Chickpea Salad

chickpea02.jpg

My husband, Cameron, is very good at making smart, healthy things to eat and I wanted to share this tasty chickpea salad he made. 

I wouldn't tell anyone else to do this but after the chickpeas were cooked I went through and removed what I call the 'pants' off almost each individual chickpea.  The 'pants' are the soft, clear skins.  I hate them so I remove them (do you do this?)  but feel free to leave them with their pants on.  

Chickpea Salad

12 oz dried chickpeas

several sprigs fresh thyme

zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon caraway seed

1 bay leaf

2 shallots - one, peeled, ends trimmed and one diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, lightly crushed

1 carrot, peeled, halved

small bunch fresh mint, chopped

small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

drizzle olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 carrot, blanched, peeled, diced

s + p

Soak dried chickpeas over night in plenty of water.  Drain and transfer to a large pot.  Create a bouquet garni by tying thyme, orange zest, mustard, caraway and bay up into a cheese cloth pouch.  Place in pot along with peeled shallot with ends trimmed, garlic cloves, and carrot halves.  Cover with lots of water (chickpeas will soak up a lot of water while cooking.  Bring to a boil and simmer mostly cover with lid slightly ajar for about 1 hour until cooked through and soft but still with some firmness.  Drain and discard everything but chickpeas.

Toss chickpeas with mint, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, shallot, bell pepper and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

chkndmplng.jpg

Everyone seems to be coming down with a cold so here's a little comfort food in the form of chicken and dumplings.  It's really just a simple chicken stew with dumplings cooked in.  (I used boneless, skinless chicken breast but chicken thigh meat would be good too. Also, the chicken does not need to be cooked first, I just dislike boiled chicken and find that the chicken has better texture when cooked on its own in a pan and then added to soups.  But feel free to just add your raw chicken when the recipe says so.)  No peeking at the dumplings with they're cooking.  

Chicken + Cheddar Chive Dumplings

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces

3 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

few springs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1 onion, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery root, peeled and chopped

8oz mushrooms, quartered

1/2 cup peas (frozen ones are ok)

32 oz chicken stock

1/3 cup all purpose flour (for rue)

1 cup cake flour (for dumplings)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

black pepper

1 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1/2 cup milk, (more if needed)

In a pan, cook chicken and set aside. While chicken is cooking, get the dumplings ready.  In a bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, salt, cheddar and chives.  Stir in milk.  Set aside.  

In a large pot,on medium heat,  melt butter and add carrots, celery root, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay.  Cook 5 minutes, until onion is glossy and carrots are soft.  Add flour and stir to coat.  About 1 minute.  Turn heat to high and add stock, chicken, mushrooms and peas.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.  Drop dumpling batter in by the spoonful.  There will be about 6 dumplings.  They will expand a lot when cooking so space them out as much as you can.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes. (No peeking at the dumplings while they're cooking, opening the lid of the pot lets steam escape and your dumplings need that steam to cook.)   Test dumplings for doneness with a toothpick, if not done, cover and simmer 5 minutes more.  

Serve hot!