Comfort 101

Spend a long day looking for positions on job boards, writing cover letters, revising resumes, and sending in an online application only to realize that it’s basically like sending your job application into space? Chicken stew is a dish that always makes me feel better. Growing up, one of my first memories in the kitchen was making this dish with my nana. I could never replicate my nana’s recipe (mainly because I don’t have it… Nana send me your recipe!), so I used her stew and other recipes as inspiration for my creation. Here’s what I came up with!

Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Ingredients

1 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (I just used the breasts and that ended up being enough)
Salt And Pepper
1 1/2 cups Diced Butternut Squash (or Carrot)
1 1/2 cups of Diced Potato
1 1/2 cups Diced Celery
1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
3 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
3 cups of water

Dumplings:
1 cup All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cup Half-and-half

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.

Heat butter and olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on both sides and remove.

In the same pot, add diced onion, butternut squash, potato, celery, and garlic.

*This is the best step to take out your frustration of living at home/being unemployed. Cutting onions allows you to shed some tears without being judged and smashing garlic is seriously one of my favorite things to do.

     

Just a note about butternut squash. I don’t know if it was just me, but this thing was a pain to peel! I’m all about supporting local farmers (this squash came from farmer friends down the street) but in this case, buying the pre-peeled squash at the grocery store might be the way to go. If you decide to do it on your own, supervision might be a good idea.

my lovely peeling job

Stir and cook the vegetables for around 8 minutes over medium-low heat.

Stir in ground thyme, then add browned chicken.  Use enough stock and water to cover chicken (for me it took 3 cups of each) and simmer for 20 minutes.

While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring to combine. Set aside.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate or cutting board. Remove chicken from the bone. Shred using two forks, then add chicken to the pot.

Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

And there you have it, a warm and delicious soup that will make you (almost) forget about being unemployed!

*Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

** As someone who experiments and doesn’t particularly like following directions when it comes to cooking, I encourage adding/subtracting/substituting ingredients to get to the result you want!

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