Chicken and Dumplings

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I have only had chicken and dumplings once in my twenty-something years of existence. However, I do remember that I loved them. I have been seeing some of these dishes pop up on a number of blogs that I frequent, as well as on some cooking websites. The only problem was that I didn’t *love* any of the recipes. I liked parts of one, some parts of another, and so as a result I just never made any of them! This is where I run into problems, as I am a big recipe follower. Perhaps it’s the baker in me. Bakers NEED to follow recipes, or bad things happen. While this is not so in cooking, I still treat it as such. I am always leery to stray from a recipe, in fear of what might happen. I decided to just create my own recipe for chicken and dumplings (cut to bright lights and angels singing). I must say that I think it turned out fabulous! It felt warm and hearty, just like a good bowl of comfort food should. If you try this recipe, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Chicken and Dumplings

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons butter
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup flour

For the dumplings:
2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk

Directions:

1. Place chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water, and boil until fully cooked.

2. While chicken is boiling, melt butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot (I used a 5 qt saute pan). Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic to the pan and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and vegetables are soft. If you see that they are getting too hot, reduce heat to medium low.

3. Add chicken broth and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes.

4. At this point you can add a slurry of flour and broth if the mixture is too thin for your likeness. I ended up using approximately 1/4 cup of flour, but would recommend adding 1 Tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired thickness. I find the best method for doing this is to ladle a scoop of broth out of the pot and into a separate cup. In that cup, whisk in the flour until smooth, and then whisk that mixture back into the pot. This keeps large clumps of flour from forming in your pot!

5. When chicken has finished cooking, let it cool long enough to handle. Shred the chicken and add it to the broth and vegetables, along with the peas. Cover and let simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

6. To prepare dumplings, mix together the Bisquick and milk, until a soft dough forms. Drop by rounded tablespoons into the chicken mixture (makes about 16 dumplings - I got exactly this many using my medium scoop from Pampered Chef). Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the dumplings are done.