Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Beer Braised Chicken with Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings Recipe

March 25, 2011
The Professor will ask me occasionally if I feel deprived, having to cook within his restricted diet. I usually tell him no—I’m used to not eating cheese or cream or baked gooey desserts. And for the most part, this is true.

I will admit to having secret fantasies of him going out of town for the weekend and my ‘lil one and I spending a leisurely afternoon making crunchy-topped macaroni and cheese or bubbling lasagna. In my fantasy we sit around the dinner table laughing, leisurely eating and vowing never to tell Papa what fun we had over a casserole dish of cheese.

No dairy essentially means no comfort food, but there are exceptions to the rule. One thing I frequently make when a soul needs soothed is chicken and dumplings. It is always a welcome surprise to the Professor that he can tuck into some fluffy little puffs of dough and thick bubbling stew without regret.

This version has soy milk and vegetable oil in the dumplings, but you could use regular milk and butter, or even some shredded cheese if you’d like.

Beer Braised Chicken with Cornmeal-Chive Dumplings Recipe

Yield: 4-6

Beer braised chicken topped with fluffy chive and cornmeal biscuits. Dairy Free!


    For the Chicken:
  • 2 1/2 pounds chicken legs and thighs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 ounces pale ale beer
  • For the Dumplings:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup milk (any kind, whole, soy, low-fat)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


    For the Chicken:
  1. Generously season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large shallow pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. Once oil is shimmering add chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Transfer chicken to a plate and add jalapeños, garlic, and onion to pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
  2. Add cumin, bay leaf and flour and stir until flour is slightly toasted and gives off a nutty smell, about 2 minutes. Slowly add chicken stock and beer, stirring to prevent flour clumps. Return chicken to pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken is very tender, but not falling off the bone, about 45 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, taste stew and add more salt and pepper if necessary. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove all skin, and bones, and shred the meat. Return to pot, cover and keep warm over low heat.
  4. For the Dumplings:
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Bring chicken stew to a rapid simmer and drop tablespoon-sized pieces of batter into the stew, spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the dumplings have puffed up and firm to the touch, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and serve.

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