Try this quick n’ easy comforting midweek meal
There’s nothing better than a midweek chicken and dumpling stew
- SERVES: 6
- PREP TIME: 15 mins
- COOK TIME: 45 – 50 mins
- DIFFICULTY: easy
Midweek chicken and dumpling stew
This is such a lovely, comforting midweek meal.
And dumplings are a very easy way to add a little extra ‘hug’ to your dish.
And from experience, I can tell you, you’re not going to get any complaints serving up dumplings on top of a stew.
Dumplings are traditionally made with a mixture of flour and beef suet (*recipe include further down this post)
However, this recipe switches out suet for cream! Yum.
And remember, you can flavour your dumplings with herbs, spices, cheese, etc.
So, feel free to get creative.
But I’ve also tried cornmeal dumplings which you can find in this recipe, oxtail stew with dumplings.
So, you have lots of dumpling recipe options to choose from.
But the trick is knowing when they are done!
How to know when your dumplings are done
It can be tricky working out when your dumplings are cooked through.
No one wants to serve up gloopy or overcooked dumplings.
But when you cooking dumplings, you’re basically adding raw dough to a stew then steaming them.
So it’s the steam from the stew that makes the dumplings tender and puff up.
And in this recipe, you cook them for approx. 17 mins.
But it can still be a challenge to know if they are cooked through.
So, here are a few things you can look out for.
3 things you need to look for in a dumpling:
- Have the quadrupled in size? They usually will puff up, touching against each other and covering the stew.
- Do the toothpick, skewer or knife test: Insert into the middle and if it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, give them a couple more mins.
- Cut a dumpling in half. If, like me on my first dumpling experience, you’re worried, then take one out and cut it in half to see if there is any raw dough.
3 tips for tasty midweek chicken and dumpling stew
1. Sear the chicken first
- Sear the cubed chicken to get it nicely browned (it won’t be totally cooked through yet but it will then go into the stew).
- Then, once you’ve softened the veggies and boiled the broth, pop the chicken back into the pot.
2. Don’t overwork the dumpling dough
- Mix the dumpling dough just until it comes together.
- Mix in the melted butter and cream with the dry ingredients, stir just until they are incorporated and you have a soft dough.
- Over-mixing will give you tough dumplings.
3. Leave the lid on when cooking the dumplings
- You’re steaming the dumplings so leave them be.
- The steam makes them light and tender.
Perfect fluffy suet dumpling recipe
If you fancy trying a different dumpling recipe.
Here’s a classic recipe using suet.
- 150g of self-raising flour
- 75g of suet
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine the flour, suet and salt in a large mixing bowl
- If you want to add flavour to your dumplings:
- Before adding the water to the flour and suet, add your chopped herbs (rosemary or thyme are good, chilli flakes or mustard powder for a little heat, or some grated cheese)
- Start to slowly add a little water and begin to mix in with your hands until a dough starts to form
- Once you have a soft dough with specks of the suet still visible stop mixing – don’t want to overwork the dough. If it is too sticky, add a tiny bit more flour
- Roll the dough into small balls using the palms of your hands
- Place the balls on top of a simmering stew for the last 20 mins of its cooking time. Serve
- NOTE: to get a crispy exterior, you can bake the dumplings in the oven for 10 mins before adding to the stew.
Recipe inspired by: The Kitchn
Midweek chicken and dumpling stew
For the chicken:
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 cm cubes
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or use normal and slightly reduce salt
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 – 2 leeks, cut
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
For the dumplings:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup cold double cream
- Prepare the mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery):Chop your onion, carrots, celery stalks, and crush or mince the garlic cloves.
- Pat dry the chicken and cut into 2 cm cubes, then season with salt and pepper.In a large casserole dish, add the oil and brown your chicken (you may need to do it in batches) – it should be approx 2 – 3 mins per side – then transfer to a plate. (*the chicken won't be cooked through)
- In the same casserole dish, add the mirepoix and garlic and cook until they soften, approx 5 – 10 mins – you may need to add a little more oil. Add the thyme and a tsp of sea salt.
- Now, add the unsalted butter. Once it melts, add the flour to coat the veggies and cook for approx 2 – 3 mins.Add the stock and using a wooden spoon scrape any lovely brown bits off the bottom of the dish and bring to a boil.Add the chicken and reduce to a simmer, leave uncovered for approx 10 mins.
- Make the dumpling dough:In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and the remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt and combine. Then add the melted unsalted butter, the cold cream and stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms (don't overwork)
- Into the stew, add the leeks and/or peas and stir in.Then, add the dumplings by dropping a tablespoon size of dumpling dough onto the top of the stew – they will grow bigger!Cover and cook for approx 17 mins. then uncover and check for doneness.*The dumplings are ready when they have about quadrupled in size and are no longer raw and doughy in the centre (see blog post for tips on checking doneness.) If not fully cooked, cover and cook 2 mins more.
- Finely chop the fresh parsley and sprinkle over the stew and serve.