It made a magical transformation into Chicken and Dumplings tonight!
It started w/ the soup, which we had added an extra breast to, being reheated in the pot. B/c I will add dumplings to it I added about two extra cups of water and a small amount of Better than Bouillon. It didn't need much, but I wanted to make sure I had enough liquid to properly steam all the dumplings. I had already shredded and chunked the new chicken and made sure that the whole pot came back up to temperature. When changing it to Chicken and Dumplings I like to add a heavy dose of cracked pepper, but it's totally a "to taste" thing.
I always keep a box of baking mix on hand. In Hawai'i I couldn't find my favorite, so I used Bisquick, but guess what? They have Michigan's favorite here! A single batch of dumplings will need 2 C of mix and 2/3 C of milk. The batter should be lumpy and thick, but not dry. Wetter than biscuit dough.
When the soup is fully cooked and boiling spoon the dumpling mix on top of the soup in a ring w/ one in the center. They will expand and join slightly. You need to make sure that you have enough liquid to prevent it all from thickening and cooking away, which will burn the chicken to the bottom, but you also need to be able to get the lid on the pot. Boil w/ dumplings uncovered for about 7 minutes, and then cover the pot and boil for about 7-10 more. You can turn it down to simmer at this point if you like.
While the dumplings are cooking I sliced up a Korean pear (they are as big as your head!) into bite sized chunks for a simple salad. We like them tossed w/ fresh spinach and a light raspberry vinaigrette.
When everything is finished bowl it up! The dumplings are super filling (unless, of course, you happen to be a rapidly growing seven year old). While they were cooking they should have considerably thickened the soup into a rich stew. Make sure to scoop plenty of broth onto the dumplings. If you are feeding a larger family you can start a new batch after you have dished up the first. You may need to add water/broth to the pot and bring back to a boil in order to make another batch...but it takes very little time to get it boiling again. If you want to start another batch b/f serving just scoop the dumplings onto a plate and set aside to keep warm.