Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quick Chicken & Dumplings

Recipe modified by Gretchen Wilson – August 30, 2010
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published by myRecipes daily e-zine “Dinner Tonight”.

I love chicken and dumplings, but it isn’t one of the easiest dishes to make.  When I saw “Quick” and “Chicken & Dumplings” in the same title, I was game.  I have to admit, when I saw that the dumplings were made out of tortillas, I was a little skeptical.  I am certainly glad I decided to give it a try.

My finished product:

Picture published with recipe:

Pretty close, right?  I’m not sure if I just scooped out too much broth for my picture, but it wasn’t thinned out or watery.  Now, I would never say that tortillas are an exact substitute for dumplings, but it definitely mimicked it well enough that I didn’t mind.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessEH – My major complaint is pulling off meat from a chicken.  Yes, I could buy chicken breasts, cook them, cool them and cut them, but… well that would add like an additional 30-45 minutes on to my cook time.  I’d rather complain about the slight mess it makes.  Fortunately, I get to chop it instead of shred it, so I consider myself lucky with this recipe.

Start-to-Finish Time: UNDER AN HOUR – MyRecipes doesn’t give a time estimate, but it looks like the cook time is around 15 minutes.  I would leave at least 30-45 minutes from start to finish.  If you are cooking your own chicken, add another 30 minutes (at a minimum).

Prep Work: SLIGHT BLOOD LOSS – Chop an onion and some chicken breast.  You don’t have to worry about either being precise or perfect. 

Ease of Recipe: COOK IT IN MY SLEEP – If you can sauté onions and dump a bunch of stuff in a pot, you can make this dish.  You might not want to actually sleep while cooking it though… it doesn’t take very long to make.

OverallYUMMY – I’m not sure I’d use this as a substitute for chicken and dumplings, but it is a delicious chicken soup.  That makes it something I will have in my recipe file as a “keeper.”  Next time I’m feeling under the weather, I’ll be sending the husband to the store for a rotisserie chicken and making this dish.  Wait!  I’ll have him make it – it’s THAT easy!

Recipe Information:
Time estimates are from the original publisher of the recipe, not the length of time it took me to create it.  Look for my comments below.  Nutritional Information is based on original recipe.  Any changes I make to reduce the caloric, fat, cholesterol or sodium content are not reflected in the Nutritional Information.

Prep/Total Time: No prep or cooking time listed
Servings: 4

Nutritional Information (about 1½ cups)
  • Calories 366
  • Total Fat 9.3g (Saturated Fat 3.1g)
  • Iron 3.4mg
  • Cholesterol 67mg
  • Calcium 104mg
  • Sodium 652mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 40.3g
  • Fiber 5.3g
  • Protein 29.8g

This would be a great soup to serve alone with a nice piece of crusty bread (French, Italian or Ciabatta), but you can probably get an extra couple servings out of this soup if you served it with a large salad or sandwich.

Changes denoted by red text

1 tablespoon butter
½ cup chopped onion
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 box (10-ounce) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1½ cups water
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into ½-inch strips
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Ingredient Notes:
Rotisserie Chicken – The original recipe called for 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts.  For me, the easiest way to get this is buying a rotisserie chicken.  You can cut off the amount of meat you need and eat the rest or use it for chicken salad.  If you want to buy 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts & cook them, you can, but you’ll need to take that time into account

Frozen Mixed Vegetables – I used a generic green bean, carrot, corn and pea blend because that is what I could see in the picture.  Of course, you can use any vegetable blend you enjoy, just make sure it isn’t in a marinade or spiced.

Parsley – The original recipe used a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, but to save time (and money) I used dried.  Of course, dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs, so you use less.  I use a teaspoon dried to a tablespoon fresh.

Equipment Needed:
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Large saucepan
Large spoon
Mixing bowl

Equipment Notes:

(1)  Cut up approximately 2 cups of the rotisserie chicken's breast meat and set aside.

If you are cooking your own chicken breasts, you need to do this first and let them cool slightly before cutting them up.

(2)  Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.

(3)  Stir in chicken and vegetables; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

(4)  While chicken mixture cooks, combine water, flour, and broth with a whisk. Gradually stir broth mixture into chicken mixture.

(5)  Stir in salt, pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes.

(6)  Stir in tortilla strips, and cook 2 minutes or until tortilla strips soften.

(7)  Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Discard bay leaf. Serve immediately.

This is a solid chicken soup.  I’m not sure I’d say it is a substitute for chicken and dumplings, but if you are looking for a good chicken soup with dumpling-like tortillas, then you’ll be very happy.  I saw in some of the comments that you can use canned biscuits to substitute for the dumplings.  If you really are looking for an actual dumpling soup, you may try that instead of the tortillas in this dish.

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