Here is a fine project — a fusion combining a Thai chicken stew and curry dumplings.
I was up early — a habit gained from years of innkeeping. Reaching ahead for dinner, I decided to put together a nice Asian stew that could simmer while I put the rest of the day in order.
I have found that during the pandemic, cooking is a wonderful distraction from a world tossed topsy-turvy. This dish was particularly fun to make because both my wife, Laurie Anderson, and I were involved. Dinner was sumptuous.
Homemade stock makes a soup, stew or sauce special. Laurie made a bone broth. I parboiled potatoes and carrots in water with curry paste and chicken base. This adds a lot of flavor to the stew and is an easy trick. Even better, boil the vegetables in three cups of homemade bone broth or chicken stock. The added richness is tasteful.
- 1 tablespoon of finely diced ginger
- 1 tablespoon of finely diced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- One medium onion, diced
- Two medium potatoes, medium diced
- 2 cups of carrots
- 1 tablespoon of curry paste
- 1 tablespoon of chicken base
- One large bell pepper, diced
- One 15 ounce can of white beans
- Two stalks of finely diced celery
- One 15 ounce can of Thai coconut milk
- One 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- Three Kaffir lime leaves
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups remaining water from boiled potatoes and carrots
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- Two chicken breasts, lightly poached and cubed
- Optional: Thai basil, finely chopped
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cups of buttermilk
- One large egg
- Two tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
Start by parboiling the potatoes and carrots in water that covers the food at least half an inch. Add the curry paste and chicken base. Hold. Sauté the ginger, garlic, celery and onion in the butter and olive oil until translucent. Add the pepper and sauté briefly. Add the cubed chicken breasts and brown slightly. Add the potatoes, carrots, diced tomatoes and stock into the kettle. Add another two cups of bone broth. Add the beans and kaffir leaves. Add the coconut milk and salt. Thicken if necessary with a slurry of cornstarch and water. Allow to simmer for flavors to meld.
For the dumplings: In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, curry powder and pepper. In a small bowl or a measuring cup, whisk buttermilk and the egg together. Add the liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, followed by melted butter. Stir to combine, without overmixing. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, distribute the dumpling dough evenly into the pot of simmering chicken stew. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
Cover the pot. With the heat on low, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until no raw dough remains when you cut a dumpling in half.
By preparing ahead, we even got in a late afternoon walk along the ocean. Returning after a couple of miles, we were hungry. An Oregon Riesling or Gewürztraminer compliments this meal well.