Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chicken and Dumplings

I love my family, especially my mom, who is one of the best cooks in the world, I swear. Nothing compares to some of her dishes for comfort and deliciousness. That said, because my dad wasn't an adventurous eater when we were growing up, my mom had a meat and potatoes philosophy when it came to dinner and had a number of meals that were on a permanent rotation. We didn't have onions or garlic in our food, unless it was the powdered form. Fortunately, Hubs and I are the exact opposite and really like to try new recipes with all kinds of ingredients-especially garlic and onions!

This recipe is one that I created because, although I didn't have chicken and dumplings growing up, Hubby did. Coming from a Ukrainian family meant that dumplings were a staple, according to him, and he really wanted chicken and dumplings a few weeks ago, so I obliged. We had a rotisserie chicken from Costco (the best kind of chicken for just about any dish) and Hubby didn't want carrots, so I used peas and celery and then chopped up the celery tops to add to the dumplings because I love, love, love the flavor of celery leaves. I've made this a couple of times since and I love it even more each time. It's even better the next day, which is really nice! The best part of the recipe is that it's easy to change it up. Add carrots or diced potatoes or any other veggies you like. We won't be changing it up much because we love it so much as is. Another permanent recipe dish, for sure!

Chicken and Dumplings

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or one large rotisserie chicken, shredded)
1 bunch of celery, with the tops
2 shallots or 1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock (1 1/2 boxes)
1/3 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup frozen peas

For the dumplings:
1 1/4 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1-2 tablespoons minced celery tops

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Chop up four ribs of celery and add to the pot with the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 6 minutes, or until softened a bit. Whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add stock and bring to a boil, whisking to remove all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot. Boil for 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add milk, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste and cook an additional 5 minutes. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water and whisk into the broth, then add chicken and peas. Heat through for a few minutes while you make the dumplings.

For the dumplings: Mix Bisquick, milk, and chopped celery tops together in a medium bowl. Gently spoon the mixture by tablespoonfuls on top of the chicken stew. Cover the pot and gently steam the dumplings on the stovetop on low heat for 20 minutes until firm and puffed. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!