What an inspiration Twitter is! I do love this form of social media as I have made some wonderful friends from it and have also engaged with some wonderful brands through it too! The other night I put out a tweet for a recipe to slow cook my chicken thighs as so far I’ve been turning them into curry so wanted to try something new. Up popped Becky Thorn with a few helpful suggestions after asking about what was in my fridge. I went off piste slightly as I didn’t add ham or bacon but stuck with her suggestion of making Dumplings which I don’t ever remember making before but do love! I’ve made suet pastry before but for some strange reason the dumpling had gone under my radar!
The next morning I looked on google for inspiration and ended up just doing my own thing completely. I found a bag of frozen wine in the fridge and knew that that would be a great addition to my stock and after a rummage in the vegetable draw came up with the following recipe. Do adapt it to what you have, any root vegetables would be a good addition to this casserole. I would have put sweet potatoes in it but as my husband and son don’t eat them I decided against those. Parsnip and swede would have been great too – the possibilities are endless. If you don’t have wine I think apple juice or cider would be really good too. This meal was a total success so I will be definitely be making it again as I love clean plates, so thank you to Becky for inspiring me (we did our own version of show and tell on twitter the next day)! With the dumplings it also seems that the possibilities are endless with various combinations being proffered over the internet with fresh herbs, grated carrot, green cheese etc being used. So why not invent you own flavour combination? Do you have your own secret Dumpling flavour that you’d like to share in the comments below? I’d love to hear about it!
Chicken Casserole & Cheesy Herb Dumplings
- 750 - 1 Kg / 1lb 10oz – 2lb 3oz Chicken thighs skinned & boned (or leave bone in)
- 2 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
- 4 Medium potatoes chopped into roughly 2cm pieces
- 2 Large carrots thickly sliced
- 2 Onions roughly chopped
- 2 Celery sticks thickly sliced
- 1 Garlic clove chopped
- 1 Bouquet Garni
- 250 ml / 9 fl oz White Wine
- 250 ml / 9 fl oz Chicken Stock made with 1 stock cube
- 4 tbsp Plain flour
- 1 tsp Onion Granules
- Salt & Pepper
- For Dumplings:
- 120 g / 4 oz Self raising flour
- 60 g / 2 oz Suet
- 30 g / 1 oz Grated Cheddar
- 1 tsp Mixed herbs
- Salt & Pepper
- 6 tbsp water approx
- Mix together the flour, onion granules, salt & pepper.
- Coat the chicken pieces in the flour
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan, brown the chicken thighs and then set aside in slow cooker.
- Add another tbsp of oil and fry all the vegetables for a few minutes.
- Add the white wine, chicken stock, bouquet garni and seasoning.
- Then add the chicken back to the pan and bring to the boil.
- Spoon into slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hrs or high for 4 hours.
- Later, make the dumplings by mixing the flour, suet, cheddar, herbs and seasoning together adding enough water to make a firm dough.
- Divide into 8 equal balls and place on casserole for the last hour of cooking turning the heat up to high (if low has been used).
- Serve with your favourite green vegetables.
As this recipe uses herbs I am entering it into Karen of Lavender & Lovage’s Cooking with Herbs challenge and also Javelin Warrior’s Made with Love Monday’s challenge as it is made from scratch. I am also entering this dish into Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Helen of Fuss Free Flavours as you could replace the wine with apple juice to make it really frugal, the chicken only cost me £1.99 and the vegetables were inexpensive. I’m guessing that this meal comes out at under £1 a head which is fabulous for something so delicious and filling. The theme this month is food poverty and if like me you’re totally hacked off with the situation why don’t you sign the petition to parliament to Debate Food Hunger and Rise in Food Bank Use set up by the brilliant Jack Monroe. Also, if you can, donate to your local food bank.