Once again, I didn’t plan dinner. I had soup from Zoup for lunch and I liked it so much I made up my mind to make some sort of soup for dinner.
I really thought I was going to make white bean & chicken chili or brunswick stew. In fact, I was so sure of it, I took my sweet little time before getting started on dinner. When I finally decided to gather my ingredients, I discovered I was all out of white beans and lima beans! There went my dinner plans! I had to come up with something else…and fast!
I checked the freezer – frozen peas, corn and spinach there. I checked the fridge – mushrooms, carrots and kale there. I decided chicken & dumplings would be fast (or at least fast enough).
I am trying to eliminate dairy in my diet as much as possible until I can say I’m completely dairy-free (this is my first milestone on my road to being completely plant-based). So I decided to make this dairy-free this time. I never imagined that eliminating cream from chicken & dumplings could still be so yumalicious!!! I was skeptical about the taste of coconut milk in the soup, but the end result is not “coconutty” – it is just a hearty, thick soup that tastes perfect! I made a big pot of it and there were NO leftovers! Even my 9-month old, Noah, enjoyed a pureed blend of it.
I used a blend of leftover roasted chicken and canned chicken for this recipe the first time I made it. When I roast whole chicken, my family eats the big pieces and leaves the scraps. It’s almost as if they believe we have a dog that eats our 1 to 2 cup leftovers. I mean, where do they think the food will go? I have learned to save those scraps and freeze them for later use. They are perfect for making quick soups and stews because they are already seasoned. Even if you don’t have chicken scraps, this recipe is great with canned chicken breast. It was such a hit in my home, I had to make it again (with canned chicken breast only) the next day. YUMMY!
I am so pleased with this comfort food, I plan to make a completely plant-based version next week for US VegWeek. I will post the recipe (if it’s good) for you to enjoy as well. In the meantime, don’t miss out on this yumazing nondairy dish!
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 tbsp oil (I used grapeseed)
- 1 1/2 cup carrots, sliced (about 3 carrots)
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced or diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 1-lb bag frozen peas
- 3 cups chicken pieces or 3-13 oz cans chunk chicken breast (do not drain)
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- For dumplings:
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder (heaping)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 1/2 cup almond milk
- In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium high.
- Add carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic to pot. Toss to coat with oil and saute just until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add seasonings to vegetables (salt, pepper, thyme and turmeric). Mix well.
- Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add frozen peas to the pot and return to a boil.
- Add chicken to the pot, stir and return to a boil (if using canned chicken breast, add entire contents of cans).
- Add coconut milk to the pot, stir and simmer on medium heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, kosher salt, thyme and parsley. Mix well.
- Add almond milk to dry mixture. Mix well (batter will be thick).
- Drop spoonfuls of dumpling batter into simmering pot.
- Cover pot loosely with lid and let simmer until dough rises. Dumplings are done when flaky and crusty on top (like a biscuit).
- To use all dumpling batter, remove fully cooked dumplings and keep warm in separate bowl. Repeat spoonfuls of dumpling batter until all but 2-3 tablespoons of batter is left.
- Whisk the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of dumpling batter in the pot and simmer until thickened.
- Return all dumplings to the pot.
- Serve hot and enjoy!