SOY CHICKEN AND POTATO DUMPLING STEW

SOY CHICKEN AND POTATO DUMPLING STEW
Sautéed soy chicken strips, mushrooms, roasted peppers and carrot sticks stewed in a tomato curry, spice and herb broth, with sweet curry and dill potato dumplings!

Serves 6

Dumplings:

2 c. water

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 t. garlic granules

2 t. mild curry powder

1 t. turmeric

1 t. dried dill weed

2 c. instant potato buds (I used Betty Crocker brand)

1-1/3 cups flour

2 T. cornstarch

1 T. sugar

1/4 t. baking soda

1 T. corn oil

In large saucepan bring water, salt, garlic, curry, turmeric and dill weed to boil. Remove from heat and stir in potato buds till all buds are moistened. Keep stirring till creamy.

In separate bowl mix flour, cornstarch, sugar and baking soda together to evenly distribute ingredients. Add to potatoes and stir till thoroughly mixed. Add corn oil and do the same.

Dust a countertop or board with flour and knead dough for several minutes, dusting the dough with more flour, and continuing to knead, until it is no longer sticky.

Dust the board again, divide the dough into 3 pieces, then roll out each piece into an even, long rope shape, about 3/4 inch in diameter.  You’re going to be making marble size shapes, so cut each rope crosswise into about 1/2 inch segments.

Dust your hands with flour, then take each piece and roll it firmly between your palms, then roll it in flour. When you’ve completed making your marble size dumplings, press each in the center lightly with your thumb, then transfer to a platter.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Place 1/3rd of the dumplings at a time in the boiling water. When they float to the top, continue to boil, while stirring them around a bit, for no longer than a minute. Remove dumplings with slotted spoon to a colander and run under cold water till cool. Drain and transfer to large mixing bowl. Repeat the process with the remaining dumplings.

When all the dumplings are cooked, rinsed till cool, and drained and placed in a mixing bowl, drizzle with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Swirl the dumplings around till all are coated, and set aside.

Stew:

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. trans fat-free margarine

6 oz. package chicken soy strips (I used LIGHTLIFE brand)

salt and pepper

garlic granules

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

salt

1/2 c. diced sweet red roasted peppers, 1/2 inch squares

28 oz. can diced tomatoes, with liquid

14-1/2 ounce can vegetable broth

2 T. cornstarch mixed till dissolved with 4 T. water

1 T. sugar

1 T. Gravy Master (liquid seasoning)

2 T. mild curry powder

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. onion powder

1 t. dried tarragon, crushed

2 t. ground fennel seed

1/4 t. caraway seed

1/4 t. celery seed

1/4 t. ground allspice

2 lg. carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick size sticks: peel carrot, cut off ends, cut each carrot crosswise into 3 segments; take each segment and cut into 1/8 inch slabs from end to end; pile several slabs at a time on top of each other and cut from end to end into 1/8 inch wide sticks

lots of freshly ground black pepper

10-3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup

In large soup pot, over medium heat, melt olive oil with margarine. Add the chicken strips, coat completely with oil, then fry till lightly browned. Add a little salt and pepper and a light sprinkling of garlic powder. Keep sautéing, scraping strips up from bottom of pan to turn over with a metal spatula. It’s okay if they burn a little. Transfer to plate and set aside.

Add mushrooms to soup pot, then begin sautéing, scraping bottom of pan. Add a little salt and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Continue to sauté till mushrooms are golden.

Add to the mushrooms the next 14 ingredients beginning with roasted peppers and ending with allspice. Stir well, then cover and cook at a slow boil for 15 minutes.

Add carrot matchsticks and cooked chicken strips, along with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir well, cover and cook for 15 minutes longer at a slow boil.

Next, stir in tomato soup till completely incorporated. Cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered, then turn off heat.

When ready to serve, reheat stew, drop in dumplings, stir gently, then serve in soup bowls.

Notes: No spice or herb dominates this dish, rather they combine to produce a robust and complex flavor achievement.

This is a rich dish and it takes a long time to make, nevertheless, the unique and wonderful qualities make it a meal that you’ll want to serve for special occasions.

We add the carrots near the end, since their slender shape makes them cook quickly. Do not cook into a mush state. The softly pliable sticks add to the overall texture achievement.

Betty Crocker Potato Buds are the only ones I’ll use. If you find a better brand let me know.

If you prefer, make the stew first, then the dumplings. It doesn’t really matter. Just don’t put the dumplings in the stew until you’re ready to serve the dish; they’ll soak up all the broth.

If you’re going to be an animal-free chef, then you need to know how to make complex dishes, along with the simple ones. The way I teach it, the only difference between complex and simple is the number of ingredients, number of steps and time. None of my recipes are difficult to make.

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