First off, instead of making the recipe from scratch turn it into a leftover dish. The next time you buy a rotisserie chicken (I buy one almost every time I'm at Sam's) save the leftovers. If you want to save yourself even more time, break the chicken into bite-size pieces before you freeze it. Congratulations, you've just nixed the "boil the whole chicken" step!
Let's get started. Your dumplings need to simmer at least 30 minutes, but the longer it simmers the better it tastes so give yourself some breathing room. To start, add two cans of chicken broth and two cans of water to your pot and bring it to a boil.
While your broth is heating up, mix your dough. It's flour, shortening (I have a love/hate relationship with lard), an egg and water. You can see the shortening below. The recipe calls for it to be 1/2 the size of an egg so you'll have to eyeball it.
Once your dough it mixed (it'll be flaky - you don't want it sticky), roll it out as thin as you can without it tearing. Then use a knife to cut it into dumplings.
When your broth has a good rolling boil going, start dropping your dumplings into the pot. Make sure each one is completely submerged when you drop it in.
Next, add your defrosted chicken and veggies if desired (these can be frozen or in a can or leftover from last night's dinner). I prefer our chicken and dumplings without veggies. Add some pepper (wait on the salt until the end because the broth is already salty).
Simmer for 30 minutes plus and then sit down to enjoy an awesome meal.
Helpful hint - Don't do what I did last night. I made a double batch so we'd have leftovers for lunch today. I left them out to cool before I put the container in the fridge. And then - and this hurts - I forgot about it. The dumplings sat on the counter all night long. When I found it this morning I had to throw out the dumplings. I shed a few tears. They were so delicious and now they're gone. Sigh.
Chicken & Dumplings (click here for printable version)
1 Cup flour
shortening (1/2 size of an egg)
2 Tbsp water
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans water
1 whole chicken (or rotisserie leftovers)
Pepper/salt to taste
Add your chicken broth and water to a large pot. Bring it to a boil. In the meantime, cut into the flour and add the shortening, beaten egg and water. Mix until it's combined enough to roll out. It will be flaky. Roll out the dough on a floured surface (make sure they're thin). Then cut the dough into dumpling strips. When the broth is at a rolling boil, drop the dumplings into the pot. Add more water/broth if needed. Add chicken and veggies (optional). Simmer for 30 minutes plus.