I cook chicken at least once a week. Sometimes I roast it whole and other times I do the various bits and pieces. Inevitably there are leftovers. I’m here to say that I have collected quite a variety of recipes that make good use of leftover chicken. The criteria are thus: quick, full of fresh flavor and color, and pleasing in texture. In other words, I don’t want it to taste like leftovers. This dish meets the challenge.
This bowl of comfort has a lot of the flavor of chicken pot pie, but it’s much easier to prepare. The texture is a hybrid of soup and stew, and the vegetables add freshness and color. I load it up with fresh herbs, and add white wine for acidity. More chopped green herbs go into the dumplings, which steam to fluffy perfection atop the finished chicken mixture. Et voila, another delicious family meal.
Peas and carrots are a classic addition to chicken stews and pot pie fillings, but you could substitute other vegetables. I always add mushrooms because I love the flavor that they add to the dish. Lightly blanched diced green beans would be nice, as would broccoli. I’m not a fan of zucchini, but if you are, go for it, with both the green and yellow varieties. If you have a little more chicken than the recipe requires, toss it in. The result will a slightly more stew-like dish, which is good too.
Fresh thyme, basil, tarragon, parsley, and dill all are good flavor pals with chicken. Use what you have and what’s fresh and available in your market. The dumplings make this the ultimate one-pot meal. After all, who doesn’t love dumplings? Enjoy!
Quick Chicken and Dumplings
- 5 tablespoons cold , unsalted butter, divided
- 1 small yellow onion , finely chopped
- 2 carrots , peeled and cut into medium dice
- 4 ounces mushrooms , wiped clean and roughly chopped
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) dry white wine, or white vermouth
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour , divided
- 3 cups chicken broth , preferably homemade, or low-sodium store bought
- Two robust sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 to 3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
- 1 cup peas (if frozen, no need to defrost)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh green herb , such as basil, parsley, or dill
- 1/2 cup whole milk
In a large saucepan, or 3 1/2 to 4-quart Dutch oven, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, along with a big pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and the vegetables have softened. Add the wine to the pot and let it bubble away until reduced to a glaze. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup of the flour, and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Gradually add the broth, stirring all the while, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the thyme sprigs, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and peas to the pot. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt. Cut or rub in 2 tablespoons of the cold butter. Stir in the chopped herbs and the milk. Drop spoonfuls of the dough atop the simmering chicken mixture. Cover tightly and cook until the dumplings are fluffy and cooked through, about 12 to 14 minutes. (this will depend on the size of your dumplings). Spoon chicken and dumplings into warmed bowls and sprinkle with additional chopped herbs to garnish.