Healthier Comfort Food: Chicken & Dumplings

Healthy Comfort Food Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings from www.YellowTurtleFitness.com

Healthy Comfort Food Recipe: Chicken and Dumplings from http://www.YellowTurtleFitness.com

Chicken and Dumplings is one of my family’s favourite comfort foods when the months start turning colder. Many traditional recipes utilize butter, shortening, cream, dark meat, and/or high sodium ingredients like “cream of…” condensed soups.

It’s really not very difficult to make over this recipe to be a much healthier option.

Experiment with the basic recipe by switching out similar ingredients. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, you can alter the recipe by switching vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and by switching the chicken breast for “Chicken” meat substitutes.

You can make the dumplings yourself, or save time by using pre-made frozen dumplings(check the nutrition labels, and choose the cleanest, lowest sodium brand you can find) or a healthier brand of canned biscuits(like Immaculate Baking Co) and tearing the biscuits into small chunks. It’s quick, easy, and usually just as good(however, this will likely add more sodium and sugar to the recipe. Your call).

Serve your healthier chicken and dumplings for dinner on those upcoming chilly evenings.

INGREDIENTS

For the Dumplings:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup skim milk

For the Soup:

  • 4-5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup thawed frozen, or fresh, green peas
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot, pour the tbsp of olive oil, and bring to medium heat(#5 and 1/2 on numerically labeled stovetops).
  2. Throw in chicken, onion, and garlic. Saute while stirring, until onions are just turning translucent/just beginning to brown, then add carrots and celery. Allow to saute while stirring for 1-2 minutes more. Chicken does not need to be fully cooked to continue.
  3. Add in broth, peas, sage, and thyme. Bring to boil, then place lid on pot, and lower temperature to medium-low(#3 to 4 on numerical stovetops).
  4. Allow to simmer in 15 minute increments. At each 15 minute mark, stir soup thoroughly, then replace lid quickly. You will probably need to do this 2-3 times, until chicken is fully cooked and flavours have melded well.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare your dumpling batter by putting all dumpling ingredients into a bowl, and stirring until combined. Set aside.
  6. When soup is about 10-15 minutes away from being served, put remaining parsley into soup, stir, then slowly drop in large spoonfuls of dumpling batter, stirring between every few spoonfuls. If you choose to use pre-made dumplings or canned biscuit dough, make sure dumplings are thawed first, or biscuit dough is torn into pieces. Drop them in the same way, and cook the same length of time.
  7. Replace lid, and allow to cook another 10-15 minutes before ladling into soup bowls. You may choose to garnish with a liberal sprinkling of parsley and black pepper. Makes 4-5 servings. Enjoy!
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