Desperately Seeking “Comfort” Food Part II – Chicken & Dumplings
As the weather in my part of the world continues to be unrelentingly cold I crave something warm and comforting more than ever. The crazy part is that I live in the South. This is the second post of a series on comfort food. If you missed the first post you can find it here. http://nourishe.me/blogs/main/9048483-desperately-seeking-comfort-food.
My all-time go to meal for warmth and comfort was a traditional Chicken & Dumplings. The sight and smell of a steaming bowl of goodness just warms my heart. But alas the traditional version is not exactly Paleo compliant and in fact it’s downright counter Paleo. What’s a good Paleo girl to do? Again; it’s cauliflower to the rescue. Yes, the very versatile cauliflower. These dumplings made with a combination of mashed cauliflower, almond flour, arrowroot, tapioca and coconut flour are practically indistinguishable from the ones made from wheat flour. They are light, tender with a bit of al dente chew just the way I love them. I suppose they could be made without the cauliflower but even paleo compliant flours such as arrowroot and tapioca are pretty high in carbs. The addition of cauliflower allows for those flours to be reduced, thereby reducing the carb content. And that’s really important for me.
1/3 head of cauliflower cut into florets
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
3 TBS tapioca flour
1 TBS coconut flour
Boil the cauliflower until soft and drain very well in a colander. Put them into a paper towel to absorb more water. Put into a bowl and using an immersion blender mash the cauliflower until smooth. Add egg and stir. Add dash of salt. Add all the flours and mix well. Put into the fridge for about 10 minutes so that it firms up a little. Bring water to a boil and using 2 spoons drop a spoonful of dough one at a time into boiling water. Don't crowd the dumplings. Let them cook until they float to the top. Use slotted spoon to remove from water onto a plate. Finish up the rest. Recipe can be doubled.
Old Fashion Chicken & Dumplings
3 large bone-in Chicken Breast
½ large onion cut into quarters
2 stalks celery cut in half
1 large carrot cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp dried thyme
Water (enough to completely cover chicken by 2 inches)
4 stalks celery cut 1 inch on a diagonal
3 carrots cut 1 inch on a diagonal
Salt & pepper to taste
2 TBS arrowroot
2 TBS water
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)
Cook chicken to make chicken stock the day before. Wash chicken breast thoroughly. Add chicken, the large cut vegetables to a stock pot large enough to hold everything. Add enough cold water to cover everything about 2 inches. Bring to a rolling boil and add salt & pepper to taste. Add the dried thyme. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Let the stock cook on low for at least 2 hours. Check for seasoning and adjust about halfway through the cooking time. Remove the chicken pieces to a bowl and strain the stock through a colander to remove the vegetables. Put stock in container and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Pull big chicken pieces off the breast pieces and save for making the chicken and dumplings. After refrigeration remove with a spoon the congealed layer of fat from the chicken stock.
Add about 5 cups of the stock to a pot. Add the cut up celery and carrots and let it come to a boil. Turn heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add in the dumplings and let it come back up to a boil. Turn heat to medium again and adjust for seasoning. Make slurry with the two TBS of arrowroot and 2 TBS of water in a small bowl. On medium heat, while constantly but gently stirring add the slurry to the pot. The stock will thicken. You can add more slurry if you like your Chicken and dumplings to be a thicker consistency. At the end add the lemon juice. Lemon juice is a little secret that I learned a long time ago. It brightens the flavor of savory dishes. Makes four hearty servings.
I hope this will make your winter doldrums more bearable. It has certainly helped my mood – Della Adams