Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not My Grandmother's Chicken n Dumplin's

Now, I was taught by my VERY southern grandma how to make dumplin's. Also to- "NEVER STIR 'EM" because they'll stick to each other and the pan. I remember begging her for what seemed like forever to teach me. All the while, her excuse was that hardly any of the grand kids (I think there are 28 grand kids and multiple great grand kids on this side of the family) can make them. Most turn into "rocks" or "slime" or "just not right." The reason for this? Possibly because she literally cooked with a teacup, a hand full and a pinch of this and that. That's her recipe. No joke.
I cook very much the same way, which is why it's hard for me to actually measure, write them down and put them on these "interwebs." Please note, this isn't her recipe (you probably couldn't make it anyhow), nor is it remotely similar. I didn't hand make the dumplings. I added veggies. I didn't cook an entire chicken...but tenders instead. Today, I wanted a thicker stew-like version. I want it to stick to my ribs- more than it normally does...it's standard practice to have a bowl, sit a minute, undo your pants, get up and jump up and down while on your way to get another helping. nom nom nom delicious.
Here goes.

4 boneless chicken breasts (6 I used boneless/skinless chicken tenders)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (yes, even I sometimes use "cream of crap" soups, but RARELY)
2 cartons reduced sodium chicken stock
1 onion, medium, chopped
2 whole carrots, chopped (to my taste)
2 whole celery stalks, chopped (to my taste)
2 tsp butter
1 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 10 oz cans biscuits (I used Grands Jr-Flaky)
salt and pepper to taste

In a stock pot, over medium heat, add chicken, soup, stock, veggies, butter, celery salt and thyme. Cook until chicken is cooked through and veggies are no more than barely crunchy. Remove chicken and shred/chop/whatever you'd like to do and return to pot. About 90 minutes before serving, remove biscuits from can, flatten one by one and cut each into bite sized pieces. Add to pot, individually, to keep from sticking. Stir after every few biscuits have been added. At first, biscuits will start to spread out (like marshmallows when heated), but they'll go down. Cover and bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until "dumplings" are no longer doughy. Put on your stretchy pants, serve and enjoy!

NOTE for those who can make their own dumplings, I think I'll actually make them instead of using biscuits this time, but it was pretty easy this way.

***Can be used as a crock pot recipe***
Add all ingredients except biscuits. Cook on high 5-6 hours. 90 minutes before serving, add biscuits as instructed above.

Grandma is probably rolling over in her grave. LOVE YOU GRANDMA!

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