Last week my grandson, Carson, expressed to me his love of Cracker Barrel’s chicken & dumplings. He asked if I could make them. I said, “Not only can I make them, I can make them even better!” This was last night’s dinner and it scored big points with him.
After five bowls of soup (yes, five!!) and a slice of buttered bread, Carson affirmed with great certainty that this was his new, MOST favorite dish. That put a big smile on my face as I thought it was pretty awesome tasting too.
I was going to use a biscuit mix to make the dumplings, but as usual, I had none. The alternative was to make my own from flour which is a messy task. In the end, I’m glad I did. They were bite-size and more noodle-like in texture and taste.
Prep time took about 30 minutes and cook time 15 minutes. The finished soup yielded a rich, creamy base with just the right amount of seasoning.
- 1 pound diced chicken meat, pre-cooked (I bought a roasted chicken from the grocery deli)
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 carrot , diced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 1 (10 3/4 ounce) low fat condensed cream of chicken soup
- 2 tablespoons “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 quart chicken stock (low-fat, low-sodium). I like the paper container from Swanson.
- 3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Ice water, about 3/4 cup
Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat, adding oil, butter, veggies and bay leaf. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often.
Add flour to veggies and cook for 2 more minutes. Gradually add the broth, stir and bring to a boil.Once broth comes to a boil, add the pre-cooked chicken to the pot and stir. Add the canned soup to the pot and whisk until well blended in the stock.
Dust a generous amount of flour onto a clean work area. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Gather into a mound and drizzle a tablespoon of ice water in the center of the mound. Using your fingers, knead the dough mixture up against the sides of the bowl. Gradually incorporate all of the ice water. Continue to knead dough and shape into a ball.
Cut dough into one-inch wide strips. Tear off 1/2 inch pieces and drop into the simmering soup stock. Make sure the dumplings are totally submerged in the stock. Do not stir the stock. Use the tip of a spoon to push any rebellious dumpling down into the soup.
Reduce heat to medium low. Cover pot tightly and cook dumplings until they float and are no longer doughy (about 5-6 minutes).
Remove cover and add peas and remove pan from heat.Stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce and serve in warm shallow bowls with a side of hard-crusted bread for dipping.