I've posted a recipe for chicken & dumplings before. However, most people don't have time to poach the chicken, make the broth, cook down the veggies, and still make the dumplings from scratch. I totally get that; I work full-time and run 4-5 days per week, so I can't always spend hours on dinner either!
However, I just CAN'T live without chicken & dumplings. Especially today, when I woke up to cold miserable weather, sore calves, and a massive craving for comfort food.
There are plenty of shortcut recipes out there. Most used canned biscuit dough, the flaky layered kind, cut into little squares. You can also buy frozen dumplings in most grocery stores - Mary B's is a brand that I see pretty often. These dumplings, though, are made from scratch...this is STILL a shortcut recipe, since the dumplings are REALLY easy to prepare. If you can make pie crust dough, you can make these dumplings. You don't even have to worry about having too much flour, since that's what gives the dish that creaminess and thick texture! There are also no veggies in this version, which is how TRUE Southerners eat their chicken & dumplings. The bowl should be a thick, almost gruel-like broth, packed with chewy, pillowy dumplings, and a hearty serving of chicken.
Other shortcuts include using pre-packaged chicken broth, and rotisserie chicken from the deli. I can make this dish in about 30 minutes; I bring the broth to a boil while making the dumplings, and cut up the chicken while stirring the dumplings in the broth. Easy!
Quick & Easy Chicken 'N Dumplings
adapted from Tasty Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 scant cup of milk
2 quarts chicken stock or broth
3 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the mixture looks crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of a small pea.
Stir in the milk and mix with a fork until the dough forms into a ball.
HEAVILY flour your work surface, then turn out the dough. Roll out the dough into a thin layer with a floured rolling pin. Use a floured knife or pizza cutter (or even kitchen shears!) to cut the dough into small (2" x 2") squares.
Place the dumplings on a heavily floured plate, with flour in between the dumpling layers.
Bring the chicken stock or broth to boil in a large pot. Drop in the dumplings, one at a time, along with the extra flour from the plate. Gently stir the dumplings without breaking them and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the dumplings no longer taste "doughy".
Add the cooked chicken to the pot, season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve.