Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mexican Chicken and Dumplings

This is the perfect soup to chase away a winter cold. May be too spicy for kids, though. Oh, well, more for me!

1 Tsp olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 cups fat-free chicken broth (low sodium is fine)
1 19 oz can red enchilada sauce
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes with jalepenos or Mexican seasoning
1 10 oz can Mexican stewed tomatoes
3 lbs chicken thighs (skinless--bones are optional)

(if you can't find the exact sizes, just get close--this soup allows lots of wiggle room)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped pickled jalepenos (nacho jalepenos)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk

1. Pour oil into a 5-6 qut pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add vegetables and stir until limp, 5-7 minutes.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and chicken to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked (about 40 minutes). Remove chicken, shred, and put back in the pot.

3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and jalepenos. In a small bowl, whisk butter into milk. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until well blended. Drop batter in Tbsp portions into simmering chicken mixture. Cover and simmer gently until dumplings are cooked through, 10-12 minutes.

4. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Silicon says: If this is too spicy for you (and/or your little ones), replace the mexican tomatoes and diced tomatoes with mild salsa or plain diced tomatoes and be sure to use a mild enchilada sauce. Want to turn up the heat? Use a hot enchilada sauce or add a diced hot pepper of your choice to the vegetables in the beginning.

Adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine, Nov. 2003