Oftentimes, when the idea of a stew comes to mind, it involves a long, slow process of simmering. It can be largely hands-free. Whether it’s in a slow cooker, a back burner or an oven, the most arduous task is usually the 15 minutes worth of prep chopping vegetables. The long simmering process is usually there to soften a tougher cut of meat and develop flavour. If you start with components that already have that flavour inherently, then the long simmer isn’t necessary.
Leftover roast chicken and gravy have had their time to develop flavour. Using these items can make a quick stew. Adding a quick homemade dumpling like nokedli (Hungarian-Style spaetzle) adds even more body and a fresh idea to leftovers in the fridge.
Hearty Chicken Vegetable Stew with Spelt-Park Wheat Nokedli:
For the stew:
1 tsp Mighty Trio Organics cold pressed canola oil
1 medium August Organics onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 August Organics carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 Peas On Earth parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small August Organics celeriac/celery root, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium August Organics potatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cups chicken stock (I use homemade) or water
1-1/2 cups leftover roast Meadow Creek Farms chicken meat, roughly torn into pieces
1 Tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika
3/4 cup Gull Valley Greenhouses fresh green beans, cut into 3cm (1-1/2″) pieces
1 cup Peas On Earth broccoli (about 1/4 cup chopped stalk and 3/4 cup florets)
2 cups leftover roast chicken gravy
2 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp Gold Forest Grains spelt flour (as needed)
In a large pot, sauté the onion, salt, celery, carrot, parsnip and celeriac in oil over medium high heat until it is starting to soften but not brown (about 5-7 minutes). Add the potatoes, stock, chicken and paprika. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the green beans and broccoli stalks. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the gravy and broccoli florets and simmer for 5 minutes. If the thickness is not to your liking, crumble the butter and flour together with your fingers and add a bit of this mixture at a time, whisking in between, and as it returns to a simmer gauge the desired thickness of the stew you’d like. It should only take a further 5-7 minutes. Serve with Spelt-Park Wheat Nokedli. Serves 3-4.
For the Spelt-Park Wheat Nokedli:
1 cup Gold Forest Grains spelt flour, sifted
1/3 cup Gold Forest Grains Park wheat flour, sifted
1 large Sunshine Organic Farm egg
3/4 cup 2% milk
In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt and Park wheat flour. Add the egg and beat it into the flour mixture until the dry ingredients are crumbly. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the milk. As the batter starts to come together, add more milk 1-2 tsp at a time to achieve a very thick batter consistency. Whisk the finished batter rather briskly with a fork to add a stretchiness to it. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Place a coarse grater flat side up (or some kitchen stores have a “spaetzle maker”) over the simmering pot of water. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter on the grater and force it through with a flat-ended spatula into the simmering water. Allow to cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining batter. If the mixture cools off by the time you are done, simply immerse the finished nokedli into boiling water for 30 seconds, strain like you would pasta and serve with Hearty Chicken Vegetable Stew or as an alternative side instead of mashed potatoes or rice. Serves 3-4.