Cozy food. The kind that makes you want to snuggle with a bowl of it under blankets and enjoy every bite. The kind that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Ahh, yes. Chicken & Dumplings (or “Dumplins,” as we say in the south). This recipe combines a fluffy pastry that boasts a delicately golden-crisped edge with a savory, rich gravy, laden with juicy poultry and herb-roasted veggies.
And there’s good news for the anti-coco-nuts out there (or the tired-of-coco-nuts!): these dumplings have just a smidge of coconut ingredients in them. Which means there’s no overtly tropical flavor lingering, just good ol’ southern home cookin’ flavors.
***For information about coconut products and the low-FODMAP diet, please see this post here by Kate Scarlatta, RDN.***
The dumpling recipe is adapted from the lovely works of Jaclyn of The Family that Heals Together. She has a fabulous paleo / AIP biscuit recipe that I knew was screaming to be placed atop a casserole. Now I need to make those biscuits by themselves and maybe put a little fig jam (and pastured ghee for those of us that can tolerate quality dairy) on those babies…oh my!
Now, I’m going to give you a heads up, this recipe has several steps. Its not something I make often because, well…there are more than two steps.
The steps are still made as easy as possible, though. I know, I AM LAZY. (Don’t judge meh. ;-)) BUT the results are soooooo worth it! It would be great to serve for a family-get together, or…who am I kidding…I ate almost this whole thing by myself in three days. (Sorry Hunni.)
Now that we’ve gotten that outta the way…*whew*…ONTO THE FOODIE’S GALLERY OF RECIPE STEPS! 😀
Add your chicken to one side of the pan, and season with herbs. Then add cubed butternut squash (available in your grocers freezer section) or for low-FODMAP, use cubed kabocha or acorn squash. Also add sliced, well-rinsed leeks and baby carrots. Season all of these to taste with mineral-rich Himalayan salt, and roast at 375 F for about 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F and when the squash and carrots are a bit more tender than crisp.
After everything is cooked, allow chicken to cool a bit, then tear or fork-shred into hearty chunks. Set aside. (Alternatively, you could roast just the veggies, and substitute two drained cans of organic chicken breast or even the meat from a store-bought naked-roasted chicken.)
HELPFUL TIP: The roasting step can be done ahead of time, then cooled and refrigerated (for up to three days) until you are ready to make the gravy and dumplings.
While chicken and veggies are roasting away and/or cooling, bring bone broth to a very gentle simmer on the stove in a medium stainless pot. Whisk in prepared arrowroot and water slurry, and cook for one minute, whisking the whole time. Arrowroot starch thickens differently than other starches, and I’ve found that just before the boiling point is prime real estate for making it come to gravy-goodness.
Add chicken chunks and veggies to a lightly-greased 3qt glass baking dish, and set aside. I prefer one with a lid so that after it cools, I can just pop on the lid and store it in the fridge. Less dishes and less disposables that way!
Now…the fun part! We get to make gelatin fluff!
ANYHOO! Her recipe is THE BOMBB with three B’s, and I was amazed at how she was able to get this marshmallowey fluffety stuff to come to fruition, as well as her expertise with the use of gelatin as “eggs.” I combined the two techniques she uses in her dessert recipe (Try it…I insist…just don’t pull a Samantha Jo and eat the whole thing by yourself.) and the result was similar to the kind of peaked egg whites you would use to lighten pastries. PERFECT FOR DUMPLINGS, folks.
The trick is to use just a pinch of cream of tartar and some good ol’ fashioned hand beaters. Then whip up the prepared gelatin egg mixture on high until it forms medium-stiff peaks. HINT: To save time, you can skip the egg-fluffing technique and just use your gelatin-egg in the recipe as-is…but you won’t get the nice dumpling-like texture. It will be more of a dense drop-biscuit.
Now mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl, and stir in the coconut milk until just incorporated. Next, GENTLY fold in your gelatin-egg-whites (or gelatin-egg if not whipping it) until just incorporated. (Its better to under-mix than to over-mix so that your dumplings don’t get hard and thick.)
Now scoop these little babies with a mini-cookie scooper in a single-layer onto your prepared casserole. Cute, huh?
Don’t push them in, just plop ’em right on top, hun, and pop that bake right back in the oven. They will work their magic while they cook, I promise.
See? 😉 Told ya…
Time for that snuggly blanket now…
- 2 Tb Pastured lard or tallow, or Refined coconut oil
- 1 lb Chicken, boneless skinless
- 1 Tb Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 tsp Garlic powder (for low-FODMAP, omit)
- 1 lb Butternut squash, cubed (for low-FODMAP, use Kabocha or Acorn squash)
- 2 Leeks, halved and sliced, washed very well (for low-FODMAP, use only green parts)
- 1 heaping cup Baby carrots
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- 2 cups Bone broth, chicken
- 1.5 Tb Arrowroot starch
- 3 Tb Water, filtered
- 2/3 cup Arrowroot starch
- 1/3 cup Coconut flour(for low-FODMAP, use if you can tolerate -or-replace with 1/4 cup arrowroot starch *this will make for a denser dumpling*)
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Lard, pastured, melted and cooled
- 1/3 cup Coconut milk
- 1 tsp Maple syrup (omit for low-FODMAP)
- 1/2 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tb Gelatin, pastured
- 1/4 cup room-temp water
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 tsp Cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Line a large jelly roll pan with unbleached parchment paper. Grease with cooking fat of choice.
- Place chicken pieces on 1/4 of prepared pan. Season with herbs and garlic powder.
- Place squash, then leeks, then carrots on remaining sections of pan. Season everything with Himalayan salt to taste. Bake for 25 minutes, or until center of chicken reaches 165 F, and vegetables are more tender than crisp.
- Meanwhile, add bone broth to a medium stainless pot.
- While broth comes to a gentle simmer over medium heat, whisk together 2 Tb arrowroot starch and water in a small bowl. Whisk this slurry into the simmering broth, and whisk for 1 minute. Season gravy to taste with salt, remove from heat.
- When chicken is cooled, tear into chunks, toss with vegetables, and place in a prepared 3 qt glass baking dish. Pour gravy over the top evenly and set aside while you make the dumpling batter.
- Melt lard and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a mixing bowl, dissolve gelatin in the room temperature water, allow to sit for a moment to bloom.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Using a fork, cut in the melted lard until it just starts to come together.
- Go back to the bloomed gelatin. Add the hot water, and beat til dissolved. Add in cream of tartar, and beat with hand-mixer on high for 2-5 minutes or until very frothy and medium-stuff peaks have formed.
- Pour coconut milk, maple syrup and vinegar into the center of the dry mixture. Mix until just incorporated.
- Now gently fold in the gelatin-fluff. Scoop this mixture in a single layer over the stew using a mini-cookie scoop.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the dumplings have turned a gentle golden brown.
- Meat and veggie mixture can be cooked and then refrigerated up to a three days ahead to cut back on prep time.