Monday, January 30, 2017

Creamy Chicken and Dumplings

Oh, yum! 

I really enjoy a big steaming cup of chicken and dumplings.  Now, I know there are plenty of ways to make this, and plenty of people who like them plenty of different ways, but I like mine simple and creamy.
I don't want a clear broth, and I don't want onions or carrots in it... I just want chicken and dumplings swimming in a thick and creamy pool of deliciousness!

I've been making chicken and dumplings almost this way for over 35 years.  When I first learned how, I made it good and proper, boiling a hen, deboning it and using the broth from it as the starting point, but now I just create my own broth and use rotisserie roasted chicken I get from Sam's Club. They're huge, delicious, and only five bucks each and I use half of one each time I make it.

For the dumplings, I combine 1 1/2 cups of  Pioneer Baking Mix, 1/2 cup milk, 1 heaping tablespoon of dried parsley, and some black pepper together in a bowl. 

I mix it all up with a spoon until it sticks together and then finish forming it into a dough with my hands, shaping it into a ball as it comes together.  Here, I'm showing what I use to cut them out so they're all the same size.. so they will all cook at the same rate in the broth.  You can make them bigger, but the bigger they are, the longer it takes them to cook and the fewer you will get out of the dough.  You can always double the dough recipe and put twice as many dumplings in if you want to, which I often do, but today I was in a hurry.

Next, I press the dough ball flat on my cutting board.  I don't flour the board or anything, it never sticks...

I cut them all out and put them aside in a little pile.  Once I've cut out all I can, I just pick up the scraps and form another ball, press it flat, and do it all over again, repeating this until I've used all the dough up.

Once I have them all cut out, I cut each one in half...

and roll it into a ball, then press on it to flatten it a bit.

Here's one next to a quarter so you can tell how big they are.  You don't have to cut them in half if you don't want to, I just like them to be the perfect size to fit in my spoon. 

I cover them with plastic wrap so they won't dry out while I get the broth going.

I use 2 (32 oz.) cartons of reduced sodium chicken broth...

and 1 container of Knorr's Homestyle  Chicken Stock.

This is on high heat because I want it to come to a boil.  I'm adding a heaping tablespoon of dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and some coarse ground black pepper.

While I'm waiting on the broth to start boiling so I can add the dumplings to it, I get the other stuff ready that still needs to go in.  This is 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup and 1/2 cup of whole milk.

Beat vigorously until the soup is creamy and the only lumps you can see are the chicken in it.

Then I give the chicken a rough chop,

and whisk 2 egg yolks in a bowl with a fork.

When the broth comes to a good boil, drop the dumplings in one at a time.

They grow and get fluffy, and then they get denser as they cook and shrink some. Once they're all in there, reduce the heat to a moderate simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently a few times to move them around in the broth.

After 10 minutes, I like to fish one out with a spoon and test it for doneness.

Then, using my wonderful handy-dandy slotted Kitchamajig I've had for a million years, I remove them all from the broth and threaten my husband with something, anything horrible I can think of, so he won't eat them before I can get them back into the pot!

Next up, drizzle the egg yolks in while stirring the broth, same as you would if you were making egg drop soup.

Once that's done, add the soup/milk mixture in.

Then the chicken goes in....

and finally, the dumplings go back in.  Yes, they survived and I didn't have to kill my husband.

Give it a good stir, let it simmer for about 5 minutes so the chicken can get good and hot,

and it's ready to eat.

I like to put lots of black pepper on mine right before I eat it. 
I recommend tasting it before you add any salt.  I never add any extra salt, even using reduced sodium chicken broth, but go right ahead and add some if you want it saltier after tasting!!

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