This chicken stew and dumplings recipe serves one and can be adapted with any leftover vegetables you have – I’ve just made it in order to use up some of the chicken I cooked at the weekend and the swede and cabbage. The total cooking time can be as little as 4 minutes. It’s a simple chicken stew with dumplings added to the top and all cooked in the microwave in just one pot if you wish, or you can cook the dumplings separately.
Although I’ve started with a box of Sunday dinner leftovers, you could use cooked/fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, or even open a tin! The chicken, too, doesn’t have to be leftovers, but could be a pack you have bought at the shop.
This recipe uses pre-cooked vegetables and chicken – and the dumplings are made from scratch.
Ingredients (for 1 person):
- 75-80 grams of cooked chicken
- Any leftover cooked vegetables you’ve got, quantity is “by eye”. I had swede and sweetheart cabbage I’d cooked on Sunday and had left over.
- 40 grams of frozen peas
- 3-6 teaspoons of Bisto gravy granules, depending how thick you want the gravy
- 75 grams of dumpling mix (*see below)
In this recipe you are reheating chicken – it is safe to do so if the chicken was cooled correctly and put into the fridge soonest. Alternatively you can use packs of ready cooked chicken slices or chunks.
- Use boiling water to defrost the frozen peas, or any other frozen veg you’re using; just pour boiling water over the vegetables and give them a stir around to defrost the immediate ice. Drain off the water and put the veggies into a microwave safe bowl or dish.
- Add any other cooked vegetables into the dish.
- Make up a mug of gravy using 3-6 teaspoons of Bisto gravy powder and boiling water – I like the taste of Bisto, you can use any instant gravy granules or a stock pot if that’s what you have/use. Pour the gravy into the dish.
- Cut your chicken into pieces and add these to the dish.
- Cover the dish. I tend to use a noodle bowl, which has a vented lid, but you can just cover the dish with cling film and poke a small hole in it if you wish.
- Microwave the chicken stew for 3 minutes on high power (800 watts).
- To make the dumplings: make up your dumpling mix with cold water, then shape them – I tend mix the dumplings in a mug when I am doing a small “serves one” portion – and then use the mixing spoon to cut it into two halves as the aesthetics don’t concern me much.
- Uncover your chicken stew and give it a stir round – the dumplings will need to cook in the gravy and have room to grow a little, so if you’ve got a tightly packed dish you might wish to remove a quantity of the vegetables at this point. The more gravy and the more spare space you can give the dumplings the better, but sometimes I skimp 🙂
It’s best to leave the chicken in, just to make doubly sure it’s getting cooked through.
- Spoon the dumplings on top, recover the dish and microwave for 1 minute, then turn the dumplings over, another 1 minute, then turn the dumplings over and a final minute: 3 minutes in total.
Serve and eat!
Cook the Dumplings Separately?
The dumplings are cooked because of steam – you will get better looking dumplings if you use a second dish to cook them in, so it’s a trade off between more washing up and better dumplings, or less washing up and accepting that the dumplings don’t look a nice even shape/size.
If you are using two dishes, then microwave the vegetables and chicken for 3-4 minutes, then strain off the gravy into a second dish and cover/cook the dumplings alone in the second dish. Once cooked, pour the gravy back over the vegetables and add the dumplings on top.
You can make dumplings without suet, or with suet – I do both:
If you wish to cheat, you can just buy packets of dumpling mix, which you just add water to.
I keep a container of “ready made” dumpling mix in the cupboard, made from a 200g box of suet and 400g of flour. I can then just spoon out the exact quantity I need, without any fiddly measuring!
Scaling the Recipe Up
The more ingredients you have, the longer it will take to cook.
For the initial chicken and vegetable stew recipe, if I were doubling this recipe I would microwave that for 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
For larger quantities of dumplings make sure they have plenty of room to cook (not crammed in) and I’d be looking at microwaving them for 4-5 minutes. If your dumplings are touching each other, they are too close – give them room to steam on all sides.