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Bland but good chicken recipe, that's not fried, not roasted, doesn't involve pastry and doesn't call for tonnes of cream? Thinking about attempting at Chicken & Dumplings....

Need to make something on the bland side tonight. Don't want to make a pot pie. Thinking about Chicken & Dumplings, possibly this recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chic...

Anyone have any other suggestions?

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  1. Take a look at Nigella Lawon's Praised Chicken (Google will get you there). I haven't made it, but my sweetheart's been dropping some broad hints ever since we saw it somewhere on TV. Maybe now I'll get going with it! In any case, it seems to meet your criteria.

    1 Reply
    1. Well, chicken and dumplings doesn't have to be bland but it can be if you need it to be.

      I've never used a recipe (learned by watching my Grandmother as a kid,) but I think any recipe where you place dumplings into simmering chicken stock will do. I find the addition of cream in that recipe odd. I also don't use sherry but don't see why you couldn't. I'd skip it if you're looking for bland, though.

      1. Maybe a nice chicken and rice dish?

        1. If you have arborio rice, you could do this (you could do it w/ regular rice, too), poor man's risotto:

          http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/de...

          3 Replies
          1. re: chowser

            This was going to be my rec! Simple, tasty, but not spicy in the least.

            1. re: TorontoJo

              Were you the one who posted this recipe here? It's become a quick go-to in my house.

              Yes, just found it:

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782368

              Thanks for posting it!

          2. Depends on your definition of bland. My go-to chicken dish is piccata, which I could easily have once a week -- love the zippiness of the lemon & wine, and the brininess of the capers.

            Easy, fast, not fried or roasted. But bland, it ain't.

            2 Replies
            1. re: linguafood

              thanks linguafood....

              guess bland wasn't the right adjective (although it was the adjective used by the person I was cooking for tonight)- could be flavourful, but would have to be gentle to a sensitive digestive system.

              Ended up making a coq au vin- wasn't bland, but wasn't spicy. Might try the piccata next time.

              1. re: prima

                i have found i prefer this dish made with white wine. a much lighter final product.

              1. re: DLeach

                Do you have a recipe you really like? I tried a Rachel Ray recipe (after a recommendation in a Chicken Divan thread on this Board http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ra... ) which was ok, but would would like to try another approach.

                1. re: prima

                  I am sorry to say I lost the one I used years ago and trying to find another that is as good as that tasted has been unsuccessful. Sometimes I think it must have been my taste buds at that time.

                  1. re: prima

                    prima, if you find a good chicken tetrazzini recipe, please post it. It's a favourite comfort food of mine.

                    Oh and don't forget this resource for chicken recipes. Surprised the recipe finder doesn't say "Cluck Here".
                    http://www.chickenlover.ca/

                    1. re: Googs

                      This is my grandmother's tetrazzini recipe - a must do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but also works with rotisserie chicken. Watch the salt though, it can easily go overboard after the sauce reduces.

                      Ingredients:
                      4 cups of cooked turkey meat (or chicken), pulled into bite sized pieces
                      3 ½ cups of chicken stock
                      1lb. of spaghetti
                      1 stick of butter
                      1 small onion
                      ½ lb. sliced mushrooms
                      1 Tbsp. lemon juice
                      ½ cup flour
                      1 Tbsp. salt
                      ½ Tbsp. paprika
                      ½ cup sherry
                      1 cup Half and Half
                      3oz. grated parmesan cheese

                      Preheat oven to 350°

                      Cook spaghetti for 1 minute less than according to package directions. Drain and place in a large baking dish (9x13).

                      While the spaghetti is cooking, mince the onion. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. butter. When melted, add onion, mushrooms and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onions are soft and mushrooms have given off their liquid. Spoon mixture over the spaghetti.

                      In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter. Add flour, salt and paprika, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is smooth and blond in color. Gradually stir in the sherry and the chicken broth and cook until thickened. Stir in the half and half and the turkey pieces. Remove from heat.

                      Pour turkey mixture over spaghetti and toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle parmesan over top and bake for 30 minutes.

                2. Steam or poach your chicken.

                  1. Glad the coq au vin turned out well!

                    Another recipe to try in the the future is from the Southern cook Scott Peacock (or rather, his grandmother :).....Grandmaw Peacock's Chicken and Rice. Pure flavors, total comfort food, and not bland at all provided there is enough salt. (I have "fancified' the dish on occasion with fresh thyme and garlic cloves, but it really isn't necessary.)

                    http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: 4Snisl

                      thanks! Have lots of fresh thyme in the fridge- so might fancy it up.

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        I've made this - great comfort food!

