In Season/On Special: Easy Chicken & Dumplings for a Winter Day

Finally – some honest to goodness winter weather may blow our way this week!  Even if it doesn’t actually snow, it looks like things will be damp, cold and miserable enough to want to cozy up with a hearty soup at dinner time.  How about a bowl of chicken & dumplings?  Never mind that it’s mid week, I’ve got a great chicken & dumpling hack recipe for you that should take under 20 minutes to prepare and under an hour total time to table.

If all else fails ...

First, a few words about the recipe.  Like most of my recipes, this is more a suggestion about a way to prepare chicken & dumplings as opposed to an actual recipe.  I’m a big lemon & garlic fan, so you’ll find a liberal use of these here.  Leave them out if you prefer.  And if you’re not into dumplings – egg noodles, any grain, or of course matzo balls would all be excellent stand ins.  I like the rotisserie chickens from Canales Deli & Meats at Eastern Market and, if you have enough time, it would be easy and more efficient to use the same chicken to make your broth.  After pulling as much meat off as you can, put the carcass in a stockpot with a quartered onion, a handful of garlic cloves, some peppercorns and any other vegetable you have languishing in the fridge.  If there’s a piece of ginger root there, throw that in as well, a hit of ginger adds a lot to stock.  Cover everything with about 10 cups of water and let it simmer for a few hours, then strain before using.  If there’s no time, store bought stock will do fine.  Finally, most soup recipes will direct you to saute the vegetables before adding them to the soup.  I never do this, I just simmer the vegetables in the stock until softened prior to adding any other ingredients.   This cuts down on fat and calories plus you dirty up one less pan!

For the wine, a homey dish like this calls for something simple and not too overpowering.  As long as you stay away from anything too fruity, oaky or alcoholic you should be fine (think pinot noir, merlot, carbernet as opposed to zinfandel or malbec).  Of course you can’t go wrong with a food friendly Cotes du Rhone, which are typically a Grenache and Syrah blend. You might peruse our Everyday Reds section for a great selection of versatile, well priced light to medium bodied red wines.  And now for the recipe!

Chicken & Dumplings (serves about 6)

Ingredients

Soup:

1 rotisserie chicken

1/2 head garlic

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

8 cups chicken broth

1 package baby spinach

2 TBSP chopped parsley

Salt, Pepper to taste

Dumplings:

2 cups Biscuit mix

1/2 cup milk

1 TBSP chopped parsley

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Remove enough meat from chicken for approximately 2 cups of shredded chicken meat.  Set aside.  Put the garlic, carrots and celery into a large stockpot, covering them with the stock.  Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until softened.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings by combining biscuit mix, parsley, parmesan cheese and milk.

To the stockpot, add chicken meat and bring to simmer.  Drop biscuit dough by tablespoonfuls into simmering stock.  Cover pot and cook 10 minutes.  Uncover, stir in lemon juice, spinach and parsley.  Bon appetit!

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