Chicken and Dumplings

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 “They are great in soup,” she said. “But I don’t really like soup,” I confessed to my best friend, who is convinced that soup is THE greatest thing to eat during the winter months. “It’s like drinking your food .... and I’m just not okay with that. I mean, I like to eat it maybe once a month ... but not once a week - and definitely not several times a week!”

We were talking about how to use the parsnips I have stored in my fridge from my CSA share. They keep piling up - like my beets - because I just can’t figure out how to get my family to eat them. And THEN ... then she said something brilliant.

”What if you add dumplings to it? Then it’s a little more hearty.” 

Spoken like a true Southerner. I just love her. And since that moment I have been dreaming about how to turn leftover chicken into chicken soup with dumplings.

I am pleased to say that I nailed this one on the first try. That doesn’t always happen, but after I took the first couple of bites I proclaimed to my family, “Man I love when something works.” And work it did.  

This is a perfect recipe for a lazy day at home (if you need to make broth) or you can make it a quick weeknight recipe by using chicken broth you already have (which is what I did). It’s cold and rainy today and this was a perfect rainy Sunday afternoon lunch.

Ingredients

3 cups leftover chicken
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 onion  
1 cup chopped celery (I used frozen) 
2 tbsp butter
8 cups chicken broth  
1/2 tsp garlic powder  
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp Herbs de provence (could also use a blend of thyme, rosemary, and whatever else you like)
1 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of herbs (I used Herbs de Provence) 

Directions:

Melt butter in a large dutch oven or soup pan. Add parsnips, carrots, onion and celery. Cook 5-7 minutes or until they smell amazing. Add a pinch of salt, garlic powder and the herbs. Mix well and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Add chicken and broth. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so. While you wait, mix your dumpling ingredients, taking care not to overmix. You want it just barely incorporated. 

When your veggies are mostly tender (or as tender as you like them in soup), drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the soup. When all your batter is in the pot cover your pot and turn the heat to low. Let it cook for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the dumplings clean.

That’s it! You’re done! Chicken and dumplings as good as my Grandma used to make!

Note:  We store the leftovers separately so the dumplings don’t get mushy or fall apart. The soup will freeze well, but the dumplings won’t - but who ends up with leftover dumplings anyway?!