Category Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

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!

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

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.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

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.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Dumplings and Stout

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

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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

Directions:

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.

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4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

Seriously, I think I have a playful leprechaun in my kitchen because I attempted to make several really cute green desserts for St. Patrick’s Day and let’s just say, they didn’t work out! I didn’t even bother to take pictures of my two attempts at green marshmallows and the green “fudge” is sitting in my fridge uneaten. Even my green contribution for my upcoming Pi Day blog swap (come back on 3/14 to check that out), required a redo. So pretty much I was about to call it quits on St. Patrick’s Day recipes and move on to the next holiday. Fortunately, though, I moved on from the ‘green’ theme and had much much better success with this 4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread recipe!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

When I think of Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish Soda Bread is one of the first foods that comes to mind since my mom usually baked a loaf to have with dinner each March 17th. To be honest, I was never a huge fan of the raisins within it so other than making it one time a few years ago to check the box when baking through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, I was never all that motivated to try it again. However I came upon this recipe in a book I recently acquired about Irish pub cuisine and I knew I’d give it a go. It was just too easy not to try!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

In working on this post I wanted to learn a little more about what makes this bread Irish, and was it really traditional (you know, like sesame chicken is not the highlight of cuisine in China). So, it actually is traditional, but not an ancient recipe, as apparently bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), the key ingredient, was only introduced to Ireland in the mid-1800s. The other fun fact I learned was that cutting a cross on the top of the loaf of bread with a knife was another tradition, to ward off evil and protect the household. Hopefully that worked in my home!

4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread

As befits tradition, the ingredients I’ve used are the standard four–flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. You can certainly add in raisins or caraway seeds if you like but I absolutely loved this bread without any adornment, just hot from the oven spread with a little bit of butter and dipped into some warm soup. The dough was much stickier than I expected and I wasn’t holding out very high hopes for a great outcome when I put the bread into the oven but I was pleasantly surprised. The bread had a rustic appearance though far from rustic flavors. The crust was crunchy and flavorful, almost like the delicious crust of real French or Italian bread. The bread within was soft, moist, and slightly tangy from the substantial amount of buttermilk in the dough. Despite the lack of yeast, the baking soda reacts with the acid in the buttermilk to create bubbly carbon dioxide which allows the bread to rise quickly. I know I talked about fast bread with my Quick Herb Bread recipe. This is a totally different style of bread, but amazingly, it was even quicker to make and is likely a recipe I will turn to year round whenever I want to enjoy fresh bread in under an hour!

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Hopefully my little kitchen leprechaun will move on so my I don’t have so many kitchen disasters next month…

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4-Ingredient Irish Soda Bread (adapted from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)

Yield: one 8-inch round loaf

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat with nonstick spray).

2. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Add in most of the buttermilk and mix together by hand until the dough is soft but not wet. Add in the remaining buttermilk. If the dough is too sticky, add in more flour, little by little until it becomes more manageable. Knead it lightly.

3. Shape the loaf into an 8-inch circle and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Cut an X shape on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool slightly before slicing. Best served warm.

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More bread recipes from The Dinner Pages:

Quick Herb Bread

Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

Hot Chocolate Bread

Yogurt Biscuits

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