On a cold winter’s day when the wind is howling and the snow flakes are flying fast outside there is nothing better than being inside and sharing a hot heart meal with your friends and family.
This is a stew that I have been making for many years for my family and my daughter who is now a teacher asked me for it as she reminisced about her idyllic childhood!
This dish can be made with chicken, lamb or beef and you can include any vegetables that you fancy. I like to use hearty winter vegetables like potatoes, carrots, swedes or turnips.
For the stew
6 to 8 bite sized chicken pieces with the skin left on if desired
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
One large onion chopped fine
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons of turmeric (optional)
2 large cloves of garlic(optional)
2 large carrots peeled
4 large potatoes or 8 smaller new potatoes
1 swede or turnip peeled
1 cup of peas
I cup of corn
1 sprig of Rosemary
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups of water
3 cups of chicken stock.
10 button mushrooms
Put the oil in a large casserole pan and add the onions and garlic. Add the chopped carrots, sides and celery and stir together. Add the turmeric and then add the pieces of chicken. Stir on a medium to high heat till the chicken is seared on all sides and coated with the oil and turmeric. This should take about 10 minutes. Put the lid on the pan and heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water, salt and pepper and let the pan come to the boil. Add the rosemary. Turn the cooker down and let this simmer for 40 minutes or till the liquid has reduced a little and then put in all the vegetables. Keep an eye on it to make sure there is plenty of liquid and if there is not enough add another cup.
Let this cook till the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Fry the button mushrooms in a separate frying pan till caramelized and add to the stew. Let this simmer and then make the dumplings.
For the dumplings
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 large teaspoon of baking powder
I teaspoon of salt
1 large bunch of fresh parsley chopped fine
1 large bunch of tarragon chopped fine.
4 ounces of butter cut into cubes
2 tablespoons of water
Put the flour in a bowl and add the baking powder and salt. Then chop the herbs and put aside.
Start blending the cubes of butter into the flour with your fingers and then add the herbs. Sticky dough should form
Add the water and make into rough balls.
Add each ball to the simmering stew and turn the heat up to a boil. Turn the heat to medium but boiling and put the lid on. When the balls of dough become large and firm turn down to a simmer for about fifteen minutes.
The stew should be nice and thick now! With a ladle serve into large serving bowls making sure each serving has a piece of chicken and a dumpling and enjoy!
Author: Homara Woodhead
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