Spicy Cheesy Chicken & Puffy Dumpings...YUM!

Joined Jan 19, 2011
OK...I finally managed to make a good dish!  Admittedly I've been making this one for some time, but I think I finally took it to the next level.  Allow me to describe what I did, and I welcome any input or questions...I think I used the right techniques but maybe someone can catch any "errors" or refinements I can make....this stuff turned out pretty darn good!

-Render about 5 pieces thick cut hardwood smoked bacon, chopped up, in large stock or soup pot.  Leave fat in.

-Par-cook chicken tenderloin pieces (about 1 or 1&1/2 pounds) to sear on both sides, remove, set aside.

-Sautee about 6 cups of mire poix (equal parts carrots, celerly, onion) for about 10 minutes

-About 2 minutes before the end, add 3 cloves fresh minced garlic & sautee

-Deglaze with 2 cans chicken stock, 1 can cream of chicken, half-can of cream of tomato soup, and 8 c water

-Add approx 4 Tbsp chicken base

-Salt, pepper, thyme, 3 bay leaves

-Return chopped bacon & par-cooked chicken tenderloins (diced) to pot, bring to boil, reduce to simmer

-Simmer about 30 minutes

-Begin puffy dumpings dough:

   -2 c AP flour + 6 Tbsp soft salted butter + 4 Tbsp baking powder + salt + pepper + thyme + chicken base

   -Mix together with pastry knife until butter/spices incorporated

   -Add 1 cup 2% milk & combine

   -Let rest 20 minutes

   -Use 1/2 oz spring hinged ice cream scoop to drop in dough balls, let simmer another 15 minutes

-Add cheese mixture of havarti, parmesan, romano, pepper jack, & Velveeta cheeses (total about 1&1/2 or so cups)...salt & pepper the cheese, and add pinch thyme to cheese as well

-Fish out bay leaves

Not saying I have the best recipe here, but by far it was the best my family's said they've ever had, throughout all of my "versions" of this hearty soup.  I've also had neighbors ask for the recipe before after saying they really liked it.  I welcome any critique....thanks!
Joined Feb 1, 2007
If you like it that's all that really matters, Folsom.

That said, this isn't the best group to ask advice about dishes using things like canned cream of anything soup---or even canned stock.

One area of concern: Between the canned stock and the chicken base you're adding an awful lot of sodium. The canned soups, too, will be relatively high. Do you really want to do that?
Joined Apr 3, 2008
To be fair, you wrote it out very well. no, I wouldn't use cream of anything soup, I would use stocks and cream. That being said it does look like a tasty recipe and you should enjoy it. I take all kinds of recipes like this and tweak it for my use and my cooking style.
Joined Feb 17, 2010
Folsom, how about taking this to the next level, and just making a good old fashion chicken & dumplings? There's nothing better or simpler.

Easily made without all those canned soups, stocks and bases. Your recipe looks like it could contain an entire days sodium in one portion, not to mention all the other stuff that's in the canned goods.

Stew a whole chicken with some of your veggies & herbs, remove meat, add the bones and skin back to the pot along with some more water. Simmer for another 45 min or so, until the flavor is right. Strain, add more of your veggies, add dumplings, simmer until dumplings are done. Re season w/ salt & fresh ground pepper. Some add peas and mushrooms to c&d, I don't care for them. Also finishing with some fresh chopped parsley when you take it off the heat is nice.

If you start with a good stock, there should be no need for any base. If you feel the need, use it sparingly in place of any additional salt, only to enhance the flavor.

If you are happy with your dumpling recipe, use it, but leave out the base, there's no need for it.

I prefer a nice fluffy drop dumpling, many roll out their dumplings. The worst thing is to have hard, doughy dumplings. If all else fails, bisquick makes for a pretty good dumpling in a pinch.

FYI, one tsp of base has about 700mg of sodium, one of those little square cubes has about twice the amount. So if you are using the lower sodium base, you are adding approx 8400mg of sodium to your dish plus the added sodium from the canned goods, and the added table salt.

Your dish could be well over 10,000mg of sodium. Not meaning to get on you about all the salt, just opening your eyes to it.

Good luck in your kitchen adventures.
Joined Jan 19, 2011
Wow - thanks for opening my eyes.  I've always wanted to know how to create my own stock but never knew exactly how.  My "expertise" if I have any is just the self-taught kind, and I cook to create nice meals for my family.  Of course I'd love to get away from canned this or canned that, and I'll have to give it a shot.  I am an engineer by training and although I currently work in a different field (self-employed), I think I may have missed my calling...I truly enjoy cooking and want to get much better at it.  It's just a question of how much time I have with 2 kids at home, a wife, and a new career.  But, I'll definitely rework my dish to be less salty and try to make my own stock...excellent suggestions!
Joined Oct 23, 2008
Not to derail here, but I have always been curious where the heck that much sodium goes in terms of flavor? I have over salted things before, and it is irrecoverable most times. With canned soups, I honestly don't feel like they are over-salted, yet I know the level of sodium is very high, same goes for noodle packs. So is there some processing that makes the sodium less obvious, yet maintains the preservative qualities (ins't that why canned soups have so much salt?)
Joined Jan 27, 2010
Your recipe is good though, for me and like others said. It is better to have a simple and natural stock compare to the canned ones. Happy cooking!
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Eastshores, can you really not taste the salt in canned soups?

Normally I don't eat such products. But due to my recent oral surgery I've tried several of them, for convenience sake. Two different brands, several different flavors, and they were all but inedible. Those Campbells chunky soups in the microwavable cups, for instance, were nothing but salt on my tongue. I'd bout three of them to try, and tossed two of them unopened.

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