Chicken and Dumplings for me, is a true comfort food. It is one of those dishes, that my Grandma Lola used to make without measuring out anything, and she always used shortcuts when she did not have a lot of time. If she did not have time to make dumplings, she would use biscuits. If she did not have biscuits or flour, she would throw in a few potatoes and be done with it. Sometimes she would add green beans, or mushrooms. If she had enough chicken, she would fry some on the side. Sometimes she would add garlic, other times she wouldn’t. It all depended on what she had on hand. She rarely planned dinner. She would just start cooking whenever she thought about what she had in the kitchen. Grandma Lola was a pro!
She knew how to improvise. She could make anything, by just looking into someones pantry. She would’ve been awesome on Chopped! Her Bolognese sauce was awesome, because she used whatever meat she had in the freezer, and it tasted like it came out of an Italian restaurant!
She use to love to cook with cream of mushroom soup, and there was always something she could make with it. It was a – must have – in her pantry.
This recipe reminds me of her, and all of the wonderful dishes that came out of her kitchen.
All she had to do was tell one of her children that she was cooking chicken and dumpling stew, and before you knew it, cousins of cousins were stopping by. That is why she always made more. Whenever Grandma Lola was cooking, you knew it was going to be a big food day. And she would always serve dessert with a cup of coffee. “Make the coffee for us, girls!” That is what she used to tell us teenage granddaughters. There was four of us. And then it was pie and coffee for everyone. Those were the best days! And this recipe was one of hers.
The addition of cream of mushroom soup, give this dish the thickness that it needs,
and a delicious flavor, without all the extra work.
While the stew is simmering, prepare your dumpling mixture, and create a dough. I used a pastry cutter,
but you can use a fork as well. These dumplings come out light because they are flattened like thick noodles. It was almost like chicken noodle soup.
Two days ago, my teenage daughter was asking about the drought that we are having out here in Southern California, and my husband said that she should do a rain dance. Right now as I right, it is raining outside, and it is a welcome sight! This is not only the perfect weather to enjoy Chicken and Dumplings, but just knowing that this short storm, will bring much needed water, is a blessing. We take for granted the little things in life, and water is something that we cannot live without, so my daughter was shocked that her rain dance actually worked!
They say that El Nino is coming this spring, and honestly, I and my garden, cannot wait! I will also show you my garden for this year, and how it has been progressing, in a later post. I just love growing my own herbs, and vegetables for my meals. I do feel bad when I water them, because I do not want to waste water, but then I think about it, and I realize that I am not wasting water, because we have been eating much healthier meals because of my vegetable garden. i have been trying to save some of this rain to water the garden, and I know that this will be a good crop very soon.
- For stew:
- 3 cups of cooked shredded chicken breast
- 3/4 cup finly chopped onion
- 4-5 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- for dumplings:
- 2 cups al purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons of butter, cut into cubes
- In a large stock pot, or dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter, over medium heat, and add in onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until soft and translucent. about 3-5 minutes. Add in the chicken stock, and cream of mushroom soup, thyme, and shredded chicken, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- To prepare dumplings sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter, and use a pastry cutter or fork to mix together. Stir in the milk, and mix well until it forms a ball.
- On a floured surface, roll out ball of dough using a rolling pin, that has been dusted with flour. Roll out dough until thin, and cut into squares, using a pizza cutter or knife. Carefully add the dumplings to the soup, while stiring slowly. The flour from the dumplings, will also thicken up the soup. Let the soup cook for another 20 minutes, and serve.
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