Microwave Chicken and Dumplings is a culinary delight that challenges the misconception that microwave meals can't be gourmet or soul-satisfying. This dish offers a quick and convenient way to enjoy a home-cooked, comforting meal that doesn't skimp on flavor or nutritional value. Let's delve into why this dish is both beneficial and mouthwateringly delicious.
Taste Factor: One of the key selling points of Microwave Chicken and Dumplings is the depth of flavor packed into each bite. The chicken is tender and juicy, having absorbed the seasonings and broth. The dumplings, fluffy and soft, serve as the perfect vehicle for savoring the rich, aromatic gravy they soak up. Add in vegetables like carrots and peas, and you've got a well-rounded taste profile that delights the palate.
Nutritional Benefits: Chicken is a wonderful source of lean protein, essential for muscle building and maintenance. The vegetables add fiber and vital nutrients like vitamins A and C. By using whole-grain or alternative flours for the dumplings, you can elevate the dish's nutritional profile even further.
Time-Saving: Traditional chicken and dumplings can take hours to make, but the microwave version slashes that time dramatically. This is particularly beneficial for busy individuals or families looking to have a wholesome meal without spending an excessive amount of time in the kitchen.
Customizable: The beauty of this dish is its flexibility. You can easily adapt the recipe to suit your dietary preferences or needs, such as using gluten-free flour for the dumplings or adding a variety of vegetables to boost nutritional content.
Cost-Effective: Making Microwave Chicken and Dumplings is also a wallet-friendly option. The ingredients are generally inexpensive and easily accessible, making it an economical choice for a hearty meal.
Ease of Cooking: You don't need to be a culinary expert to master this dish. The microwave does most of the heavy lifting, making it nearly foolproof and an excellent option for cooking novices.
So, if you're looking for a dish that is convenient, delicious, and nutritious, Microwave Chicken and Dumplings should be at the top of your list. It's a testament to how far microwave cooking has come, proving that quick and easy can also mean flavorful and fulfilling.
Try this amazing recipe from The Food Network!
- For the filling: Whisk together the chicken broth and flour in a microwave-safe 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish for an 1,100-watt oven or a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl for a 700-watt oven, until there are no lumps. Stir in the onions, celery, butter, thyme sprig, 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; cut a small slit in the center with the tip of a paring knife to vent excess steam. Microwave on high (at 100 percent power) for 5 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 8 minutes in a 700-watt oven.
- Remove the dish from the microwave, and remove the plastic wrap (be careful to avoid the hot steam). Carefully whisk the broth mixture until there are no clumps of flour at the bottom. Put the dish back in the microwave, uncovered, and cook on high (at 100 percent power) until the broth is bubbly and thick, 5 minutes in an 1,100-watt oven or 8 minutes in a 700-watt oven.
- For the dough: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and oil in the center, and stir everything together with a fork until the dough just comes together (it will be sticky and wet).
- To assemble: Remove the dish from the microwave. Remove and discard the thyme sprig, and whisk the broth mixture again. Stir in the shredded chicken and frozen peas and carrots. Arrange rounded teaspoons of the dough (about 16 dumplings) about 1/2 inch apart along the perimeter of the dish or bowl. Grind a little pepper over each dumpling.
- Cover the dish tightly with a new piece of plastic wrap; cut a small slit in the center. Microwave on high (at 100 percent power) until the dumplings are puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 6 minutes in an 1,100- or a 700-watt oven. If they are not cooked through, microwave them again in 30-second increments, testing with a toothpick after each.