Thursday, January 13, 2011

50 in 50, Day 2: Fast Creamy Chicken Stew with Parsleyed Dumplings

Day 2 of my challenge brought an attempt at Fast Creamy Chicken Stew, and a couple of challenges.  Challenge number one was the package of chicken thighs which were not defrosted so dinner would be chicken stew without the chicken. Challenge number two? The dumplings. I've never made dumplings, and truth be told I don't really like them but the recipe sounded so good, and the dish looked so yummy in the picture I had to give it a try.

The dish went together really easily although I did end up adding a cup of broth after adding the dumplings. The dumplings were tasty but dry in the center (which I would attribute more to my inexperience in making dumplings than the recipe). Since I had to forgo using chicken, I added another carrot and 1/2 cup of corn to bulk up the stew. I also substitued milk for the cream, oregano for the majoram (does anyone really use marjoram?), and veggie stock for the chicken stock (for the record I never use chicken stock -- don't care for the taste).

Paul loved the stew. Paul loving the food is probably something you'll see on every one of my posts. I'm very lucky -- I don't think there has been a dish in the last 12 years I've cooked that he didn't like. I served the stew with a loaf of homemade bread which you can read about here. My thoughts on the stew? It was okay, but if I make this recipe again I think I'll put the stew in separate ramekins, bake a cheddar biscuit on top, and serve it as a chicken pot pie.

Fast Creamy Chicken Stew with Parsleyed Dumplings
The New Whole Grains Cookbook
Yield: Serves 4

3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup frozen peas or edamame
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
6 tbsp yogurt or buttermilk, or more as needed

     In a large soup pot heat 2 tsp of the oil and saute the onion, celery, and carrot over medium heat until softened. Scrape them to one side, add the remaining tsp of oil to the open space, and add the chicken. Sear the chicken, undisturbed, over medium-high heat for a minute, and then stir. When the chicken is browned all over, add the stock, thyme, marjoram, and cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the stew is the desired thickness. Add the peas, salt, and pepper. Keep simmering on low heat.
     For the dumplings, in a large bowl mix the flour, parsley, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the egg and yogurt, and quickly mix. It should be a soft dough (if it is stiff add more yogurt). Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the simmering soup. Turn the heat up to medium-high, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and cut one of the last dumplings you added in half. It should be cooked through. If it is still doughy in the center cover and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately.

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