When my friend, Nancie McDermott wrote this wonderful book, Southern Soups & Stews: More Than 75 Recipes with Down-Home Goodness, from Gumbo and Burgoo to Etouffi and Fricassee, she reached out to other authors to share the good news.
I knew I wanted to help spread the word. More friends had the same idea but took it so much furhter. They'll be doing a cook along on Blab.im making Sheri Castle's Watauga County Chicken Stew with Fluffy Dumplings!
Of course, I need to convert the recipe to gluten free, but that just adds to the fun.
Sheri made sure to tell all of us to prepare a perfect batch of Chicken Stock to be ready to make the stew, and the best stock starts from a perfect roasted chicken.
Southern Chicken Stew with Gluten Free DumplingsBy Dr. Jean Layton,
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook time: 120 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts
Equipment needed: Stock Pot
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1-2 teaspoons salt
8 cups perfect chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
10 fresh sage leaves-minced
Meat pulled from one perfect roasted chicken
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
142 grams (1 cup)gluten-free white flour mix
165 grams (1 cup)gluten-free whole grain flour mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pixie dust xanthan gum replacer or 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
2 tablespoons lard, or more butter, chilled
1/4 cup half-and-half, evaporated milk, or milk
To make the stew:
1.Heat the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped carrots, chopped onion, chopped celery, thyme leaves, and salt; stir to coat.
2. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, if needed, and the pepper. Stir in the chicken Stir in most of the parsley, reserving a generous pinch to add at serving time. and heat it through. Keep the stew warm over medium heat so that it continues to be at a slow boil.
To make the dumplings:
1.Put the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a medium bowl.
2. Use your fingertips to work in the butter and lard until the mixture is crumbly and flecked with thin flakes of fat. When pressed against the back of your thumb, a bit of the mixture should cling like a small leaf.
3. Slowly stir in the half-and-half. The dough should be soft and sticky, but firm enough to hold together on a spoon.
4. Bring the chicken stew to a low boil over medium-high heat.
5. Using a 1-ounce scoop or two spoons, make golf ball–size dumplings from the soft dough and place them gently on the surface of the stew, spacing them evenly around the pot.
6. Cover the pot and cook until the dumplings are firm, fluffy, and fairly dry on top, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved parsley over the dumplings and serve at once.
I love chicken stew with dumplings but there is a caution. Gluten Free Dumplings don't truly hold well once cooked unless they are removed and heated separately.
When I make soups or stews like this, I cook the soup and then make the dumpling batter each time I want to serve it.
I've even turned this into a present for new parents, the dumplings stir together in seconds once you have the mix.
Make sure that the soup is still boiling since that heat is what makes it stay a lovely dumpling instead of just thickening the soup.
If you find that the dumplings have disintegrated, you can stir them in and call it Cream of Chicken soup.