Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vegetarian Chicken + Parsley & Olive Oil Dumplings

Our grandmothers made chicken and dumplings all the time like it was nothing. One would appreciate a little begging before she got out the flour and the milk; the other shrugged and made just dumplings after 3 of the grandkids went vegetarian at the same time. We love our sweet grandmothers, and we got a huge part of our love of cooking from them. This is a dish that really brought us back.

Vegetarian Chicken + Dumplings
(serves 4-6)

1 package chicken-style seitan (torn into bite-sized bits)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
6 cups vegetarian stock (like Imagine No-Chicken Stock)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup minced flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1/8 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sugar

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. In a medium bowl, toss the seitan with the two tablespoons flour, and then sear the seitan in the butter until crispy and brown. After three minutes, turn once and brown the other side for three minutes. Add garlic powder and black pepper. Pour stock over the seitan; whisk out any flour lumps, and reduce heat to low.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix baking powder, one cup flour, and one teaspoon salt together.  Add 1/8 cup parsley, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and milk to the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to mix because if you stir too much, the dumplings will become tough. 

Bring the six cups of stock and seitan up to a slow boil. Drop dumpling batter into stock one tablespoon at a time. (You should have 10-12 dumplings.) Place a lid on the soup pot and reduce the heat to simmer for fifteen minutes without disturbing the pot. During this time, the dumplings will plump, and the sauce will thicken. It's a little Southern magic.

Make the garnish while the dumplings cook. Toss the carrot, celery, and parsley with olive oil, champagne vinegar, sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl. Mix to incorporate. To serve, spoon 2-3 dumplings and a few pieces of seitan along with some broth into a soup bowl and garnish with the fresh vegetable mixture.


  1. This was a nice change from my usual "chicken" and dumpling recipe. I loved the veggie garnish instead of the veggies cooked in the stew. Yum.

    I used Quorn "chicken" chunks, because I couldn't find chicken style seitan, only plain.

    the flavors were perfect, the olive oil in the dumplings was a great touch, however the dumpling texture was gummy-er than I am used to. However I'm used to dumplings with a bit of cornmeal mixed in, so it may just be a case of it being different than what I'm used to.