Economical Chicken – Curried and as Dumplings


Dumplings – ready for steaming, boiling or frying

For a long time now I have been noticing the trend for thrifty cooking tips, and basically, neglecting the fact that I should add my own to the mix.

As you know, I am a vegetarian, so dealing with meat issues is rare on this site.  However, the husband is a carnivore…

Chicken is his preferred meat of choice at the moment, which is good as it does tend to be very cost effective.  This is how we deal with a pair of small chickens.

First, deal to the actual chicken…. eeeewww.  Basically, chop it up into portions.  Remove the skin (this gets given to the dogs).  Put the breast meat aside, as well as the drumsticks.  You will end up with a pile of chicken pieces, 4 drumsticks, and 4 breasts.  The chicken pieces and the breasts will need marinating, so you can do this at the same time as each other.

Chicken Curry  (This is using the pile of chicken.)
Oil – 4 table spoons
Red Onions – 2
Green chillies – 2
Ginger garlic paste – 1 table spoon (I use about a cm of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic, mashed up with a mortar and pestle)
Chilli powder – 1 table spoon
Coriander powder – 1/2 table spoon
Garam masala – 1/4 table spoon
Turmeric powder – pinch
Salt – 1 table spoon
Yoghurt – 5 or 6 table spoons
Coriander leaves
Lime or lemon juice

Wash chicken pieces with pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Rinse the chicken again.
Add yogurt to chicken and mix.
Add chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, garam masala, ginger garlic paste, pinch of turmeric powder, and squeeze lime juice. Mix the all the ingredients to chicken.
Keep the mix aside for 40 min.  (It is evidently even better to leave marinating overnight)

Heat the pan with oil in it.
Fry chopped chillies and onions until they turn brown.
Add chicken mixture to fried onions and cook for around half an hour.
Once the chicken pieces are cooked, add chopped coriander leaves.
Add salt or garam masala if required.
Add yogurt or sqeeze lemon juice if curry is spicy.

Chicken Dumplings

Chop the chicken breasts into small pieces about 1cm square.
Chop half a savoy cabbage into small pieces of a similar size.

Place both in a bowl, and add chilli sauce, soy sauce (I like Tamari for this), olive oil.
Actually, you can make these as vegan dumplings as well, by substituting the chicken with a cup of chopped walnuts.

Leave to marinate in the fridge.

Dumping Dough

Using 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of boiling water, and 1 teaspoon of tumeric, combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Work with a metal spoon until combined.  Then kneed the dough.  The dough will be super hot, but it does cool down reasonably quickly.  Once it is all combined and kneeded, but not too long, you just want it to be smooth, Wrap the dough in cling wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Dumpling dough

Dumpling dough – one has tumeric here and the other does not.

When the dough has rested for about an hour, roll it out with a rolling pin, and then thread through a pasta machine until you get it about 2mm thick.

Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or a cup.

Place about a heaped teaspoonful in the middle of each circle.  Wet the edge of half the circle, and fold the dry edge of the dumpling over the filling and onto the other side.  Press down firmly.  You can leave these as half moon shapes, or take the 2 edges of the straight side, and fold them against each other to make the round shape shown above.

I like to boil the dumplings, and then fry them to get a golden crunch to them.  Or you can just steam them.  Serve with a dipping sauce made of chilli and soy sauce combined.

You should get about 20 dumplings (at least).  If you have leftover marinated chicken breast at this point, leave it, and give it a quick fry and serve on top of a fresh salad.

You will also still have 4 drumsticks, which can be added to a crock pot with tomatoes, cannelini beans and spices and left to cook slowly… or barbequed, or fried or roasted…. or however you like drumsticks.

I am still aiming to teach the husband that 2 chickens is all the meat he needs in a week (with leftovers from meals) but he is unconvinced.

You should get 4-6 servings of chicken curry.
You should get 4 servings of dumplings (5 each is a good meal size with salad on the side or steamed vege)
And the drumsticks I find are either 2-4 servings (depending on how many drumsticks your people think make a serving).

And beyond that, the leftover marinated chicken breast fried and served on a salad makes a great light meal.


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