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Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 Store Bought Rotisserie Chicken, picked and shredded into bite sized chunks
- 8 Cups Prepared Chicken Broth/Stock
- 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 6 Tbls Butter
- 1Lb Bagged "Baby" Carrots, cut in half or into thirds, depending on size
- 1Lg Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 Ribs Celery, sliced thickly (about 1/4 inch) on the diagonal
- 1 Cup Frozen Peas (optional)
- 1Tsp each, Onion Powder, Celery Salt, Dried Thyme and Dried Sage
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
A Double Batch of Biscuit Dough, made with your favorite boxed mix, according to directions for "drop biscuits". I use Bisquick.
In a large heavy dutch oven, (with plenty of surface area) melt butter over med-high heat and add flour. Stir with wooden spoon or use a whisk until the butter and flour are combined thoroughly and there are no lumps. Add a pinch of salt and a couple of grinds of pepper and whisk continuously as mixture cooks a bit to get rid of the raw flour taste. Cook to a medium golden brown color. Add the broth/stock and continue to whisk constantly, bringing it to a boil until it is completely smooth and begins to thicken slightly. Turn heat down slightly and add the chicken, vegetables and dried herbs. Let simmer until vegetables are tender.
While the base is simmering, in a large mixing bowl make the bisquit dough according to the package directions. If I have any in the fridge, I'll add some fresh chopped parsley and chives or maybe a dash of onion powder and dried parsley flakes to the dough to give the dumplings a little extra zing.
Once the chicken, vegetables and gravy are ready, turn up the heat slightly and bring it to a bubbly simmer. Using a medium ice cream scoop or two serving spoons, drop the dough on top of the bubbling liquid. Keep the dumplings slightly apart, as they'll puff up quite a bit and if the pan is too crowded, they won't come out as light and fluffy. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Now comes the most important part. Cover the pan tightly and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid during this last 10 minutes or you'll end up with what my beloved calls "sunklings". (I'll tell that story some other time)
Serve immediately for the dumplings to be at their very best. It reheats quite well, but any left over dumplings will have soaked up some of the gravy and become a bit heavier. We don't usually have any of the dumplings left over around here anyway! If I have a good amount left the following day I'll often add more stock to the left over base and just bring it all to a bubbling simmer again and make a fresh batch of dumplings. Or you can freeze the leftover base for another time to use for Chicken and Dumplings or even Chicken Pot Pies.
Serve with a crisp tossed green salad or another vegetable of your choice. You can add peeled and cubed potatoes to the chicken and vegetable mixture as well, but hubs and I don't care for them in our Chicken and Dumplings. (we also don't "do" peas)