When I think of comfort food, one of the first dishes that comes to mind is Chicken & Dumplings. Although making a pot of this hearty, yet deliciously satisfying dish takes a little time to prepare, I think it is well worth the effort.
2-1/2 - 3 lb. whole chicken
4 stalks celery; diced
1/2 a large onion; diced
1-1/2 cups peeled, diced carrots (I prefer to use the small snack size carrots)
2 Tblsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1-1/2 Tblsp. McCormick's Italian Herb seasoning
1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic salt
salt & pepper to taste
2 (10-3/4 oz) cans Campbell's Cream of Chicken w/Herb soup
3 (8 count) cans butter tasting biscuits (I prefer to use the jumbo style)
Rinse chicken and pat dry. In a large stock pot add vegetables, chicken and dry seasonings. Add enough water to submerge chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, tilt lid to allow heat to escape and cook until chicken is tender & juices run clear (about 40 minutes). Remove cooked chicken from broth and set aside to cool.
To the pot add in both cans of soup. Using an immersion blender, blend soups into mixture on medium-low speed. If you prefer a less "chunky" chicken & dumplings version, increase speed on immersion blender and blend vegetables until smooth. Allow mixture to simmer on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
While soup mixture is simmering, remove cooled chicken from bone. Discard skin. (You can save the carcass and freeze it in a freezer bag & use it for making stock later if desired.) Depending upon your preference, you may want to rough chop the chicken into smaller pieces. Add chicken back to pot and stir. Add in milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until consistency and color are as you desire. Stir well. Let simmer for 10-20 minutes; stirring occasionally. (SEE NOTE)
While chicken is simmering, remove biscuits from can. Place about a cup of flour into a small bowl. Dust each biscuit with the flour to coat on all sides. Using a knife or kitchen shears, cut each biscuit into 4 equal parts. Slowly add biscuits to soup, being careful as to not splash and burn yourself. You don't want to stir the dumplings into the pot but allow the soup broth to cover biscuits by gently submerging biscuits. Cook biscuits until they float & are no longer doughy in texture. Remove pot from heat and serve warm.
Note: If you prefer a thicker broth, before dumplings are added, ladle out a 1/2 cup of hot broth and stir in enough cornstarch to create a slurry. Slowly pour cornstarch slurry into soup. Lightly stir mixture. Let mixture simmer until thickened.
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