Russian Dumplings

Posted on January 27, 2011

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…..I think these should more appropriately be called mini chicken pasties, but it’s a recipe I’ve adapted from January’s top cookbook ‘Feasts’ by Silvena Rowe, so I’m staying true to their name origin!

‘Feasts’ focuses on recipes from central and eastern Europe where, if this cookbook is anything to go by, they eat a wide variety of dumplings!!

These are quite a labour of love to make, in that they a bit fiddly, but you do end up with enough for several helpings and they are really tasty. Think a chicken pie but lighter, healthier and bite size. I think they are best served warm from the oven, but a quick 30 seconds in the microwave should sort things out if you can’t eat all 24 in one go!

The main adaptation I’ve made is using natural yoghurt rather than sour cream. I find sour cream a little tricky to get hold of unless I’m going to a big supermarket and natural yoghurt is lower-fat too, so it seems logical swop to me! Other than that, I’ve held back from my normal tinkering and stayed true to the recipe in ‘Feasts’.

Next time though, I fancy playing around with the filling! Perhaps some feta and roast butternut squash….yum, yum and a little more oozy than the chicken in this recipe (though clearly not very Russian!).

One quick tip….don’t be as lazy as I was and make sure you roll out your pastry thinly (about 3-4 mm thick). Otherwise you’ll feel like you’re eating a mouthful of dough!

Russian Dumplings

Filling: 200g chicken breast (minced in the food processor or chopped finely), 1 onion (finely chopped), olive oil, 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped), 2 egg yolks (beaten), seasoning

Pastry: 225g plain flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 100g butter (cubed), 2 egg yolks (beaten), 125ml natural yoghurt

First you’ll need to make your pastry. Rub the butter and flour together in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add the eggs and yoghurt and bring together into a dough, lightly need for 2 minutes. Create a ball of dough, flatten slightly, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Whilst dough is chilling, make your filling! Preheat oven to 190c/GM5 and then sauteing the onion in a glug of oil until softened (about 5 minutes). Next add the minced chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes. Take off the heat and stir through seasoning and parsley. Set to one side to cool. Time to assemble…. Dust your worksurface and roll out the dough to 3-4mm thick. Cut out 24 circles using a pastry cutter (about 8 cm in diameter). Lay the circles on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (you’ll need 2 baking sheets for this amount). Use a pastry brush to cover the edges of each circle with egg yolk. Place a tsp of filling in the centre of each circle, then fold each circle in half and seal with your fingers to create a half moon shape. Brush the egg yolk over the tops of each dumpling so it bakes with a shiny finish. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve!

Enjoy,

Helen x

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