Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

All of us have colds here and I thought some old fashioned comfort food would hit the spot right about now. I remember visiting my grandma during my childhood and one of the dinners she would always make was Chicken and Dumplings.....the fluffy doughy biscuits floating at the top would try to melt away if I didn't gobble them up first. And then the thick stew filled with chicken and other tidbits would be next down the hatch. If there was any left, seconds were usually not out of the question. I remember her process was an all afternoon affair. She boiled the whole the chicken first while making her own stock, and then picked the meat off the bones for the soup. I'm sure that is what made it so special.

What's great about this recipe is that it takes literally 25 minutes tops and is so tasty and satisfying. I even had that flashback moment like in the movie Ratatouille, where Ego, the nasty food critic, tastes the dish and is sucked back in time to when he was a kid. Isn't that what food is about anyways? Making memories with your family and enjoying each other's company? It always amazes me what tastes and smells can bring me right back to being a kid.

Give this a try before the warm weather won't be disappointed and may even add it to your winter menu rotation like I am going to do!

Chicken and Dumplings by Rachael Ray


1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into small bite size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, (I also added 1/4 t. dried thyme)
2 tablespoons flour
1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas

Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Wash hands.
Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.
Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 1/2 cup milk and parsley until a dough consistency forms. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

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