WARNING: the foods we cook for Abby are safe for her, but not necessarily for everyone. Please confirm any ingredients are safe for you before using in your diet. Food Allergies can kill and the best policy is complete avoidance. Read this post for more info.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gluten-Free Chicken Vareniki(Ukrainian dumpling)

Originally I had wanted to make Pelmeni and my dough is based on the Pelmeni dough. However, Gluten free being what it is, I found quickly that it wasn't going to shape into the beautiful of shape of the Pelmeni, but I found it would shape like a Vareniki.

With the Vareniki, it is a circle, you place filling and fold into a half moon and seal. With the Pelmeni you take it a step further and bend the tips of the half moon together. The Pelmeni dough calls for whole eggs, were the Varniki dough is some whole egg and some egg white.. In the world of dumplings big enough differences, in the world of my "make it work" gluten free and other restrictions, eh, I doubt the difference would be noticeable to us! Though, I might try the actual Vareniki dough next time.

There are a number of ways these are served. They can be boiled in a soup broth. Or served with just a bit of olive oil(grapeseed in our house) with some sour cream(coconut yogurt for us!) or even vinegar. Served with veggies, or hearty thick slices of bacon or sausage. The Vareniki's can be filled with a lot of different fillings including kraut- Never had them that way, next time I need to give it a try.

Both these dumplings appealed to us because they are boiled/steamed and not fried.

Abby does well with Chicken above all else so I opted for a simple chicken filling.

My recipe is likely not exact. I strongly suggest you look up a few recipes and see how they are done slightly differently. Also, I saw some great blog posts that took the time to provide pictures on how to shape the pelmeni or vareniki(they have a special pan now!) In the heat of the moment of trying to convert a traditional wheat flour recipe to gluten free, I tend to not keep track of what I am adding or subtracting, I do know I used a lot more flour then I originally thought I would need. This makes a lot of vareniki. If this is your first try, I suggest cutting the recipe in half..


4 cups all purpose GF flour(though have a few cups set aside if it is too wet and for rolling)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water( I used 1 cup of half coconut yogurt and half water)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil(or olive)

Throw all the ingredients in the bowl and start stirring. You want a dough, not batter. Add flour till at least a soft dough. Cover and let it rest for a few. Now, comes the tricky part- I kept plenty of flour handy, and grabbed about 1/4 of the dough, it was sticky, I kept working flour into it with my hands till it was barely sticky. I used parchment to roll it. On the bottom sheet of parchment liberally sprinkle with flour. Set dough in the middle, and sprinkle with more flour. Place sheet of parchment on top. Roll as thin as you dare. You know the dough is right because it will likely stick to only the top parchment or the bottom and not tear. If it tears? You need to work more flour in.. I used a round biscuit cutter but a glass would work to cut circles as well. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of filling(recipe below) and wet the edges and fold circle in half and press gently. I also used a fork to press around the edge to ensure a good seal. Place on a lightly floured board. make sure they are not touching. At this point you can place the whole tray/board in the freezer and freeze them well and then move them to a freezer bag, or one by one place them in a large pot of boiling water or broth. 8-10 minutes at a full boil. (depending on the size, more or less, I suggest pulling one and checking to make sure it is cooked before straining)

Chicken filling:

2 raw chicken breasts
1 peeled and roughly chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic(I had roasted garlic in the fridge I used)
salt and pepper
fresh chopped parsley
1 egg(helps moisten and bind chicken)

Place all ingredients into high powered blender or food processor. Blend until a smooth paste. Cover and place in fridge until you are ready to fill your dumplings.

We garnished with some fresh chopped parsley and instead of sour cream some coconut yogurt that I mixed dill weed, parsley, and salt and pepper into- we were pleased at how nicely they worked together.


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