Categories
Main Dish

You’ll have ‘fillings’ for this pot pie casserole

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
Chicken pot pie casserole is a great, homestyle meal that comes together quickly and easily for a weeknight meal.

I have a ton of amazing memories about my paternal grandma, who passed away in 2012. She was such an awesome person and a crazy good cook.

Near the end of her life, she invited me over to her small apartment for dinner—just the two of us. She made a chicken and biscuits meal with some mixed veggies in it that was perfectly belly-filling and delicious. And, since she and I both had a serious ice cream addiction, we ended supper with a big bowl of it for dessert.

I don’t remember what all we chatted about while we sat at her small table, but I do remember the meal, which I suppose highlights the power of food in how we bond with one another.

That seemingly insignificant dinner popped into my memory this past week, when I stumbled on a recipe for a chicken and dumpling casserole. It reminded me so much of the meal she and I shared.

The recipe I used comes from the blog “Plain Chicken,” and while I generally like the base of this blog’s recipes, I often feel the need to add quite a bit to make them less, well, “plain.” You can find the original post at https://www.plainchicken.com/chicken-dumpling-casserole. I added herbs and veggies to my version, so I decided to dub it a “pot pie” casserole instead of just dumplings.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole
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Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

Chicken pot pie casserole is a great, homestyle meal that comes together quickly and easily for a weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Keyword canned biscuits, casserole, chicken, dumplings, easy, mixed vegetables, pot pie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken cooked and shredded
  • 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10.75 ounces cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and then spread the shredded chicken and mixed vegetables over top of it.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and milk until it’s smooth, and pour the mixture as evenly as you can over top of the chicken. You don’t need to stir or spread it out.
  • In the same mixing bowl (why cause more dishes?), whisk the cream of chicken soup, broth and herbs and spices together until smooth and pour it evenly into the baking dish. Again, you don’t need to stir or spread it out.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until the biscuit dough is a golden brown on top.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.

The mashed potatoes were a perfect touch to give this casserole a very homestyle taste. The night I made this, I actually only had a bag of frozen carrots in the freezer, so ours was missing all of the mixed veggies goodness, but we still really enjoyed it.

As a side note, I used a rotisserie chicken for my version, and then after Joey graciously shredded all the meat off of it for me, I boiled the carcass for about 20 minutes with the herbs listed above to make my broth instead of buying some. It worked really well, and I had some broth left over to put in the freezer for next time.

I can’t tell you what recipe Grandma used when she and I sat down to our casserole nearly a decade ago, but as the old cliché goes, I know the main ingredient was love, and that’s really all that matters.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 13, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Main Dish Soup

This soup is ‘dumpling’ you should try

Chicken and dumplings come together in about half an hour and make a delicious, hearty dinner.

As I was poking around our local grocery store’s clearance bin about a month ago, I stumbled on a box of “dumplings.” I was a bit confused, since they really just looked like really wide noodles, and it certainly didn’t fit my internal definition of what constitutes a dumpling.

But they were cheap.

So Joey and I tried “chicken and dumplings,” made with the recipe on the back of the box, which consisted of these noodles, canned chicken and a can of peas and carrots. It was fine.

But I wanted to give a more traditional dumpling a try, so I hunted for a recipe and found one that purported to create a delicious, homemade soup in only 30 minutes.

I have rarely made myself gasp with a kitchen creation, but let me tell you, I celebrated out loud when I pulled the lid off my soup and saw beautiful dumplings floating on the surface. This recipe was a complete slam dunk for me, and while the noodles we tried before were good, this recipe was the winner.

The blog “The Slow Roasted Italian” is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and this recipe came from there. It was created by Donna Elick. You can find the original post at https://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2012/11/chicken-and-dumplings-in-30-minutes-2.html. I played around with her seasonings a bit in my version.

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Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings come together in about half an hour and make a delicious, hearty dinner.
Course Main Course
Keyword chicken, dumplings

Ingredients

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk I used skim
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas and diced carrots

Dumplings Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk I used skim

Instructions

  • In a large pot with a lid, heat the chicken broth, water, butter and seasonings over medium. Cover the pot and let it come to a boil.
  • Cut the chicken into about one-inch pieces and add them to the pot and cover again.
  • In a large sealable container, combine the flour and milk. Seal and shake until the mixture is smooth. Add the flour mixture to the pot slowly, stirring as you do so. Add the vegetables to the pot as well and put the lid back on.
  • While the soup is cooking, combine all the dumpling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  • Stir the soup really well, scraping the bottom with your spoon to make sure the flour mixture isn’t sticking to the bottom.
  • Then, using a tablespoon-sized scoop (or eye-balling about that amount with a normal spoon), add scoops of the dumpling mixture to the soup. They’ll sink like rocks, but don’t worry, that’s what they’re supposed to do.
  • Once all the dumpling mixture is in the pot, cover it again and reduce heat to a low simmer. Let the soup cook for 10 minutes. It’s done when the soup coats the back of a spoon.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Oh, boy, was this a hearty dinner for us. And we were able to freeze the leftovers for later, too, which has been a nice treat on busy evenings. 

I know there are a lot of complicated types of dumplings out there, but this recipe is not one of them, and you definitely get the “wow” factor with those beautiful balls of dough floating in the top of a creamy soup.

And I still haven’t found any evidence that the noodles I used technically counted as dumplings, but I guess now that I have a really good recipe, it won’t matter much—unless I find another really good sale.

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 26, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.