Shortcuts to Comfort
By Chef Andy Mueller
Special to MMC Group
Most of the time I don’t mind waiting for slow cooked comfort. Cuts of beef in a rich and hearty stock slowly getting tender in a crock pot can make any house feel like home with the aromas that fill the air.
Sometimes, however, it’s nice to have a few arrows in your recipe quiver that scream comfort without the wait. This recipe for chicken and dumplings is a grand slam that comes together quickly, is easy to prepare and is the definition of comfort.
We’ve probably all had a serving of chicken soup while nursing a cold and it’s not just the flavor that makes us feel a bit better. It’s well documented that chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine. This protein builder is known to act as an anti inflammatory that helps when we are congested by thinning out the layers in the lungs that make us feel miserable.
Throw in carrots, onions and celery, simmer in a hearty chicken stock and you have one of the tastiest ways to knock that cold – out cold.
The shortcut to this recipe is twofold: I use an already cooked rotisserie chicken, and for the dumplings, I turn to the dough boy. Ready to bake home style biscuits in a tube make a delicious dumpling when simmered in the broth. Total prep time is less than fifteen minutes and cook time is about the same. In thirty minutes you can have the quickest comfort dish I can think of, and this time of year, something warm, filling and comforting is a great way to start the year off on the right track. Enjoy!
Chicken Dumpling Soup
In a large kettle add:
12 cups chicken stock
Bring to a boil then add:
4 large carrots, cut on a bias
4 stalks celery, cut on a bias
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp ground sage
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
If you are using a hot rotisserie chicken wait until just before serving to add to the kettle. If you are using leftover cooked chicken that is cold, cut the chicken into large pieces and add to the kettle. Using one entire tube of premade home style biscuit dough, cut each disk into six small pieces and add to the simmering liquid. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, cover and simmer another 5 to 6 minutes or until dumplings are fluffy and slightly firm, but be careful not to overcook as the dumplings will start to fall apart. If you are using a hot freshly prepared rotisserie chicken, now is the time to add it to the simmering kettle of tasty goodness. If you want to remove all the bones, that’s up to you. I leave them in as they provide tremendous flavor and depth to the dish. Turn off heat and let rest for five to ten minutes to let the flavor marry and all the glutens form the simmering biscuits slightly thicken the broth. Serve as a soup like stew in large bowls and kick back in comfort – Enjoy!
Andy Mueller is chef at Galley 57 in Green Bay. Reach him at [email protected]