Surviving Dinner – Chicken & Dumplings

Lots of recipes claim they can be cooked in 20 minutes or less.  Some nights are so busy, even that’s too long.  “Surviving Dinner” is a series that is not about good wifeing, mothering, or cooking.  It’s about surviving.  It’s for those nights when you’re tempted to write “fast food” on the menu, but cooking at home will save you a few dollars, a few hundred calories, and loads of mommy-guilt.  Recipes found here can be cooked quickly and have minimal prep and clean-up.  Some may require a little pre-planning, but many won’t.

Be forewarned:  this dinner requires you to have leftover chicken in the fridge or freezer.  It’s certainly not cook-all-day authentic Southern cooking.  In fact, there’s not even a veggie in here.  However, to its credit, there aren’t loads of butter either so let’s just call it even.  🙂  If it really bothers you, serve it with a salad.

Let me tell you what happened.  It was 6:00 on a Sunday evening, our dinner plans fell through, and suddenly I needed to pull together a respectable Sunday dinner for my family without having planned anything in advance.  All of the veggies in our fridge were allocated for other meals throughout the week, and the pantry and freezer were both looking a little bare.  After scrounging up a few things, I pulled off a meal that turned out surprisingly good and made my husband very happy!



  • 1 lb pre-cooked chicken (I had some leftover crockpot chicken in my freezer)
  • 4 C chicken broth (low-sodium is best)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2 T corn starch + 1/2 C cold water
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 T shortening
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 tsp dried parsley

1.  Boil chicken broth, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Add salt to taste.  Don’t over-salt because it will reduce a bit.

2.  While waiting for your broth to boil, make your biscuit dough.  Mix flour, baking soda, and salt.  Cut shortening in with a fork until combined.  Stir in milk until just wet – don’t overdo it or your biscuits will be tough.  Set aside.

3.  Add pre-cooked chicken to your boiling broth and heat through.

4.  Dissolve corn starch in cold water and add to your broth/chicken mixture.  Bring to a simmer.

5.  Drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough into your broth.  Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

6.  Remove cover and cook for another 10 minutes.  Broth should be thickened.

7.  Stir in parsley.

Wondering what I’m doing here?  Learn more about the idea behind Surviving Dinner.


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