Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Chilly Weather Chicken and Dumplings
We're in for record setting lows this week here in Southeast Texas. While much of the country would laugh at our lows in the 20's, we're just not used to that here. It's time to wrap the pipes, cover the plants, build a fire, and have a warm, hearty dinner.
This isn't the chicken and dumplings recipe that I grew up eating. It's not even close, but it's quick and tasty and the whole family enoys it. A friend's husband made it for us once and then lost the recipe. I've recreated it as best I could and let me just say, it's pretty darn good. It makes enough for two big meals, but I'm not sure how well it would freeze. Also, this is definitely more a semi-homemade recipe than from scratch. But sometimes we need all the help we can get in the evenings.
3 stalks celery
1/2 medium onion
1 Tbs butter or olive oil
1 whole chicken (I used the rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
1 large can cream of mushroom soup
1 large can cream of chicken soup
1 large carton (32 oz.) chicken stock
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
2 cans regular sized refrigerated biscuits (not the Grands, the little cheap ones are great)
salt & pepper
Chop celery, onion and carrots pretty small (fine dice). They should be about 1/4 inch pieces. You want these to cook thoroughly so be sure they aren't too big. Or if you want crunchy veggies in your dumplings (eww) make them bigger.
Melt butter or oil in a large stock pot and saute vegetables on medium heat until the onions are translucent and the vegetables all begin to soften.
Add chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, remove the chicken from the bones and shred it. Save the bones and the trimmings from your vegetables to make chicken stock if you want.
Add both cans of soup to the pot and stir thoroughly (or wisk) until it is smooth. Stir in the milk until it is the consistency you like. You might want to add more milk after you add the dumplings, as it will thicken up a little.
Bring the pot to a boil and cut or tear the biscuits into small pieces. I like to have smaller dumplings, so I cut them into 10-12 pieces per biscuit. You can make them bigger, just be sure to cook them a bit longer.
Turn the heat down so that the pot is simmering and drop in the dumplings one at a time. You might have to stir a couple of times to get them all in the pot. Stir in the chicken and let everything simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is perfect with a warm, crusty bread and even better as leftover for lunch the next day!