It's a Keeper: Chicken and Dumpling Soup and Orchard Salad

Every once in awhile I make one of my old favorite recipes and I am completely shocked that I haven't blogged about it before. This is one of those recipes: Chicken and Dumplings Soup. There are permutations of this recipe all over the place, including Rachael's old school Comfort Foods cookbook and the Food Network. After trying many of the different recipes, I prefer the Food Network one (probably because I can make a shopping list from work).

I think I chose this recipe because I am in denial that it's Spring (although my allergies seem to have accepted it). It really is a great comfort food recipe, with a simple chop and drop method. Definitely a 30 minute meal if you can chop at a reasonable pace.

I also made the Orchard Salad, which is from the same episode as the soup. Rachael's habit of providing a whole menu instead of just a single recipe is part of the reason I started cooking her recipes. It takes all the stress out of it for a rookie like me who has no idea what flavors would go well together. The salad is a unique twist on a green salad, with the addition of apples and cheddar cheese. Here are the recipes with my comments in brackets:

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders [Chicken breasts were on sale, so I substituted them in for the tenders]
1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full [Once of the other recipes uses Old Bay instead of poultry seasoning]
2 tablespoons flour, a handful
1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container, preferred brand Kitchen Basics
1 small box biscuit mix (preferred brand Jiffy Mix) [I had to buy a big box of Bisquick because there weren't any small boxes. I just followed the directions for one set of biscuits.]
1/2 cup warm water
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup frozen green peas

Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Wash hands.

Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.

Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 1/2 cup warm water and parsley. [I just followed the directions on the box for biscuits.] Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan [no need to defrost them first, they will warm right up], remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

Orchard Salad

1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 teaspoon lemon juice, a wedge
1 crisp red apple, such as McIntosh or Paula Red, thinly sliced [I used Gala.]
1 Anjou pear, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider [I completely missed this ingredient when making my shopping list, so I just increased the amount of sugar by a litle bit. Any other suggestions for what to substitute?]
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and coarse black pepper
8 ounces sharp cheddar, thinly sliced

Coarsely chop lettuce. Squeeze the a little lemon juice over apples and pears and toss with greens. Combine cider, vinegar and sugar in a bowl and whisk in oil in a slow stream. Pour dressing over salad and season salad with salt and pepper and toss salad to combine and coat evenly. Serve salad with a garnish of sliced sharp cheddar cheese.


  1. I made this stoup this last winter and now is a favorite for our family. So good. YUM-O

  2. I have been cooking Rachael's recipes for 4 1/2 years and this one is my favorite!

  3. Snackkakes - it's a favorite for us, too. Perfect for winter or those in denial that it's Spring.

    Anony - That's certainly says something! Looks like we started cooking her recipes around the same time.

  4. I made this soup with bisquick and used the dumpling recipe. When I stirred in the peas the dumplings disintegratd and I had thick creamy soup. What did I do wrong?

  5. It sounds like the dumplings didn't have a chance to cook entirely? Maybe they were a little too big? I'd try again with smaller dumplings and/or let them steam longer so they don't fall apart.

  6. actually with the dumplings i am going to take a shortcut by taking store bisquits and cutting them in 4ths. i do not like doughy dumplings so i will roll them in small balls bake them for a few minutes before putting them in the soup.

  7. Just made this and it is so good!! I have never made dumplings before. Did Bisquick without the parsley because I know my kids wouldn't eat them with "green things" in them! It is cooling on the table as we speak... here's hoping the kids like it!


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