Hubs and I began dating when in the fall of 1996, when I was 16. One of the first stories I heard about his parents’ early years was the “Cinnamon chili” story. Shortly after they married, my mother-in-law mistook the bottle of cinnamon for the chili powder and proceeded to dump copious amounts of cinnamon into the chili she was making. I’m told the result was somewhat less than tasty, and because they were poor newlyweds, they had to eat it anyway.
The point to that story is to say that I feared I was going to top cinnamon chili with dough soup. I was making Chicken and Dumpling casserole for dinner, and as I’ve mentioned, I cook for two days at a time. In order to have enough for the dumpling layer, I decided to make 1 1/2 of the amount the recipe called for. It came out quite quite liquidy, sort of like pancake batter, but I didn’t think anything of it. Until I poured it on, still didn’t have enough, and mixed up the recipe one more time. This time it was a thicker dough. Uh-oh.
Welp, nothing to do but stick it in the oven and hope for the best, right? Right. In the end it turned out just fine!
In fact, it was better than fine, it was damn tasty! I adapted the recipe from Rockabilly Grillin’. The main change I made was adding a couple cans of mixed veggies to the chicken layer. That helped bulk up that layer using less chicken, since canned veggies are cheaper. I also used cream of mushroom soup because we were out of cream of chicken.
Having grown up in the South as a direct descendant of women who knew how to make dumplins, I can categorically state this casserole is pretty darn good. I’m sure my grandmother and great grandmother are rolling over in their graves at the idea of just pouring the dumpling layer on top and not forming the perfect little dumplings, but I’m a fan of shortcuts.
Please forgive the less than stellar photography, I’m new to food photography, but I’m working on it!