"Chicken" and dumplings for a home-style meal on Meatless Monday
When you're making a big meal for guests -- whether or not they normally eat meat -- you can't go wrong with comfort food. This mock chicken-and-dumplings dish features fluffy dumplings floating in a savory stew with your choice of chicken-meat replacement.
You will need:
4 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance is our favorite)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups flour (plus more for your cutting board/kneading surface)
4 cups vegetable stock (this mock chicken stock will make a stew that blows your mind)
2 cups water
2 stalks celery
4 small carrots
1/2 small green cabbage
2 medium potatoes
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon
3/4 teaspoon thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces chicken replacement (we used Quorn, which contains egg whites; vegan purists might want to opt for Gardein or a chicken-like seitan)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
Tabasco sauce to taste
1. Start by prepping all these veggies. Peel and chop the carrots.
Wash and chop the celery (including the tops).
Scrub the potatoes and cut into small cubes.
Chop the cabbage. You can lump all these veggies (the carrots, celery, potatoes and cabbage) together.
Peel and chop the onion.
2. Now that all the veggies are ready, heat a stock pot over medium heat and melt the butter and oil together.
When the butter has melted, it's time to add the onion.
Cook the onion for two minutes or so, until softened just a bit.
3. Peel the cloves of garlic and press them into the pot. Cook, stirring, for another 30-45 seconds.
4. Add 1/2 cup of flour to the garlic and onions, stirring until incorporated.
Just like that.
5. Add the mock chicken stock (or prepackaged vegetable broth) and water. Stir and turn up the heat to high.
While you're waiting for the mixture to start simmering, add the vegetables -- carrots, celery, potatoes and cabbage.
Add the thyme, tarragon and bay leaves. Season with salt and crack some black pepper over it.
Add the fake chicken of your choice -- the brand we used is made of mycoprotein (mushrooms) and has a particularly realistic texture/flavor, there are other options, including seitan!
Mix everything together and allow the mix to come to a boil. When it begins to bubble, lower the heat to medium-low, cover the stock pot and let your stew simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. After those twenty minutes have passed, start making the dough for the dumplings. (The stew should cook for another ten to fifteen minutes, which will be just enough time to get these babies ready.) Put two cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the baking powder and the baking soda, and 3 tablespoons vegan butter in a small food processor or blender.
7. Mix until thoroughly blended -- if you can pulse the equipment, that works best.
8. Measure the milk into a measuring cup and add the white vinegar, mixing with a fork.
Add the milk mixture to your blending implement (you can add it in increments if you need to), pulsing until thoroughly combined.
It should look like this.
9. Prepare a surface to work with by coating it with flour -- and leave a little pile on the side to cover your hands and replenish your surface.
10. Knead and work the dough until you've reduced the sticky factor enough to form the dumplings.
11. Using a spoon, shape the dough into balls. They will double in size when you add them to the stew, so bear that in mind and make them small if you don't like big dumplings.
12. By now, the stew should be ready for you to add the dumplings. Spoon them into the stew, stir very gently so they are all submerged, then cover the pot and let them steam away for fifteen minutes. (Don't stir them while they are cooking -- don't even open the lid!)
The end result will be fluffy, biscuit-like dumplings in your savory faux-chicken stew.
Spoon into a bowl and serve with Tabasco sauce to taste. This recipe serves six to eight people -- and if you want to mix it up, add corn or peas (or both) to the stew, or even green beans.
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