I’m starting to think that my family will eat almost anything if I fling a dumpling on top of it – but actually none of us needed any encouragement to eat this stew because it’s delicious. It would also work well served with pasta, on top of a baked potato, over rice even. Clearly the dog approves too (see photo at the bottom of the page), although maybe that was only because she could smell the melted cheese on the top. That woofer will do almost anything for cheese. Serves 4.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
600g chicken thigh fillets cut into chunky pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
4 heaped tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
250ml chicken stock
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tsp dried thyme + extra to serve (or some fresh leaves, chopped)
2 tsp sugar
300g self raising flour
150g vegetable suet
3/4 cup water
Plenty of salt + pepper
100g grated parmesan
- Either in a large frying pan or (preferably) some sort of hob to oven receptacle, fry the onion in the olive oil for around 10 minutes until really soft and translucent, then add in the chicken pieces and brown all over (you might need to add the chicken in batches so that they have space to brown).
- Fling in the garlic, chilli flakes, and pesto, give it a good stir and cook for a minute more.
- Next stir in the stock and tinned tomatoes, sugar, dried thyme (or sprigs if you’re using fresh thyme) and some seasoning.
- Simmer for 10 minutes until reduced a little.
- Heat oven to 180C fan.
- Make the dumplings by stirring together the flour, suet and seasoning, then mix in 175ml water until it all comes together.
- Form into 12 ish dumplings and gently place onto the stew.
- Scatter over the cheese, pop it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the dumplings have risen and are golden.
- Scatter over some chopped fresh thyme (leaves only) or some chopped parsley, and serve.