Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chicken Stew and Cornmeal Buttermilk Dumplings


If you have a hankering for chicken stew but don't have hours to make it, this quick recipe is just perfect for you! Dumplings can be made with the stew or you can omit them altogether, and if you want to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs that's okay too. Stew is fairly easy to make and freezes or heats up well. You can even put some in a thermos and tuck into a lunch.

Adapted from Canadian Living

3 lb chicken (1.5 kg)-cut up...ask your grocer to do this for you
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1/4 tsp marjoram
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 tbsp flour

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I forgot this, and they were still amazing)

In a shallow Dutch oven, heat a bit of oil and saute the carrots, celery, onion and garlic until onion is soft. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt, pepper, and marjoram. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken and reduce the heat; cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk flour with 1/3 cup cold water, and stir into the broth mixture.

At this point, I often like to fish out all the chicken pieces onto a plate and pick off all the yummy meaty bits, shredding them into more bite sized pieces, and then dumping them back into the stew. This keeps me from having to deal with the bones and stuff while I'm eating, and I prefer it that way.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings. In medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk and parsley to make a sticky dough.

Drop by 8 spoonfuls onto the simmering stew and cook, covered and without lifting the pan, for 15 minutes or until the dumplings are no longer doughy and the chicken is no longer pink when pierced. Remove the bay leaves and serve the stew with a green tossed salad.

Serves 4

Ps...Leftovers are divine, and just the thing on a cold, blustery day.
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