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Shortcut Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings is comfort food at its best. Most recipes call for a whole chicken to be simmered for hours, cooled in the broth, then taken from the bones. The resulting broth is strained and reduced by boiling for hours. With this quick version, we can skip those steps by gently cooking boneless, skinless breasts or even using leftover chickenómuch quicker. The extra flavor is added in this quick version by using the Basic Cream Soup Mix, which not only adds flavor, but saves a lot of time. Although I rarely use convenience products such as condensed soup, Iíve found that in this dish, the addition really adds extra flavor and creaminess. You can substitute cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soups if you like.

Another timesaver is the use of a hand cranked pasta machine for the dumplings. Although the pasta machine isnít absolutely necessary to make the dumplings, it does save a lot of time and effort in rolling. If you need to roll out your dumplings by hand, make sure you have a pastry cloth and rolling pin cover to prevent sticking. Either method is fast and easy, since the dumpling dough is quite soft.

Next time youíre craving homey comfort food, this is the one to make. Your guests and family will think you spent all day in the kitchen!

8 Servings

8 cups water
2 teaspoons granular chicken bouillon
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of celery soup
2 cups Basic Cream Soup Mix

Dumplings:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ice water, (about)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into large chunks
fresh parsley, for garnish

Place the water, chicken bouillon, carrots, onion, and celery in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the cream of celery soup and Basic cream soup mix. Stir well and turn heat down to a simmer and cook while you prepare the dumplings.

Dumplings: In a food processor, mix the flour and salt. With the motor running, add the water, processing just until it forms a ball (may need more or less water). Dump the mixture onto the counter and smooth into a ball. Divide in half and roll through a pasta machine to the second to thickest setting so that each strip is 1/8" thick. Alternatively, roll the ball on a floured pastry cloth to 1/8" thick. Cut into 1" wide strips (about 6" long), then add them slowly to the simmering broth. Do not stir the noodles at first, but spoon some broth over so that they are submerged. After they have cooked about 3 minutes, gently stir. Turn the heat off when the noodles are no longer doughy, 2-4 more minutes.

Add the chicken chunks, sprinkle with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.

Basic Cream Soup Mix

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Content copyright © 2013 by Karen Hancock. All rights reserved.
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