This is basically a vegetable soup with leftover chicken (often I just pan fry some skinless boneless chicken thighs first), but it could easily be made into a veggie version, and you can use different herbs depending on what you have to hand. Whichever way you make it, it’s delicious and straightforward. Flinging the casserole into a hot oven would crisp up the top of the dumplings if that floats your boat, but personally I enjoy the squidge. Serves 4.
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Or, plenty of leftover chicken
4 spring onions
1 stick of celery
Some shredded kale
A handful of green beans
500ml chicken stock
2 tsp dijon mustard
2tbsp lemon thyme leaves
Salt & Pepper
12″ cast iron casserole with lid
300g self raising flour
150g vegetable suet
1tbsp lemon thyme leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley
- If using chicken thighs, trim off any excess fat/weird bits, cut into chunks and fry in a little olive oil in until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from the pan.
- In the mean time / if you’re using leftover chicken, chop all of the vegetables into chunks/2cm pieces.
- In the same pan that you cooked the chicken in, gently fry the veg until starting to soften and ever so slightly colour.
- Put the chicken pieces back in (or add in the leftover chicken, shredded), and stir in the mustard, chicken stock and 3/4 thyme leaves. Add a little extra hot water if you’d like it soupier. Season.
- Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- While the soup cooks, prep the dumplings by putting the dried ingredients into a bowl, add seasoning, and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre and slowly pour in around 150ml cold water stirring with a fork until the dough comes together but isn’t sticky. If it’s too wet, stir in a little extra flour.
- Take the lid off the pan and using your hands roll the dumplings into golf ball sized pieces and pop them into the pan. Put the lid back on and leave to simmer for a further 25 mins or so until the dumplings are cooked through.
- Scatter over the remaining thyme and serve.