Chicken and Tortilla Dumplings

This will serve a large family.

1 whole chicken or chicken parts (such as leg quarters)
10 burrito-size flour tortillas
Salt and pepper to taste or Mrs. Dash
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Water or 1 can chicken broth
1 cup milk or 1 regular size can evaporated milk
Grated cheese or cheese slices (optional)

Cut up chicken; cover with water. Simmer until done, without seasoning.

Remove chicken from broth; cool and debone. Set aside.

Bring broth to a boil; season with salt and pepper or Mrs. Dash.

While broth is boiling, remove 1 cup.

In medium-size bowl add the cup of broth, butter and cream of chicken soup; beat together with fork as you would an egg. Stir in milk (for a richer, creamier sauce, I use evaporated milk). Set aside.

On cutting board, cut tortillas into 1 1/2-inch strips. Place 1 layer of strips into boiling broth; crisscross with second layer. (Do not stir.) With wooden spoon or large spoon, gently push strips into broth. Allow broth to soak through and moisten both layers, 40 to 60 seconds. (Placing too many strips too soon can cause them to "glue" together.) Add layer of chicken. Alternate layers of tortilla strips and chicken; remembering to gently push layers into broth. If too much broth cooks away while alternating, add chicken broth or water. If boiling is too rapid, turn down to medium heat but be sure broth continues to boil while alternating. Add prepared sauce to dumplings. Stir through very gently from sides with a wooden spoon. (Too much stirring will cause strips to tear apart.) Turn heat to low. Top with sliced or grated cheese (optional). Simmer 7 to 10 minutes.

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