Chicken and Dumplingless Stew

I discovered a nice little backlog of half-finished posts while setting up the computer, so am going to put them up now in lieu of newer stuff. Mostly because my current kitchen still has gaping equipment holes and won’t be suitable for making anything more than small portions of store-bought pasta for another week or so. And because it makes me kinda happy to see my old beat-up stuff in these photos, most of which didn’t make the journey over with us.

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Chicken and dumplingless stew. Because sometimes, you’re not in the mood for chewy lumps of dough in your soup. Especially nice for putting over rice or pasta. Based on AR’s Irish Chicken and Dumplings (the original version of which I made in a seriously overflowing stewpot one fine college summer in the presence Miss Laura, if I remember…) but slightly tweaked for my own purposes.

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The lineup. 2 (10.75 ounce-ish) cans of condensed cream of chicken soup, 3 cups of water, 1 cup of chopped celery (or however much you want to get rid of, in my case), 2 quartered onions, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose Creole season (the recipe calls for poultry seasoning, which I don’t have or particularly want), 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I think actually used whole thighs), 5 sliced carrots, 1 (10 ounce-ish) bag of frozen green peas, 4 quartered potatoes (or however many you want to use up).

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Prep all your veggies. I like to keep my chopping small so that the bits get all tender when cooking. If you like a bit more bite to your stuff, go chunkier. I also use rehydrated chopped onion from a bottle because I just hate cutting up onions if I don’t have to.

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Combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, seasoning, and pepper in a big stewpot. You might have noticed I put in my chicken frozen. If I’m feeling particularly lazy, I do this and just extend the cooking time as needed. It’s safe enough to do this in low heat/long time cooking situations because it’ll still defrost in time that you won’t end up with anything too unevenly cooked. It also allows time for the chicken to steep in the soup and for everything to blend together more.

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Cover the pot and cook over low heat for at least 1.5 hours. Check on the chicken at the end of that time and make sure it’s cooked all the way through. Extend as needed.

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After the chicken is cooked through, add potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.

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The recipe then tells you to remove the chicken and shred the meat. I don’t bother since I rather like to work at my own chunks of chicken while eating. It’s all personal choice. What you do need to do now, however, is add the peas and cook for about 5 minutes, until they warm up.

And you’re done! Feel free to add dumplings and then just cook a bit longer until they’re done. Or forget the dumplings and serve the stew as is or over carbs, as you choose. Versatile, hearty, and about as home-like as you can get. Also an easy thing to make and just leave on the stove to cook, for those that like to multi-task. (Okay, I admit that this was one of our raid night meals… ;-D)

PS. Keva, you should definitely try this one!

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