I love making stews in the fall and winter months or even on a cool spring day when comfort food is what we really crave. My preference is to use fresh rosemary for both the stew and dumplings for a fresher flavour. Either broccolini, lightly steamed, but not overcooked, buttered cabbage, kale or Brussels sprouts, or in for the spring, asparagus would all make excellent sides.
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
For The Stew:
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 whole chicken (3 lbs.) cut into 8 pieces
1 Tbsp. canola oil or more
1 tsp. EVOO or more (or you can use a combination of EVOO & butter)
4 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1” thick pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into ½” pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled or 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups chicken stock** or tinned low-salt chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup small frozen peas
¼ cup whipping cream
1 ½ tsp. potato starch to thicken if required
Garnish: 2 Tbsp. chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
For the Rosemary Dumplings:
1 cup unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled, or 1 ½ tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
½ tsp. salt
½ cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
Make The Stew:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil & EVOO & heat until hot but not smoking. Pat the chicken pieces dry & season with salt & pepper. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down leaving space between each piece so they will brown properly, & saute until golden brown, turn & brown the other side, adding more oil if needed. You may need to do the browning in 2 stages. As the chicken pieces are browned, remove them to a large plate.
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Turn the heat down to medium-low & add the onions, sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the carrots & celery, continuing to sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, wine & chicken stock. Stir to combine. Return the thighs & drumsticks to the pan; cover with a lid & place in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken pieces. Add the breast pieces, skin down & wings, cover & continue to bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until juices run clear; turning the chicken pieces over after 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large plate & keep warm in a warming oven or turn the oven down to 180 F. Place the pan containing the sauce & veggies over medium heat on top of the stove; add the cream & bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low.
Meanwhile as the stew is baking, in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, rosemary & salt. Set aside until needed.
In a measuring cup combine the milk & egg. Stir it into the flour mixture, stir with a fork to make a lumpy dough (do not over-mix, lumps are fine). Drop dumpling mixture, in approximately 8-10 spoonfuls, equally spaced on top of the sauce. Cover pan & cook over medium heat for 12 – 15 minutes or until a tester inserted into the centre of a dumpling comes out clean. When they are done remove to a large plate & keep warm.
Now add the peas to the sauce; cover & cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the lid; if the sauce needs a bit of thickening, combine the potato starch with 1 Tbsp. white wine & stir into the sauce.
Remove the chicken from the warming oven, place on a large serving platter or shallow serving bowl, top with the vegetables & sauce and then the dumplings. The chicken can be plated up on individual plates if you prefer. Top with chopped parsley & serve.
If you would like to make stock, please click Making Stock.