There's something about simmering soup that puts a smile on my face. This easy chicken dish is one of my favorite chicken recipes when I need something to warm me to the bone.
The cool thing about comfort food recipes is that you can freestyle and use whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand to make the dish unique like when I made Easy Shrimp and Grits in the Ninja Foodi.
I prefer the chicken thigh for the most part but for this dish, I used a combination of that and chicken breasts. Chicken wings would also work if you have a pile of them but clearly you get less meat.
Today I pressure cooked the chicken with a variety of typical ingredients I would use in soup. Bay leaves, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic all go into the Ninja Foodi with a little butter.
I stir fry them on with the saute function until they sweat down a bit. Next comes whatever chicken I have on hand, and whatever chicken bones I've saved in the freezer for stock. Cover the stock ingredients with water but make sure not to exceed the max fill line.
At this point, you can decide if you want to use the Ninja Foodi as a slow cooker or if you're in a rush you can reach for the pressure lid and pressure cook the ingredients.
I choose the quick route and set the pressure cooker to high for 15 minutes and then do a manual pressure release.
At this point remove and separate the ingredients from the broth. Let the chicken cool and discard everything else.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, use your fingers to separate it from the bones, cartilage, skin, and any undesirable bits. I like to cube up larger pieces of white meat, and finely dice up any dark meat but you can handle your meat however you wish.
At this point, the broth or stock should be cool enough to taste. Mine's normally a little bland so I add a few heaping tablespoons of chicken soup base. This stuff is a secret weapon, but you have to be careful with it. Use too much and your dish will be far too salty, so consider yourself warned.
Typically, I save and store half of the stock for other dishes and use the rest here. I re-add a fresh batch of veggies including carrots, celery, onion, diced potato, and tarragon. Frozen corn and peas are also a couple of my favorites to add.
Bring to a boil all of the ingredients and allow them to cook until the potato and carrots have softened.
At this point, you can add back the cooked chicken. If you have some leftover grilled chicken on hand or even leftover fried chicken, you could include that also.
For the dumplings, you could do a bit of a flour baking powder mixture but I prefer to use canned biscuit mix cut into quarters. The canned biscuits go directly into the pot and get a quick stir.
Cook time varies here and is a matter of preference. I allow them to cook for maybe 5 minutes and plump up a bit.
Now you can lower the crisping lid and set the air fry or bake setting to 350F for eight minutes. The bake or air fry function works similar to how convection ovens work. Air is circulated and heated inside the pot. So whoever said air fryers are only for french fries was far from correct.
What I love about this method is that the tops of the biscuits are getting browned from the crisping lid and the bottom or dumpling part still cooks floating in the wet ingredients.
Serve piping hot, but not too hot. I love dousing the chicken and dumplings with black pepper and hot sauce but not after I give it an unseasoned taste first.
Chicken and dumplings is my first documented comfort food experiment using the Ninja but I've had lots of fun cooking things like Frozen Deep Dish Pizza Cooked in the Ninja Foodi or the super simple English Muffin and Bacon Sandwich.