Over the past weekend I had picked up two whole chicken's (something I rarely do) because they were on sale, although I had no real plans for them. Last night I roasted both, we ate some for dinner and I saved the rest for tonight's chicken & dumplings, one of my all time favorite comfort foods.
I did some research for a good recipe and found many delicious ones in cookbooks and websites that I frequent and decided on this one from Cooking Light, http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1134065 I liked it because it was much lower in calories than most of the others, but also seemed that it would have the richness you find in the traditional recipe.
Since I had already cooked the chicken I couldn't make the homemade stock the recipe suggests, instead I started with the fresh root vegetable's that were called for and sauteed them until they were soft and then added boxed 99% fat free low sodium stock.
Then it was on to the thickening agent, the recipe said to heat a cast iron skillet for 5 minutes and then "toast" 1/4 cup of flour to make a dry rue, very interesting. After this the toasted flour is mixed with cornstarch and some of the chicken stock before being added to the pot. Turned out lovely and I do think the toasting of the flour gave a depth of flavor.
After the soup begins to thicken you add 3 tbls. of heavy cream, much less than traditional recipes, and the chicken which simmers while you make the dumplings.
The dumpling batter came together very easily and was added into the pot to cook for about 5 minutes.
We both really enjoyed it, so much so that I can't wait for lunch tomorrow. Peter liked it so much that when I was packaging up the leftovers and mentioned I would be taking some to Max & Lindsey this evening, along with the pork stew from earlier in the week, he got a little snippy and wanted to be sure there would be some left for us!