I don’t make this recipe very often because it’s very rich — but it doesn’t take much to make a meal. Sometimes rich is the best answer — just not every week unless you live on a working farm or do a lot of hard physical stuff every day. Desk jockeys, students, and folks who are more sedentary — make it a special occasion meal!
(A leaner version of the recipe follows at the bottom.) Anyway, it won’t work at all if you’re lactose intolerant or gluten-free. 😦 sorry!
This time, my son Nathan made a tomato and mozzarella salad to go with it, and then we followed it with chocolate pound cake.
This works just as well using canned biscuits (quartered) for the dumplings; or if you’re so inclined — make a double batch of biscuit dough from scratch. (if you do that — add a teaspoon of rubbed sage and some fresh ground black pepper to the biscuit dough.)
–Makes 12 servings, 1 1/2 – 2 cups
(you can easily make a 1/2 recipe, but taste carefully to adjust the seasonings.)
–You’ll need a large stock pot — at least 8 qts (a 10-12 qt pot is better)
–Add a green salad, and a fruit-based desert,
and a 1 – 1/4 c serving is about right
–about a million calories per serving
–a slightly leaner alternative follows at the end 😀
1 1/2 c sliced carrots
1 c chopped celery
1 1/2 c chopped red onion
1 c chopped yellow squash or asparagus (if in season)
6 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
4 quarts chicken stock
1 c sweet green peas
1 c sweet corn kernels
3 c whole milk
2 c cream
1/2 t rubbed sage
1 t Penzeys Mural of Flavor Seasoning Blend
2 t salt
2 large cans refrigerated biscuits (Pillsbury Grands)
- Bring chicken broth and seasoning to a boil. Add washed chicken breasts, and leave on a high simmer, uncovered, as you add celery, onion, and carrots. bring up to a slow boil and simmer for 1 hour.
- Allow the stock to reduce by 1/2
- remove chicken breasts from the pot and set aside to cool
- add green peas and corn to veggies and broth and return to boil
- chop chicken and return to pot
- add milk and cream, and return to a boil
- cut biscuits into quarters, and drop one by one into the boiling broth. Be sure to keep the temp up so the temperature of the broth does not drop below a slow boil as you add the dough.
- the dumplings will float to the top of the pot. Cover the pot and reduce heat to continue a slow boil for 6-10 minutes (until dumplings are cooked through), stirring occasionally to submerge the top-most layer of dumplings so they cook evenly.
(the dumpling’s outer layer will dissolve somewhat into the broth as they cook, thickening the soup. This makes the broth thick.)
If you want to make a leaner version of this soup, good luck. You can make it without any milk/cream, but then you’ve just made a clear soup — and that’s not chicken and dumplings. (It also sacrifices the calcium and other benefits of the milk!)
You can make any or all of the changes listed below to improve the soups balance — but each change takes you a little farther from traditional Chicken and Dumplings.
This leaner version is lighter, but technically, it a chicken noodle soup — because to make fluffy dumplings you have to use a high fat recipe. Fluffy only happens with fat. (duh!) That said, it is possible to approximate chicken and dumplings with thick noodles and by making the following substitutions:
* Instead of 4 quarts of chicken broth, use 6, and only reduce it by 1/3. Additionally, use 3 cups of milk as called for, but none of the cream. Don’t cut back so far as to use 2%, 1%, or fat free milk, because the soup needs a little fat to thicken slightly.
* If you use the less milk/cream / more broth alternative, add an additional 1/2t salt + 1t freshly ground pepper + 1/2 t extra rubbed sage + 1/2 t extra Penzeys Mural of Flavor + 1t table-sugar
* Add 2 c dehydrated potato flakes to the soup to thicken
* Instead of using biscuits or biscuit dough for the dumplings, make a batch of egg-pasta dough with 1/2 t added salt (and sage/Mural if you like,) and roll it to 1/8″ thick. (if you have a pasta roller, this is a quick process) Then cut the dough into 1 1/2″ squares. Drop these into the rapidly boiling soup and allow to cook for 5 minutes (taste for done-ness.)
These changes will reduce the fat content both by deleting the cream, and using the pasta dough (which has very little fat) instead of biscuit dough. Additionally, the extra herbs/spices will up the flavor of the veggies, without deminishing the sweetness of the soup.
Keep the Milk — It’s Good For You