Well, St. Patrick’s Day just kind of crept up on me and now it’s here. Before we move on to the next fun food holiday recipes, here’s just one more for March 17. I’ve already said that my little kitchen leprechaun refused to let any green recipes be successful this year so I had to try another way to get a little “luck o’ the Irish” into my kitchen. Using Guinness, which hails from Dublin, Ireland, in my recipe is the perfect way to infuse a little “green” into your dinner, whether for St. Patrick’s Day or any other day. Plus any time I find myself with a little extra time, I consider myself VERY lucky, and using my slow cooker might just save me a few minutes. Win!
I started off with boneless skinless chicken thighs, which I dredged in a little flour, salt, and pepper. I lightly browned them over the stove, then put them into the ceramic bowl of the slow cooker. To the chicken drippings I added more flour, plus a bottle of Guinness and some brown sugar and stirred it all together until it was smooth. I poured this over the chicken thighs in the slow cooker, then added chopped carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, and chicken broth.
I cooked the stew on high for 3 1/2 hours, then added in fluffy dumplings and peas, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked for another 30 minutes.
It turned out like the Irish version of matzah ball soup, very hearty and flavorful, and a delicious comfort food. Perfect with my quick Irish Soda Bread! Slainte!
Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout (adapted from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)
Yield: serves 6-8
6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 2/3 cups Guinness Stout
6 carrots (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup lower sodium chicken broth
2 cups frozen peas
For the dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill
1/4 cup water
1. Combine 6 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken thighs in the flour mixture and transfer to a plate.
2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook until well browned, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a slow cooker once browned. Reduce heat to medium, add 2 more teaspoons of oil, and cook the remaining chicken until browned. Add to slow cooker.
3. To the drippings from the chicken remaining in the skillet, add 1/2 cup flour, the Guinness, and the brown sugar, and stir until smooth. Transfer to the slow cooker.
4. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, and thyme to the slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth on top. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours.
5. For the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With your hands, add in the shortening, dill, and a little bit of the water at a time to make a soft dough. Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls between the palms of your hands. Add the dumplings to the slow cooker at the 3 1/2 hour mark.
6. Add the peas (they can still be frozen) right after the dumplings. Cook on high for another 30 minutes then switch to warm until ready to serve. Serve with Irish Soda Bread.