Crying and Chicken and Dumplings

It can be hard to switch back to eating meat after being a vegetarian.

As I stated in an earlier post, I was a vegetarian for about six years. After I finally started eating meat again (the infamous ham incident in my family), I still couldn’t do anything to prepare it.

It was my freshman year of college and we had to go back a few days early. Now, the dining halls wouldn’t be open again until Monday morning, so we were on our own for food. My parents had gotten me a crock pot for Christmas, and before they left they thought they’d be nice and get me some groceries so I wouldn’t starve for two days. Those groceries included a whole chicken.

Back in my pre-vegetarian days, I had loved a crock-pot chicken roasted whole, so it made sense that my parents decided to buy this (also, chicken was on sale).

I set up my crock pot in the residence hall floor kitchen and then got out the chicken. Which is when I discovered the problem…

The chicken was too big for the crock pot.

Remember how I just said that I could again eat meat, but was unable to prepare it?

Yeah….so I had to cut up the whole chicken to fit it in the crock pot. Please understand that never before in my life had I cut up any sort of meat….which doesn’t totally explain what happened next, but I use it to justify it.

I started crying while cutting up the chicken. Let’s be honest- I was practically bawling. And I kept apologizing to the chicken in my upset state.

“Oh chicken, I’m so sorry. You’re so slimy and gross. And now I’m cutting off your wings. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

You can imagine how shocked the guy I was dating at the time was when he walked into the room, expecting to see me competently making a roast chicken, and instead I was wailing and talking to a dead bird.

I really couldn’t blame the guy for bursting out laughing.

P.S. I can now butcher a chicken without crying, thank goodness.

Don’t Cry Over Me Chicken and Dumplings

does not induce tears to prepare


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c dry sherry
  • 5 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small can reduced fat, low sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and shredded or uncooked
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 c Bisquick
  • 2/3 c fat free milk
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 c fat free milk (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. In a large pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are just translucent.
  2. Add in sherry, chicken broth, and cream of mushroom soup.
  3. If using raw chicken, add and simmer for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
  4. Removed chicken and cool, then shred. Add back into pot. Mixture should still be simmering.
  5. Mix together water and cornstarch, then add to pot and stir.  Add in poultry seasoning.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together Bisquick, milk, parsley, chives, and pepper. Spoon onto top of mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (the dumplings will break up a bit but that’s okay). Place lid on and simmer covered for an additional 10 minutes.  If mixture is becoming too thick before the dumplings are done, add up to 1/2 c milk (I normally have to do this).
  7. Salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy!

Again, this makes a lot of food, but it reheats quite well if you stir in 1-2 tbsp fat free milk halfway during the microwave process.


73 thoughts on “Crying and Chicken and Dumplings

  1. I became a vegetarian after my anat & phys professor decided to talk about striated and non-striated muscle and how it relates to turkey the week before Thanksgiving break. Now nearly 15 years later, I can eat poultry and seafood but struggle with butchering. I’d have been crying along with you!

  2. Raw chicken COMPLETELY skeeves me out. Not boneless skinless anything, but the whole bird. Or the wings when the drummettes aren’t separated from the wings (and all the joints and parts still move ewwwwww)… I think it’s because it still looks like a real bird. Steak doesn’t look like Bessie. Pork chops & bacon in no way resemble Wilbur. But cutting Chicken Little into edible pieces is kinda traumatizing. I’m with you on that one. It’s why at Thanksgiving my mom has to make the turkey.

  3. I had to eat vegan foods for a year in 2010, because they thought it would help with medical issues I had been having. After there was no change I went back to eating meat and it took a lot. I totally know how you feel and that is a pretty funny story! Even so that looks awesome and I will have to try it!

  4. I was a vegetarian for about 5 years. I went through similar experiences. I couldn’t do things like pull the legs off shrimp. And I really didn’t want to see any meat in it’s near animal form, like a chicken. Somehow, I am now able to block all of that out again. But, once in a while it disturbs me. Your dish looks delicious.

  5. This looks tasty!
    Side note: Your college story is hilarious! Though I’ve been there too… I did a wilderness training course where they made us prep our own chicken stew – start to finish – and start meant, “here’s your machete”. I didn’t eat chicken for a long time after that…

  6. Gosh, this sounds so good. I don’t have a crock pot but I’ve never let a small thing like that get in my way!


  7. I’m so there with you. I’ll never forget the first time I had to take the skin off of a whole chicken. I didn’t cry, but it was an altogether disturbing experience.

  8. HA! You crack me up! My family owns a poultry place and it’s chicken 360 days out of the year. My dad would have been cracking up if he had read your story…he sliced and diced for a living. Very funny…

    Thanks for stopping by and reading and liking and following 🙂

  9. Crying makes perfect sense to me. Living in a women’s co-op in college, I was usually on early dinner prep, which involved cutting up 5 whole chickens for whatever was on the menu that night. It was easy to go vegetarian after that!

  10. I don’t like to cut up whole chicken either. The thing that really, really makes me cringe is the feel of liver. It makes me sick just thinking about it. I have my crock pot packed away in a box but when I move and unpack it, I will try this recipe.

