicken this week, so I put them on to make stock on Thursday.  All that was left was the meat left after carving, and the wings from two carcasses, and I ended up with five extra quarts of stock for my freezer, and this wonderful supper for last night. 
If you have not tried the Gnocchi hermetically sealed in packages and found in the pasta isle, you really should.  This is a wonderful product, fluffy light pillows of potato dumpling goodness!  They only take a second to make, so can be a ten minute meal when you drop them in some boiling stock, or as a great side dish cooked in boiling water just until they float, and then toasted with butter and sage in a frying pan. 
Life is what happens when you are making other plans, and Thursday I had the chance to go with my Don to Thermopolis last minute.  Well, as last minute as you can be with two babies, and the need to get supper going in the crockpot! 
I quickly put my chicken and vegetables in the crockpot, and grabbed fruit and yogurt and sandwich supplies, and we headed out the door.  We had a wonderful picnic in Hot Springs State Park, and got to visit with our good friends at The White Horse Country Store.  The kids had great fun sliding and climbing in the park.

Chicken and Gnocchi
1 C cooked chicken, shredded
1 yellow onion diced
1 C celery diced including leaves
4 large carrots peeled and diced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
2 bay leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 quarts/boxes of chicken stock
Place all ingredients into a cold crock pot,  then make the gravy.
Chicken Gravy:
2 T butter melted
2 T flour
2 tsp chicken and tomato soup base
2 T garlic
cook butter, flour, garlic and soup base in a skillet until it smells nutty and foam subsides.  Add slowly while whisking: about 1 quart of chicken or beef stock, or until a thick pudding like consistency is achieved.  Add 1 C milk, whisk and remove from heat.  Stir gravy into crockpot, and cook on low 10-12 hours.  Add gnocchi during last 1/2 hour of cooking, and right before serving top with chopped parsley. 

Our leftover beef for sandwiches will make a great hot lunch today!

Hot Beef Sandwiches
6-8 slices leftover roast beef
2 T butter and flour browned in a skillet
1 quart/box of beef broth
Toasted Day Old Bread

In a large skillet, brown the butter and flour until they smell nutty.  With a whisk, add the broth a little at a time until a medium gravy is achieved.  Slide the beef into the gravy and heat on medium high until warmed through.  Toast bread, and top with beef and gravy.  I will serve this with steamed green beans, and sliced vine ripe tomatoes with balsamic and oil on them.  A ten minute lunch, and my husband gets his favorite food- GRAVY!

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