Harvest Stew with Fresh Herb Dumplings (Chicken n’ Dumplings)

I promised this recipe an unforgivably long time ago now (or so it feels like). This came from the Weigh Watchers cookbook “Great Cooking Every Day”, which is their collaboration with the CIA. Because I add chicken to this recipe, the points and calorie counts from their book are not accurate, so I’ve not included them.

1 cup pear nectar
1 cup vegetable broth
1 T dijon mustard
3 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 small (1 lb) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes (I’ve found pre-cubed squash in the frozen foods section at places like Whole Foods for those who, like me, find roasting squash to sometimes be more time than you have)
3 small turnips, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tart apple, cored, peeled, grated
6 garlic cloves, chopped
6 chicken thighs, boned and skinned

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T chopped scallions

1. Whisk together the pear nectar, broth, mustard, 2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper in a large saucepan. Add vegetables, apple, garlic and chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and summer, covered until the vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.

2. While stew is cooking, combine the flour, baking powder, and remaining salt. Combine buttermilk and butter in another bowl before then adding to the flour mixture. Stir just until the mixture forms a soft dough. Stir in the scallions and the remaining 1 tsp of thyme.

3. Drop the dough by 6 heaping tablespoons onto the summering stew. Simmer the stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then cover and cook until the dumplings are firm and the chicken cooked through, about 10 minutes more.

Serves six.