October 13, 2014

Stews: simple, hearty, wholesome

The harvest moon wanes and we head towards Halloween, also known by agrarian people of the British Isles as Samhain, the New Year.

Chicken and Dumplings


For the chicken stew:
4 tablespoons butter
2 pounds chicken, baked and de-boned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, chopped
3 cups quick chicken stock*
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon each: thyme, rosemary, and oregano

For the dumplings:
1 cup flour (spelt or rice)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rosemary
½ cup milk (cow, almond or rice)

To cook chicken, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place in a glass baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Cool, remove skin, and remove from bones. Add to stew pot. Include the juices. 

*Place the bones and skin in a separate pot with 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt.
Simmer for 30 minutes. Add to stew pot.

To make the stew, heat butter in a stock pot or Dutch oven.
Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery, and potato. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

Add peas and spices. Add chicken and stock.
Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes as the dumplings cook.

To prepare the dumplings, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir in milk until a thick batter forms. With a large spoon, drop batter into simmering soup. When dumplings are puffed and slightly firm, cover pan and continue to cook about 5 minutes more.

Serves eight. 
Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for this inspiration.

Mushroom and Barley Stew


Mushrooms are rich in protein and help us adapt to the change in seasons by boosting our immune response.

You will need:
¼ cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 pound shitake mushrooms, sliced
6 cups vegetable stock
½ cup pearl barley
2 teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
⅓ cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, celery, carrots, and onion, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cremini and shitake mushrooms, and cook about 15 minutes.

Add stock, barley, and thyme, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.

Serves eight,

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