Do you love good old school comfort food? Do you want a quick and easy meal that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen? Do you feel like something hearty for Sunday lunch on a cold day? Are you scratching your head wondering what in the world you're going to take to that potluck? Well, this version of the old southern classic will nicely fit any one of those situations. As it happens, I made this last Friday night because I had two sick ladies at home.
The "cheater" in the title means that we are going to make use of mostly store-bought ingredients. However, I assure you that there is no compromise in flavor or comfort. If it helps, think of it as 'love in a can', or 'love on the run'.
As always, click the image to see the larger version.
1 Store deli rotisserie chicken
1 carton (26 oz) chicken stock (not broth)
1 large can (26 oz) Cream of chicken soup (I use Campbell's)
1 can Flaky biscuits
2 cups Water
1/2 med Onion, diced
3 stalks Celery, split lengthwise and sliced about 1/2" thick
1 cup frozen carrots (optional)
2 tsp Seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
1 tsp Garlic salt
1/4 tsp Dry poultry seasoning
Remove the skin from the chicken and pick all of the meat off. Cut/tear the meat into bite-sized pieces, and set aside.
Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat, add the celery, onions, and both salts.
Saute the onion and celery about three minutes, stirring often. You don't need any oil. Don't worry if it starts to brown and stick a little. The next step will take care of that.
Add the stock, water and soup to the pot, reduce the heat and let it come to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You might need to whisk it a little to get the soup to fully incorporate.
While the liquid is simmering, flour both sides of five of the canned biscuits. Using a rolling pin, roll each biscuit out to about 1/8" thick. Cut the biscuits into 1" wide strips and cut the long ones in half lengthwise. You now have dumplings, so set them aside.
Note: The flour is key, as it will help thicken the liquid.
Add the chicken, poultry seasoning and carrots (if desired) to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring the liquid just to a boil (it must be boiling).
Drop the dumplings into the boiling liquid and stir just enough to ensure they are all as submerged as you can get them. Stir gently so that you don't break up the dumplings.
Let the pot boil gently uncovered for about 10 minutes, softly stirring/folding occasionally.
Remove from the heat, pour into a serving dish and let stand about 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!