Lentil & Sweet Potato Chili
Part one of a three-part series on flexible weeknight dinners - a spicy lentil chili you'll be able to use in all kinds of meals!
This weekend it was a bit rainy, and a bit fall-y, and one evening Dave had the great idea that we make chicken and dumplings for dinner. Honestly it’s been a long time since we’ve eaten anything involving warm chickeny broth and boy, was it delicious. I’m kind of mourning the fact that it’s gone.
See? That’s why. It’s warm and steamy and there’s moisture on the spoon.
Here’s what you need:
Chop up the chicken into little-ish chunks.
Hey look! It’s meat! That’s something you don’t see here too often. Sautee the chicken in a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper in the same pot you’re cooking the whole thing in. As it cooks, the chicken will leave little tasty bits on the bottom of the pot that will flavor the rest of the things you cook. When the chicken is done, take it out of the pot and set it aside (use one of the bowls you’ll eat out of later for less dish washing time).
Next do the same thing with the vegetables, and set them aside.
Finally, it’s time to make a little tiny roux that will thicken the chicken broth just a bit. Put about a tablespoon of flour and a tablespoon of olive oil into the pot and stir it together. Let it brown just a bit before adding the broth and stirring it together so the roux is dissolved. Then add the chicken and vegetables back in, salt and pepper the mixture and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, take your cup of flour in a small bowl and add water one tablespoon at a time. After each tablespoon, mix with your fingers and try to get it to form a dough. Eventually there will be enough water that this happens easily, but you don’t want to over shoot.
Flatten the dough out to be about 1/4 inch thick. You won’t need a rolling pin – there’s not too much of it! Then cut into little square shapes. Or whatever shape you like, really.
Put these dumplings into the pot and allow them to cook until they puff out just a little and are cooked through, basically like a giant noodle. This will take 10-20 minutes. Keep the pot at a low simmer with the lid on.
And then it should look like this. And then you will devour it, because it is quite delicious. Save this for when you have some time to spend with someone in the kitchen. It could be your mom, your best friend, the one you love – anyone. It’s a good partner project and in my experience, it’s more fun when done as a team.