You can double the recipe and freeze it in one serving portions. It makes a fabulous lunch or dinner entrée. The dumplings add a delicious topping that help sop up the gravy!
To make the stew:
Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat. Melt butter and add onions and carrots. Stir and sauté for 2 to 4 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and chicken and sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Sprinkle with flour and thyme and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add sherry or wine and stir until almost evaporated. Add chicken broth or stock, stirring well to ensure any flour lumps dissolve. Add potatoes and bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer partially covered for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley. Serve with rustic breads.
To make the dumplings:
In a bowl, combine flour, parsley, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles oatmeal. With a fork, mix in the milk and stir just until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls into simmering soups or stew. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes with out lifting lid, until dumplings are fluffy and no longer doughy underneath.
Cooking tips and information:
- In the food industry, we always use unsalted butter. Seasoning is generally adjusted at the end of cooking and if you cook with salted butter, you will be adding more than necessary, resulting in a different tasting end product.
- Try to find baby potatoes for your stew as they have a sweeter flavour and you don’t have to peel them (more nutritious with the peel on). You’ll find local baby potatoes at farmers’ markets and in small bags from Little Potato Company. This Edmonton company also private labels for most national grocery stores.
- In this recipe you can use fresh and/or dried herbs interchangeably. The recipe above points out the measure for dried or fresh thyme. This ratio of dried to fresh (usually 1 to 3 or 1 to 4) can be used for other fresh and dried herbs.
- You can substitute potatoes for cooked rice or pasta. Just add instead of potatoes and reduce the simmering time to 5 minutes.
- The dumplings are very easy to prepare – the secret to successful dumplings is not to lift the led until the cooking time has elapsed!