  11. My Dad decided to become a Weekend Farmer for his mid-life crisis..better than other options, I suppose…but none the less, it involved buying adorable baby calves, and letting us 3 kids nurse them, give them meds, and name them..Needless to say, the month or so after they were sold as “adult cows”, I would not eat meat so that I would not mistakenly eat my “pet cow” for dinner…since then, I have not eaten red meat. So, my dear, I feel your chicken pain! 🙂


  12. Have I missed something?
    When is the microwave process when you might add some skim milk if needed?
    I’ve read the recipe three times and don’t find any mention of microwave except that one —
    Here’s where the puzzled smiley-face goes (only I don’t have one of them either) —

  13. I know several people in the medical profession who’re vegetarian, that doesn’t surprise me, I have a family member who’s an RN and she can’t stand big pieces of chicken. skin, etc.

    This was funny, thanks for the giggle! I can just imagine me or others I know doing exactly the same thing.

    I took a chicken “harvesting” class from our University extension last year, and although I didn’t do what you did, the entire time we ate that bird I referred to her as my “victim.” And oh yeah, did I mention that I washed my hands before i ate lunch that day, after lunch and then stopped 1/2 way home (with the bird in a cooler in the back) went to a fast food place, and washed them again? I didn’t have any issues….Right!


  14. I was a mostly-vegetarian (just fish or a little once maybe once a week) for around 4 years, and husband-at-the-time wanted beef stroganoff for his birthday. It, literally, Smelled Like Poop. I couldn’t find a spoon long enough with which to stir it.

  15. oh Im sorry….but that is too funny!
    I have long been a carnivore, but I’ve also cried when preparing quail….it’s hard when it looks like an animal… love the look of the recipe – yum!

  16. This recipe sounds yummy. My husband loves chicken and dumplings, but I’ve never made it. I’m putting these things on my grocery list. Thanks for sharing a great recipe! Super-funny story.


  17. I adore your stories. This one was particularly adorable. What made you decide to re-become an omnivore? Do you still tend to eat lots of veggies? Or did you become more of a carnivore?

  18. Thanks for visiting my blog and ‘following’ it. I love your sense of humor and signed up to follow you, too. Humor gets me every time!

    I can understand your initial problem cutting up a chicken–I have been preparing meals for many years and still hate that task. But I do it. On the other hand, I refuse to plunk a live lobster into a pot of boiling water–I have no problem eating the poor, tasty thing once it’s killed, but for some reason I can’t be the one to kill it. I think it would be the same if you told me I had to cut the head off a chicken or bonk a cow on the head…would have to become vegetarian at that point!

    Thanks again for leading me here–hope you are doing great in med school and having a blast, too!

  19. Well, considering your reaction to the chicken, I can see why you chose anesthesiology over Forensics. 🙂
    I can appreciate your discomfort and stress at adjusting, but you paint a wonderfully “ironic” picture of your situation. Are you sure you are not Canadian, our blood has an irony count.
    Also thanks for following my blog. it is greatly appreciated.
    I have to send this post to my son attending college. He has a terrible time with vegetables. Did you know from a medical side of things that individuals with Learning Disabilities related to ADD often have problems with foods because of sensitivity to textures rather than taste ?

    1. I’m not too surprised by that. My one friend won’t eat sushi because it’s a texture thing.

      And I’m sadly not Canadian, though I did live close to the Canadian border for much of my life.

  20. That is hilarious! I’m more of a flexitarian now and I find myself apologizing to whatever “life” I am about eat. Especially if it wasn’t free range. Thanks!

  21. aww! haha, the thought of a poor, woebegone college student crying alone in her dorm room over a slimy, disgusting raw chicken… as someone who has had a number of kitchen misadventures, I totally feel you. I’m trying to learn now though so I’ll be checking out some of the recipes on your blog. looks yummy!

    btw thanks for the follow & good luck in med school =)

  22. I just wanted to say, I love your concept of story-telling and recipe-sharing in one blog 🙂

    Even though I’m an aspiring veggie (read: I have no willpower), I think I might have to give this one a go, it looks delicious! Danke for the tip!

    PS. Everytime I have to cut raw chicken, it puts me off my meal so much that I can’t eat it, hah. Might have to get my boyfriend to assist me in that part…

  23. I have a feeling I’d really like you as my primary care doctor and not my surgeon. I can’t say I would like to carve a chicken these days, but, if I really have to I guess I’ll better have some good apology lines and a sharp knife LOL

    1. Hahaha, I’m infinitely better now at cutting things (I was quite good at my surgical skills, actually!). However, I’m doing anesthesia, which means I’ll be able to calm you down before someone ELSE cuts into you. 😉

  24. Thank you so much for following 😀 Your blog is just fantastic and you have recipes for some of my favourite meals. I first tasted chicken and dumplings when I was in Mexico for a family wedding. It was instant love, and I haven’t had it since (being a resident of Tamworth, England), and I haven’t managed to find a recipe that has lived up to my expectations. Until now! Thank yooou! 😛

  25. You didn’t say how many it feeds, but I figured it is for 4 anyway. I calculated the points for Weight Watchers and it is 17 points. Which is actually not too bad. SO I will definitely have to make this on a cold, rainy day. Which means I could make it pretty much everyday around here. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Honestly, I would say that it feeds at least 6- it’s a pretty huge recipe! You might even be able to stretch it to 8 when pairing with a big salad.

      Considering how cold Chicago has been lately, I probably could make it any time around here, too. 😉

  26. I”ll cut your chicken for you if you eat garlic for me. I always loved garlic and used it in or on everything. Then this last year I had three surgeries. As the anesthetist injected the anesthetic in my IV, I got a huge taste of garlic. Once I woke up I was vomiting for hours. Can’t look at or taste garlic now.

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