This is one of our favourites, a dairy free chicken stew bursting with flavour. We love stew, it’s comforting and packed with good stuff. For sure adding dumplings or pastry doesn’t help with the calories, but a good old fashioned stew is a glorious thing. If you make it using a whole chicken then the base of stock you’re using is fresh as well.
For this recipe I use a whole chicken, pop it into a large casserole, cover it with water. Then add half an onion, a carrot, 6 peppercorns, salt and a handful of herbs (coriander, basil, parsely). Bring it up to a simmer, use a spoon to take out the foam that forms, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Do NOT boil – yes I’m shouting! If you boil it, then you will one tough chicken. Do poke the thighs with a sharp knife to check that no pink juices run out. If there is any pink meat, just keep simmering for five minutes more until the juices run clear. Allow the chicken to cool in the liquid. Drain the liquid and save it. You can add in a stock cube to this liquid to create the stock for the sauce.
Remove the meat from the bones (this is quite time consuming frankly). We often do the chicken the night before I’m doing a stew, or start it early on a weekend for a warming meal that night.
If you don’t want to do the whole chicken palaver, then roast 4 chicken thighs (40 minutes on 180°C 350°F and 2 breasts for 20 minutes), cool and strip the meat. Roasting does mean the meat is a bit less tender than the poaching method above, but it is much quicker. Obviously if you have any leftover cooked chicken you can use that.
The sauce that binds the stew is key. Use a good stock as the base, we use the cooking liquid and then add in cubes of frozen chicken stock we’ve made previously. Or add in your favourite stock cube. After a lot of playing around we’ve realised that we like quite a thick sauce and lots of it.
Once you’ve got your chicken then choose which vegetables to go in, anything you like is good! You won’t find carrots in ours, as we dislike cooked carrots – if you like them then they add a nice bit of colour! Cabbage is a nice addition as well.
We love dumplings in our house, here’s our simple recipe for dumplings. It can, of course, be topped with pastry for a more traditional dish.
Free From: Eggs, Dairy
Contains: Gluten in the pastry/dumplings
Dairy Free Old Fashioned Chicken Stew
- February 5, 2020
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- Meat from one chicken
- 1 leek chopped up
- 1 sweet potato
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 3 medium potatoes
- 300g mushrooms
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons dairy free margarine
- 4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
- 750 ml chicken stock plus 200 ml dairy free cream
- Step 1
- First prepare your chicken as per the introduction, or use the meat from one cooked chicken
- Step 2
- Peel, chop and parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes, drain and put to one side
- Step 3
- Peel, chop and parboil the sweet potatoes for 5 minutes (sweet potatoes go mushy fast, we add them as we don’t like cooked carrots and the stew needs some colour. If you like carrots then one large carrot will do the job!), drain and put to one side
- Step 4
- In a frying pan, fry up the mushrooms and the onion, after a few minutes add in the chopped leak and put to one side once all the vegetables have a bit of colour
- Step 5
- In a large casserole (on a medium heat) add the dairy free margarine, and the flour. Whisk until you have a paste and let it burble until it has a bit of colour, then slowly add in the stock, whisking as you go until you have a sauce that’s the consistency that covers the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and whisk in the mustard and nutmeg. Allow the sauce to bubble away for a good 15 minutes to develop the taste
- Step 6
- While still on the heat, whisk in the dairy free cream and then add in the chicken, leek, mushroom, potatoes, and peas
- Step 7
- Bring to the boil and pop into the oven to heat through for about 20 minutes
- Step 8
- Add the dumplings on top and cook for 25-30 minutes until the dumplings are risen and crisp on the top.