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Chicken Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Chicken Casserole with Herb Dumplings. It is a popular comfort food dish, commonly found in the Southern and Midwestern United States, that is also attributed to being a French Canadian meal that originated during the Great Depression. Chicken and dumplings as a dish is prepared with a combination of boiled chicken meat, broth produced by boiling the chicken, multiple dumplings, and salt and pepper for seasoning. In some areas, this meal is known as chicken and sliders.

Chicken and dumplings is a dish which consists of a chicken cooked in water, with the resulting chicken broth being used to cook the dumplings by boiling. A dumpling in this context is a biscuit dough, which is a mixture of flour, shortening, and liquid (water or milk or chicken stock). The dumplings are either formed into a ball, rolled out flat or dropped.

Various commercial preparations of chicken and dumplings are available, including canned and frozen versions of the prepared dish. Frozen raw dumplings, typically very flat strips about 1×4 inches, can be cooked in any broth. The consistency of the prepared dish, whether homemade or purchased, varies from a thin soup to a very thick casserole-like consistency, easily eaten with a fork. Thicker preparations are made by boiling the dumplings longer and/or adding flour or another thickening agent directly to the broth. Flour tortillas or canned biscuits, rolled thin on a floured surface, cut into strips, are a quick and easy substitute for homemade dough. Butter may be added to the recipe for added richness.

Since chicken meat would become dry and tough if is boiled long enough to cook the dumplings and thicken the broth, the chicken or parts are removed from the broth before adding the dumplings. While the dumplings are cooking, the meat is separated from the bones. When the dumplings are done and the broth seasoned and thickened, the chicken is returned to the broth. The dish is then ready to be served, but may be kept on low heat so as to not further cook the chicken.

Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken Casserole with Herb Dumplings.

Serves 4
Total time required Total time: 1 hr 5 mins
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 8 chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 pinch black pepper , freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots , sliced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks , sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup self-raising flour (for cakes,scones and biscuits)
  • 1 tbsp parsley , chopped

Instructions

  1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken pieces in the flour to coat. Heat half the oil in the casserole and fry the chicken, turning often, for 6 minutes, or until brown all over. Remove and keep warm. Pour the fat from the pan.
  2. Add the remaining oil, carrots, leeks, celery and mushrooms to the casserole, and stir over the heat for 3–4 minutes to colour lightly. Return the chicken to the casserole, and add the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the dumplings, place the flour in a bowl and stir in the suet, parsley, and dried herbs, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 5–6 tbsp cold water, or just enough to make a soft, not sticky, dough. With lightly floured hands, divide into 12 balls.
  4. Remove the casserole lid and arrange the dumplings over the top. Cover and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are risen and fluffy.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Pour the gravy into your chicken stew that is now in the ovenproof baking dish.
  7. Gently stir the gravy with a spatula to combine.
  8. Place the dumplings on top of the chicken stew with gravy.
  9. To brown the dumplings, put the casserole dish into the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  10. Keep an eye on them so they do not burn but just get them get a little brown.
  11. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.
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