Leftover Remix: Turkey (or Chicken) and Buttermilk Dumplings

Happy day-after- Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had an amazing day with equally amazing food. Kris and I had a fun, albeit long, day because we split Thanksgiving between his family and mine. There are pros and cons to this... the cons: extra driving, a little more stressful. The pros: getting to see more family, and more leftovers!!

Aren't leftovers one of the best parts of Thanksgiving? Everyone has their favorite ways to enjoy them too.. I like to make a small plate of my favorite side dishes and just nuke 'em, but Kris is a "put-every-single-thing-on-a-sandwich" guy. This recipe, however, is one we both love.

Chicken and Dumplings is one of my favorite wintry dishes. Not only does it taste frickin' great (if made correctly), it's also filling, fairly inexpensive to make a lot of,  and is still yummy the next day. Also, it's actually pretty healthy if you use a lower fat milk  and cut back on the biscuits. Who am I kidding, don't ever cut back on the biscuits. This tastes like heaven after a long day snowboarding, but who's to say it couldn't be just as awesome after a long day of Black Friday shopping?

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A few notes about this recipe before you dive in. If you aren't familiar with "sweating" veggies, it's like this: the goal is to cook the veggies (if you want to be Frenchy, it's a mirepoix since it's onion-celery-carrot) and release their water, but not develop color (caramelization). This is why we cook over a medium/low heat and keep the lid on. We want to retain all that lovely veggie steam, so it's like a veggie sauna. If you get a little color on your veg, don't fret- it's not a big deal. Just remember that we want sweat, not color, in this case. Also, it may seem like the soup doesn't have a lot of liquid compared to all the veggies and meat, but I like my soups more like stews, thick and hearty. If you want more broth, add more broth (genius!), but I found I had plenty of "soupiness" in the final result.

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See!? Veggie Sauna!

I typically make this with chicken, but c'mon- it's like, BEGGING to be made with leftover shredded turkey. You know you have 2 cups (probably more) sitting in your fridge right now. So finish up your Black Friday shopping and make this for dinner. Then turn on the Hallmark channel and watch Christmas movies while you put out all your Christmas stuff because you can finally decorate without feeling like you've disrespected Thanksgiving (no judgment).

Chicken and Dumplings

2 cups chicken (or turkey!!), cooked and shredded

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-5 carrots, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2-3 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2 cups chicken stock or broth

1 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon no-salt seasoning

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

salt to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water for slurry (this thickens the soup a little, but you don't need it)

For Dumplings:

1 cup GF flour mix (or regular flour for non-GF)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of sugar (optional- I could tell my flour blend was quite bitter and I wanted to balance that a bit)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Heat oil in large, deep sided, lidded pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sweat veggies until they have released some liquid, are just slightly tender and onions are translucent. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Add broth and milk, chicken or turkey, and seasonings except salt. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are almost soft. Check seasoning and adjust salt/ other seasonings as needed. If adding the cornstarch slurry, do it now. Meanwhile, prepare biscuit dough- combine all ingredients and mix until just combined. drop large spoonfuls onto simmering soup. Cover with lid and allow to cook another 15 minutes, or until biscuits are done (a toothpick should come out clean). Serve and enjoy!