Creating this Chicken Stew and Sweet Potato Dumplings brought back some sweet memories for me…
My mee-maw had this big wooden biscuit bowl that I spent hours around. For a wedding gift, her uncle had carved it for her. I would sit on top of the kitchen table while she did her magic with some flour, crisco, and buttermilk. I’m sure there were a few other ingredients, but these three things are in my memory for her buttery biscuits. When she wasn’t looking, I’d steal a piece of dough. She would also drink the last bit of unused buttermilk that was still in her glass. She seemed to take such pleasure in drinking buttermilk, and I wanted to love it too. So, about once a year I’d pour some too. Gross! I just really wanted to like it because she did. I have my grandma’s wooden bowl today. Besides my precious memories, this is all I wanted from her. It is even a little charred on one side. My great-grandma would fry chicken and dredge her chicken in the bowl. Unfortunately, she would put it right by the oven and the flame beneath the cast-iron skillet would peak out and burn it. My favorite use of that bowl was the dumplings she would make for the blackberries that my paw-paw and I would spend all morning picking by the train tracks. I apologize for the rambling nature of this paragraph. I intended to tell you just of that wooden bowl, but memories that I haven’t thought of in years came flooding back.
My dumplings don’t include flour…or crisco; however, I hope it takes you back to a great memory and you enjoy this bowl of comfort from me to you.
- 3 pounds chicken thighs (about 6)
- 4 tablespoons ghee or organic butter
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons ghee or organic butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place chicken thighs in a baking dish. Cook for 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Dice when cooled.
- In a medium saucepan, start boiling your sweet potatoes. Reduce to medium until they are fork tender. Drain and set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt ghee with the celery, carrots, onion, turnip, and arrowroot. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and give the pot a toss. Add the chicken broth , thyme, and chicken. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Blend the sweet potatoes along with the additional dumpling ingredients until smooth. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, place 2 teaspoon-sized balls of the dumpling mixture. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the outside is a little crispy. Let cool.
- Spoon chicken stew in bowls. Throw a couple of dumplings in each bowl and put any remaining dumplings in the middle of the table…they’ll get eaten!
- Garnish with optional thyme leaves.