Monday, November 11, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

Winter is well and truly here. Time to break out the comfort food.  This is more chicken and biscuits (of the American variety) than chicken and dumplings, but the biscuits are baked on top of the casserole.  It's absolutely delicious and frugal as well.  My kids and all their friends go nuts for this one. 

This would also be great for all the leftover turkey and stock you're bound to have after Christmas or Thanksgiving.  When I don't have stock on hand I just use a bouillon cube and it's just fine.

If you're not up for making biscuits or just feeling lazy as I often am, the base casserole will be delicious with a sheet of puff pastry over it too.


For the casserole:

  • 1 lb leftover chicken/turkey, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cubed
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • sprig of thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • handful of frozen peas
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper 
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.

Saute the carrots, onion and celery in the butter until they are beginning to soften.  Stir in thyme.  Sprinkle with flour and cook for about a minute stirring to incorporate the flour.  Slowly pour in the stock, cream and milk and whisk in until a thick sauce forms. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer.  If the sauce is too thick, add more cream or milk to thin.  Stir in chicken and peas. Allow to simmer for about five minutes while you make the biscuits.  Stir in the parsley at the end and season with salt and pepper.  

For the biscuits:
  • 2.25 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add butter and mix with two knives or a pastry cutter until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the parsley and milk to make a sticky dough.

Pour the filling into a 9x13 pyrex dish or something similar.  Break off large tablespoons of the biscuit dough and plop on top of the chicken mixture.  I usually get about 12 biscuits.

Bake for half an hour or until golden brown on top and dumplings are cooked through.  Allow to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

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