Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

library-228Between helping Ben through this morning’s fender bender, making more estimate appointments and being productive at work I managed to work in some time to research this idea for dinner.   Chicken and dumplings.  It’s another recipe to add to the seemingly unending list of ways to transform leftover chicken into dishes that are similar to but not quite chicken pot pie. They’re all good but if you mix chicken with carrots and peas and add a creamy sauce… well, chicken pot pie.

I based this meal pretty loosely on this recipe from Simply Recipes.   You have to make a couple of changes to get it on the table in 30.  It’s hard to write a recipe for leftovers because there’s never really and rhyme or reason to what you have on hand.  There’s not really any way to guarantee just exactly how much chicken you’ll have leftover.  I probably had a scant two cups.  So I started by sweating the veg I had (onions, carrots and peas) in 3 tablespoons of butter.  Meanwhile I got the dumplings together and set them aside.  After a couple of minutes I stirred in 2 big tablespoons of flour and cooked that for a minute or two before adding 3 cups of store bought stock.  I brought that up to a boil and simmered it for another 2 or 3 minutes before adding in the cooked chicken and adjusting the seasoning for salt and pepper.  From here the recipe proceeds the same way.  The dumplings get dropped down on top of the stew, the pot covered and the whole thing simmers for another 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes the dumplings will be cooked through but the sauce won’t be terribly thick.  I took Chase’s portion out at this point so it would cool and the rest of the pot thickened up nicely while I took this picture.  Don’t forget to season or you’ll end up like me having to add salt at the end when the top is covered with dumplings.  Next time I make this, and I will make it again, I’m going to try to work in a little umami.  Maybe a dash of soy somewhere in the nearly finished sauce.  Maybe using homemade stock would take care of it.  I thought it could use a little more ‘depth of flavor’ (please don’t hold it against me that I just said that!).  Pair this with a nice salad for a hearty comfort food type dinner that seems a whole lot more special than ‘leftover chicken.’

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