Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Stew With Green Dumplings

I am using up some canned vegetables in this stew, which is obviously not as good as fresh, but they’ve been in my pantry forever and I’m tired of looking at them.  This is my preferred way to use up canned vegetables – I find when you slow cook fresh vegetables they end up mushy anyway, so why not use canned.  That being said, I add the canned near the end of cooking, so everything isn’t total mush!

I also had a mix of boneless chicken breast and bone-in chicken things, so I did a fiddly step where I browned chicken then poached in broth, then removed meat – you needn’t do any of this.

Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Stew

2 chicken breasts
5 chicken thighs
4 cups defrosted chicken broth
3 onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tsp. sage
1/2 cup barley
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup frozen corn
1 small can yellow beans
1 small can green beans
1 can baby carrots

Pour chicken broth into slow cooker.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in pan.  Remove chicken pieces, and place in slow cooker.

Brown onions and garlic in the same pan.  Add dried herbs to onion mixtures, then add some of the broth to remove all the brown bits from the pan – dump onions and broth into slow cooker.

Chicken and onions in broth.

Cook chicken and broth on low for 2 hours.  Remove chicken pieces and allow to cook.  Pull chicken off bones if necessary, then chop all chicken into bite sized pieces, and return to slow cooker.  Add frozen corn, sweet potato and barley (and any fresh raw vegetables if you aren’t using canned).  Cook on low for 5 hours.

Add canned vegetables, which have been well rinsed in cold water, to slow cooker and turn to high to bring stew up to a good simmer while you make dumpling mix.

Cooked stew, I had to take out about four cups to fit the dumplings in!

Once stew is bubbling drop dumplings by spoonful into stew.  You may first need to remove a few portions of stew to give you room for dumplings! Cover and DO NOT lift lid for 25 minutes.

Spinach Yogurt Dumplings

This is my “healthier” version of my Granny’s dumpling recipe, which I LOVE.  I often double this recipe so I have more dumplings, and it works with no problems.

Mix together with a fork, so there are no lumps:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup finely minced spinach or  (optional, but it looks pretty)

Flour and spinach mix.

This time I actually tried something different and put the spinach in a mini-food processor with 1/2 cup of the flour and processed until the flour was light green with spinach flecks – we’ll see how this works out!

Flour mix with Becel.

Cut in with fork or pastry blender:
3 tablespoons Becel (or butter, or other margarine, or shortening or lard for that matter!)

Flour with margarine cut in.

Stir in liquid:
1/2 cup yogurt mixed with milk to make a thick liquid (or milk or buttermilk)

Dumplings in the pot.

Cook as directed.

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