Homey Chicken and Dumpling Casserole: dress it up and make it for the parents.
Bridal showers, wedding planners, and rehearsal dinner table assignments aside, sooner or later your new in-laws are coming over for dinner. It’s the golden opportunity to confirm for them that you are the one who’ll make a good home and partner for your future spouse. It can show that you have style and common sense and you can get everyone fed on a Tuesday night. That’s what gets you inside the Circle of Trust. So, guess who’s cooking the dinner? You are.
A home cooked meal means you’re handy in the kitchen and says you can take care of other people, particularly the one the Parents’ have so lovingly provided you. Dinner with the Parents is not experimental dinner night. It’s not the time to showcase your latest kitchen fusion inspiration, your knife skills, or your Himalayan salt brick. We suggest you solidify this important new relationship with a very comforting, make-ahead casserole like Creamy Chicken with Parmesan Dumplings. It will set a friendly tone and everyone will relax. Sounds homey, but it’s also fancy. They’ll like that.
The creamy casserole isn’t just chicken and frozen vegetables;it’s rich with leeks, mushrooms, red bell pepper, peas, and a hint of sherry. The fancy ingredient in the drop biscuit dumplings is Parmesan cheese. Make the creamy filling the night before, but leave out the peas. Before dinner, reheat the filling in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the peas at the last minute before pouring it over the chicken in the casserole.
Now, leave that last step—stirring up the easy dumpling dough as your guests arrive—just to prove it’s all yours. All you need is a simple green salad dressed with vinaigrette and a little something sweet for dessert. To keep things easy, we’re all for little scoops of great quality ice cream topped with a little rich caramel or chocolate sauce.
- 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 medium leek, white and light green part chopped (about 1 cup)
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup half and half
- ¼ cup dry sherry
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 2/3 cup milk
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch or 3-quart baking dish and spread the chicken in the dish.
- Heat the butter in a large saucepan or medium soup pot over medium heat until hot.
- Add the leeks and cook 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and red bell pepper and continue to cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
- The vegetables should be fragrant and very soft.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth and the half and half to the pot and simmer over medium heat. Whisk the flour, the remaining ½ cup of broth, and the sherry together in a small bowl.
- Add the mixture to the hot broth.
- Cook and stir until bubbly and thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour the hot mixture over the chicken.
- Combine the self-rising flour and Parmesan cheese in a small mixing bowl and blend well.
- Stir in the butter and milk with a fork until a soft dough forms.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls over the hot casserole.
- Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the casserole is bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.