Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

One of the most popular recipes on the site, this no-stir chicken and dumpling casserole, made with self rising flour, cream soup, and chicken broth, is reminiscent of the flavor of the real deal, but in an easy casserole form.
One of the most popular recipes on the site, this no-stir chicken and dumpling casserole, made with self rising flour, cream soup, and chicken broth, is reminiscent of the flavor of the real deal, but in an easy casserole form.

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole


While the name may be the same, this version is of course, a casserole, and not technically exactly like good ole old fashioned chicken and dumplings. To me, however, it provides a consistency and flavor similar to the more labor-intensive homemade version, but in a super-easy form, especially if you are using leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If you are cooking fresh chicken, especially if you are using boneless, skinless chicken you want to just slightly under cook it when you poach it, since it will essentially continue cooking in the oven.

You'll note that there is very purposely no salt included in this recipe. That's because between the cream of chicken soup and the chicken stock, there is really plenty of salt to flavor the dish, so don't add any to the recipe until you taste it. When substituting rotisserie chicken, they are usually very highly salted, so keep that in mind with other ingredients that you use containing salt - chicken broth, cream soup and bouillon if using that with water. I also prefer to use the original "made for cooking" cream soup, so if you substitute a lower fat cream soup, your results will differ. I find that they make casseroles watery.

When using the original cream soups, I also don't find it to need any other seasonings either, but certainly add any of your favorites that you like either in the casserole or in the broth if you're adding in vegetables. Some suggestions are poultry seasoning, dried thyme and/or dried sage. To make a chicken pot pie casserole, add in some veggies - frozen, thawed, canned, drained or fresh that you first blanch to start the cooking process.

I generally prefer mixed chicken in most chicken casseroles, but I'm still working through an abundance of chicken breasts from my freezer, so that's what I used for this post. Use whatever you have. This casserole is a great family pleaser - hope you give it a try.

Here's how to make it, and as always, scroll past the step by step pictures to view the full recipe, with measurements and full instructions, as well as a printable document for your convenience.

First things first, if you're using raw chicken, you'll need to bring 2-1/2 cups of chicken stock to a boil. If you're using a rotisserie chicken or precooked chicken you'll skip these first few steps of course, and don't forget... those chickens are usually very salty, so keep that in mind with other ingredients you are using such as the cream soup and broth and use lower sodium products when using a rotisserie chicken.


Add the chicken breasts (or whatever pieces you are using) to the stock, bring back up to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.


Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Reserve the stock - you'll need it in a second.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to a skillet. Add onion and celery and cook until tender. Add remaining butter to a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and place into oven as it preheats for just a few minutes to melt..


When the chicken has cooled down, shred it. I usually use two forks to do this.


Spread the chicken on top of the butter in the baking pan and scatter the sauteed vegetables on top.


Combine milk and self-rising flour. You can also substitute regular all purpose flour - simply add in 1-1/4 teaspoons of baking powder plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt and whisk that together before mixing with the milk. Some folks are substituting an equal amount of baking mix like Bisquick for the self rising flour, with no other adjustments. I have also seen this recipe made for the 9 x 13 inch pan, but doubling the butter, flour (or Bisquick) and milk. I assume this is done to stretch the casserole, but when I gave it a spin to test it, I found that because the casserole was so thick, I had to add quite a bit of extra cooking time, so much so that the bottom burned and it did not give me the same result. If you want to double it, I recommend baking two separate 9 x 9 inch pans instead.


Whisk the milk, flour and baking soda together.


Pour the flour mixture very slowly over the chicken so not to move the chicken around.


Don't stir!


Now strain the chicken stock that you used to cook the chicken in. You need 2 cups, so add chicken broth to this if needed to bring it up to 2 cups.


Add the cream of chicken soup to the chicken broth. This, as all casseroles, works best with the original "Great for Cooking" cream soup concentrates, rather than the other versions such as the green label Healthy Request version, which tend to make the casserole runny.


Whisk the broth and soup together until it's well blended.


Pour that very slowly and carefully over the flour and milk mixture.


Again, do not stir!


Bake at 400 degrees F about 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and top begins to brown. Remember all ovens vary in hot spots and temperature fluctuations so your time may be different.


Allow the casserole to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes in order to settle before serving.


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Yum

Recipe: Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 45 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock/broth (low sodium is best)
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can original (Great for Cooking) condensed cream of chicken soup
Instructions:

If you are using fresh, raw chicken, please see cook's notes at the bottom of the recipe. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet and add remaining butter to a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Place into oven for a few minutes to melt; remove. Meanwhile, saute the onion and celery in the skillet until tender. Shred the chicken and spread it on top of the butter in the baking pan. Top with the sauteed vegetables.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, flour and baking powder and slowly pour that over the chicken taking care not to disturb the chicken too much. Do not stir. Whisk together the chicken broth and the cream of chicken soup. Slowly pour that over the flour and milk mixture. Do not stir.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees F for 35 to 45 minutes, or until top is light golden brown. Actual time may vary according to your oven,as all ovens vary. Let casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cooks Notes: The vegetables may be omitted if you prefer. I add a little baking powder to my self rising flour to give it a boost, All purpose flour may be substituted, but add 1-1/4 teaspoon of baking powder plus 1/8 teaspoons of salt. Leftovers reheat nicely, but casserole does not freeze well. Use rotisserie chicken, leftover precooked chicken, canned chicken or 3 to 5 pieces of raw chicken - chicken breasts, mixed chicken parts. When using other sources of chicken other than freshly cooked, such as canned or a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, they are already fairly salty, so keep that in mind with the other products you are using containing sodium (broth, soup).

Doubling: I do not recommend doubling the ingredients for a single 9 x 13 inch pan. I gave it a spin to test it, and found that because the casserole was so thick, I had to add quite a bit of extra cooking time, so much so, that the bottom burned and it did not give me the same result. If you want to double it, I recommend baking two separate 9 x 13 inch pans instead on doubling in one pan.

How to Poach Raw Chicken: Heat 3 to 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2-1/2 cups of chicken broth or stock in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on a low simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is mostly done. It will finish cooking in the oven. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool but reserve the broth from the saucepan. Once cooled, chop or shred. May also use water and bouillon in place of the broth.

Chicken Pot Pie Casserole: Make this an all-in-one meal by adding drained canned mixed veggies, or cooked/steamed frozen or fresh veggies. Cook 2 sliced carrots, 2 sliced celery stalks, a diced potato and a chopped onion, in about 3 cups of chicken broth. If using water and bouillon, may season the water with bay leaf, herbs or other non-salt seasonings. When the veggies are tender, drain but reserve the broth. Put the veggies on top of the shredded chicken and add about 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas. Finished as above, using the reserved broth from the veggies.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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