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Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato Dumplings

Courtesy Haidar Karoum, chef/owner, Chloe, Washington, D.C.

By March, everyone seems anxious to get their hands on those first, fresh spring ingredients. But even as the vernal equinox arrives at the end of the month, “in reality, we’re mostly still cooking with hearty winter vegetables,” says Haidar Karoum, who crafts a menu around local, seasonal goods at Chloe, his year-old restaurant in Washington, D.C. This dish works because it uses the best of both. “Sweet potatoes do some heavy lifting, and we also look forward with spring chicken and fresh herbs,” he says.

Ingredients for Chicken & Tarragon Stew

4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
2 carrots, medium diced
2 stalks celery, medium diced
1 large onion, medium diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
½ tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
¼ cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons tarragon, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
Sweet potato dumpling batter (recipe below)

Directions for for Chicken & Tarragon Stew

Heat oven to 350˚F. In Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook until roux forms. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes.

Add broth and simmer 10–12 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Simmer until meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, parsley and 4 tablespoons tarragon until combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Dollop dumpling batter on stew, leaving some of surface uncovered. Bake until batter has puffed and browned, about 30 minutes. Garnish with remaining tarragon. Serves 4.

Sweet Potato Dumpling Batter Ingredients and Directions

In large bowl, mix ½ cup cornmeal, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon sugar and ½ teaspoon black pepper. In separate bowl, add 1 cup milk, 3 eggs, 1 large boiled and mashed sweet potato and 2½ tablespoons melted butter. Whisk until smooth. Using spatula, fold wet mixture into dry until incorporated.

Pair It

Hattingley Valley Wines NV Classic Reserve Sparkling (England). “Made in the traditional method and aged in a bit of oak, this wine will dance with the herbs in the stew, and the richness will play well with the density of the [dumplings],” says Tyler Mitchell, Chloe’s general manager/beverage director.