If you're craving some comfort food, chicken and dumplings might just be exactly what you need. The dish often begins with a roux as a base — flour and fat that acts as a thickener. But sometimes, if your ratio of roux to liquid is off, your dish may not thicken up as much as you'd like it to. Or, perhaps you just want to cut out a step and omit the roux altogether. Fortunately, there is a way to make your chicken and dumplings thicker and heartier in a fraction of the time.
All you'll need to do is sprinkle in some dehydrated potato flakes to your other liquid ingredients. Boxes of instant mashed potatoes can be found in most grocery stores, and often cost only a few dollars. The pantry staple can be kept on hand to make a delicious side for your dinner, but it'll also come in handy when thickening soups and stews — like chicken and dumplings.
When the potato flakes are added in, they'll absorb the excess liquid, making for a thicker stew. Start slowly, adding in only a little at a time. Gradually add more, whisking to make sure the chicken and dumpling stew reaches your desired consistency.
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Potatoes Can Enhance The Taste And Texture Of The Dish
Instant mashed potatoes are just dehydrated potatoes. After the potatoes are mashed, they're dehydrated and turned into powder. Then, when rehydrated, they take on the taste, texture, and flavor of the original potato mash. Adding that potato powder into the chicken and dumplings will rehydrate the mash. But because it'll be mixed into the stew, the starchy spuds will thicken the liquid just enough to enhance your dish without making it taste or feel overwhelmingly like potatoes.
If you love the taste of potatoes, though, the dish may take on a very slight potato flavor as an added bonus. This could even help it to feel a little heartier. There are a few different flavors of instant mashed potatoes that could help enhance the dish, too. A little bit of butter flavor can add more richness to the dish, while roasted garlic mashed potatoes might add in some extra flavor. Or, if you like things cheesy, you could grab some cheddar or four cheese-flavored potato flakes.
Other Ways To Thicken Chicken And Dumplings
There are a few other ways to thicken up soups and stews if you don't have instant potato flakes on hand. Bags of powdered potato starch are also sold in stores and can work in place of the flakes. A little bit of flour or cornstarch mixed in will also have a similar effect on the chicken and dumplings. Since both of these are pretty flavorless, they won't impact the taste of your stew.
If you don't mind a little extra texture in your dish, you can also toss in some rice or lentils to cook in the liquid. Allowing the starchy ingredients to cook up in the stew will let the extra liquid to be absorbed. The added ingredient could also help the chicken and dumplings to feel more filling with every bite.
Adding mashed potato flakes to your chicken and dumplings is a quick way to easily thicken up the dish. Whether your stew is too thin, or you just want to omit using a roux entirely, the starchy addition can help make chicken and dumplings that would make your grandma proud.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.