                      2. This post actually made me giggle a little bit. Only because my boyfriend will only get the boneless/skinless chicken breast's and they are very bland and always need something added to them. I was actually going through alot of recipes today trying to figure out what to make tonight and thought about chicken and dumplings. only bad thing with that is to get the amazing "grandmothers flavor" from that would be to simmer the whole chicken and make a very nice stock. Well i dont have that. and the chicken normally comes out bland and dry if your not careful. I dont have time to marinate the breast in broth, garlic, and rosemary over-night so im going to try to butter-fly them and stuff with fresh herbs, garlic and onion powder, then brown them in some butter and then add them to water and stock with corn and then add dumplings. Not sure how it will turn out but i will give it a shot

                        1. I often make a simple chicken soup (stock, veggies, chicken, seasonings) then drop some butterklassen (Joy of Cooking) on top.

                          Buttery and yummy but not a TON of flavor. Just right.

                          1. My grandmother's chicken and dumplings were very simple and highlighted the very essence of the chicken. They contained ONLY chicken, water, salt, and flour. That's it. No veg, no leaveners, nothing else! They made her kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids happy for years! I am not so sure that most people today would appreciate the pure chickeny-ness of them, though.

                            I love lots of veg and lots of lovely herbs in most dishes, but I would never mess with Grandma's dumplings!

                            I have also made this old-fashioned chicken pudding, substituting homemade stock for the boullion:

                            http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chick...

                            Very comforting.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sandylc

                              My Chicken and Dumplings is the same:
                              Make and roll out dumplings
                              Simmer a whole chicken (in salted water)
                              Remove chicken when done and skim the fat from the broth
                              Bring back to a boil and drop in dumplings
                              Pull meat from chicken and add back into broth 5 minutes before the dumplings are finished

                              Absolutely delicious and easy. Also, if you can find them, the frozen Open Kettle dumplings are as good as I can make homemade and don't have anything weird in the ingredients.

                            2. Take bone in, skinless chicken pieces (all drumsticks works, too) and potato wedges, and a little minced garlic. Brown in a small amount of oil. Season with salt and dried rosemary. Add everything to a baking dish and bake at about 350 for 45 mins to an hour until the chicken is cooked through and the potato wedges are done.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                Yes, rosemary goes VERY well with chicken and with potatoes.
                                The only addition I would have is include quartered yellow onions in there too.

                              2. My basis for Chicken and Dumplings -- which comes pretty close to my late mother's version -- starts with the recipe in John Egerton's magisterial work "Southern Food". Basically, you cover a good old stewing hen in cold water, along with a couple carrots, celery stalks, and a peeled halved onion. Simmer until you have a great broth. Remove the chicken and vegetables (and discard latter). Strain broth. When chicken cools a bit, pull meat off the bone and roughly shred it, discarding gristle and MOST skin. Return meat to broth with a couple of sliced carrots, a sliced celery stalk, and a finely chopped onion. Simmer. Meanwhile, make dumplings; my version always adds broth to the dough. When vegetables are tender, add unsalted butter to the broth (a stick for a large 8 qt. pot). Add dumplings, and simmer until they're done. Serve in big soup platters.

                                1. This is simple and wonderful. I make it a lot:

                                  GRANDMAW’S CHICKEN AND RICE 
                                   
                                  1 large chicken cut in pieces (I just used thighs) 
                                  2 T butter 
                                  1 small onion, peeled and quartered 
                                  1 small celery rib and leaves 
                                  5 cups water (I used broth) 
                                  1 ½ cups white rice 
                                  herbs 
                                   
                                  Wash and dry chicken. Season chicken well with salt and pepper.  
                                   
                                  Heat butter over low heat in a heavy dutch oven or large pot with a 
                                  cover. When butter is frothy, add chicken pieces, turning to cover with 
                                  the butter. Cook slowly, turning, until the skin is a pale gold, about 5 
                                  min. Add onion and celery and cover tightly. Reduce heat very low and 
                                  cook for 20‐25 minutes. 
                                   
                                  When you remove the lid, you will be surprised by all the liquid. Pour in 
                                  the water/broth. (I added a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary). Increase 
                                  heat slightly and cook another 35 min, partially covered. 
                                   
                                  Remove onion and celery. Add rice, stirring, and cover. Simmer on low 
                                  for 30‐45 min until the broth has been absorbed by the rice but still a 
                                  little soupy. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, about 10 more min. 
                                    

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Tom P

                                    Simple and economical. Thank you for sharing.

