Friday, November 5, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

For those who know me well; you'll know that I'm not a big fan of winter. As a matter of fact, I really detest winter. I'll take a 100 degree day over a 30 degree day every single time. But, if there's one thing I do like about winter it's the food. Warm, comforting, and yes, fattening food! One of my favorite meals of all time during the cold months is Chicken and Dumplings. Probably my favorite part is the dumpling, and it definitely keeps me warm on those cold winter nights. The recipe I use is from one of the best, fatten-you-up, comfort food cooks of the south; Ms. Paula Deen. The dumpling I use, well, not sure where I got that recipe from, but it's delish. Enjoy!

1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery or cream of chicken soup

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp melted, butter
2/3 c. milk
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl combine the milk, egg, and melted butter. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture, and stir quickly. Wait till the end before adding pieces of the dough to the soup.

To begin, I prepped my vegetables by chopping them and setting aside. Also, I did not use an onion. Instead I used 4 carrots. I also just used about 2 pounds of chicken breast. Placed the chicken, carrots, celery, 2 bay leaves, the chicken bouillon cubes, and the house seasoning into the pot and cook until the juices from the chicken run clear. It took about an hour. Also, about the house seasoning. I just guesstimate everytime, by taking a teaspoon and pouring a little of the garlic powder and pepper, and add more of the salt into it.
Once the chicken is cooked thru, remove it and wait till it cools. Then either shred the chicken or cut it into small pieces (however you prefer). Add back to pot and then add in the can of soup. This time I used cream of chicken, but it really doesn't matter which one you use.

Paula recommends adding 1/4 cup water and 2 tbsp of corn starch (stir together) to the pot of soup if it is not thick enough. I usually do follow this step, and I add it in twice. I also usually add a couple sprinkles of dried thyme to the soup as well. I also add more salt and pepper. Last it's time to add the dumpling dough to the pot. I just grab some of the dough and roll it in my hands and drop into the pot. Cover with a lid and bring to a rolling boil.
Cook until the dumplings are cooked thru. It usually takes about 10-15 minutes for this to occur. Keep in mind that the soup is usually really hot when serving. Enjoy!

(Click here for printable recipe)

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