                                  2. @prima, I have to stick up for the version of C&D that uses Cornmeal dumplings - IMO much more flavorful dumplings. My adapted recipe is totally stovetop prepared:
                                    http://www.chow.com/recipes/28827-chi...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      Thanks DiveFan. Sounds interesting. I will give your adaptation a try in the not-so-distant future. ;-)

                                    2. You can simmer the chicken with onions, garlic, ginger if you like, and add your favorite vegetables--like carrots, potatoes, and toward the end Swiss chard. Serve the broth as a first course and plate the chicken and vegetables. Or ifyou are more adventuresome, use the method described by John Thorne in his book "Simple Cooking", pp. 194-195. Based on the old French method of cooking a chicken in a pig bladder, it is essentially a form of "sous vide" cooking. Heat a pot of hot water. Rub the bird with seasoning and tie it in a roasting bag out of which you have drawn out as much air as possible (to prevent it from floating in the pot). Tie the bag securely. When the water boils, wrap the pot lid in a dish towel and lower the bagged chicken into the roiling water and cover it with the lid (the towel ensures a tight fit and acts as an insulator) and turn off the heat. Thorne says to leave it for three hours. If you are a bit dubious about that, you can leave the heat on the covered pot and hold to just under a simmer for about an hour and a half or until the leg moves freely when tested through the bag. You get the cooked bird and accumulated juices that way--in contrast to poaching it, that leaves it a bit washed out. Elizabeth David gives a recipe for the original chicken in a pig's bladder in her French Provincial Cooking.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Father Kitchen

                                        Thanks- sounds interesting. I didn't realize the French were known for cooking things in pigs' bladders.

                                        Anyone have any ideas for where I could source some pigs' bladders in the Greater Toronto Area? ;-)

                                        Will check out the E David recipe.

                                          1. re: prima

                                            I think using a roasting bag as in the John Thorne recipe is a much simpler alternative.

                                              1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                Seeing is believing. Though a baby would tell you that anything you can't put in your mouth can't be real. www.amateurgourmet.com/2010/02/chicke... -

                                            1. re: prima

                                              WOW that DOES look amazing. You'll have to tell us how it turns out, prima. For the pig bladders (now there's something that doesn't come up every day), I'd be tempted to drop by Town & Country Farms at the St Lawrence Farmers Market. I have little doubt that, no matter who you ask, it'll be a special by request only situation. Correct me if I'm wrong.

                                              This appears to be their contact info:
                                              http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/srch/nvgt...

                                          2. Well, it's a few days after the post, but I like CI's chicken and dumplings. It calls for a bit of whole milk rather than cream. The recipe calls for 5 lbs of chicken thighs, but I normally use a small whole chicken that I've cut into pieces. I've made it many times and it's always delicious.

                                            http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. We love this martha recipe for chicken enchiladas, we usually toss in some roasted peppers. It looks bland but has a ton of flavor.

                                              http://www.marthastewart.com/318900/l...

                                              1. Knowing that it is too late, here is a simple chicken recipe I make in such situations. I do it sort of seat-of-the pants, as that's what my mom did :)

                                                Ingredients:
                                                Chicken breasts or thighs, preferably with bones
                                                Preserves or jam (I use orange marmalade, the cheap store variety)
                                                Brandy (optional)

                                                Preheat oven to 350. I use a toaster oven for up to four people.
                                                Cut some foil to make sealed "packets" for each piece of chicken; two thighs in a packet is OK. Grease foil with olive oil or cooking spray or use non stick. Place a chicken piece on each piece of foil.
                                                Mix the marmalade with a little brandy to thin it out a bit. I usually use maybe 1t of brandy to 2-3 T of marmalade, but I never measure. Brush or spoon the marmalade or preserves or whatever on the chicken and fold packets like empanadas, sealing the edges well.

                                                Place packets on a baking sheet (in case they leak!) and bake for about half an hour depending on size.

                                                Serve the packets on diners' plates, cutting the foil with scissors just before serving (or take them out if you wish).

                                                I like adding a fresh basil leaf or a slice of lemon under the chicken sometimes.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: travelerjjm

                                                  Sounds good, and you could season the chicken most any way you like. I've only cooked fish and vegetables that way. Thanks for the tip.

                                                2. how about stuffed or rolled chicken? I like to pound mine out thin, cover it with a mix of cheese, onion, garlic, sundried tomato, and spinach, roll it up and bake it. can also do it with tomato sauce, or pesto, or whatever else you might like it with. if youre trying to avoid baking, could also grill them. but the point is, since youre choosing the stuffing (of which the choices are basically endless) it can be as bland or spicy as youd like, and if you choose stuffings you like, its really tasty!

                                                  i also really like stuffed roasted red peppers, which you can use ground chicken for, or even (since its fall) stuffing acorn squash with ground chicken, wild rice, nuts, dried berries, and some balsamic, then roasting them off, would be nice.