This post contains step by step description of making gluten free chicken dumplings, including detailed photos of every stage of the process.
I did not use traditional Russian name – pelmeni – for these dumplings, because it is a modified recipe, different from the authentic one. In traditional recipe the filling consists of equal parts of minced veal, lamb and pork, finely chopped fresh onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. The first change I made, was to use lightly sautéed onions instead of fresh, to change the sharpness of fresh onions to a more mild, slightly caramelised onion taste. The second change was inspired by Chinese dumplings, where lightly cooked cabbage is used in many meat and vegetable fillings. It makes meat fillings softer and juicier. I also add cumin and my own red chili peppers and garlic paste to salt and pepper seasoning, to give chicken filling more flavour. Occasionally I also replace half of the onions with leek.
- 500g skinless thigh chicken mince
- 2 large finely chopped and sautéed onions
- 2 cups of finely sliced (preferably on mandoline slicer) and sautéed white cabbage
- 1 egg
- 1 table spoon of ground cumin
- 1+ teaspoon of red chili peppers and garlic paste (can be replaced with dry or fresh chillies)
- salt and ground coarse black pepper to taste
- 250 g Gluten Free Pastry Flour by Well&Good
- 50 g Organic Quinoa Flour
- 2 large eggs
- 100 ml water at room temperature
- pinch of salt.
- extra Pastry flour for dusting
- for chicken filling I use exactly the same ingredients and procedure, as I use to make chicken meatloaf, only without using fennel and sesame seeds
- mix both flours and sift flour mix to make a pile. The bigger chopping board you use, the better.
- add salt to the flour, make a well in the middle and crack the first egg
- using blunt knife start mixing flour with an egg; after the first egg is mixed with flour, add another egg
- repeat the process with the second egg, incorporating more and more flour from the perimeter
- when both eggs are well mixed with flour, add water
- carefully add more and more flour to wet ingredients, moving from the inner to outer circle
- when all flour is mixed with eggs and water, start cutting bigger lumps of the dough into smaller ones, press the dough to make a ball and knit the dough for 2-3min until smooth consistency
- cut the piece of the dough and roll it with your palms in a thin long log, keep the rest of the dough covered with a towel
- cut the log into small pieces, 1-1.2cm, press each piece of the dough into the flour using your finger, turn the piece over and do the same on the other side to have small flat piece of dough completely covered with flour
- roll each piece thin, trying to keep it round shape
place the filling into the middle of the rolled dough
brush half of the dough surface with water
spread the filling to sides
press both sides of the dough together trying to get all air pockets out
cook dumplings in salted boiling water for 5-7 min depending on the size of dumplings; to make sure they are cooked through, take one out and see that the filling is fully cooked
I have made this pastry many times now, and I can’t find any faults in it. The pastry rolls very easily and does not need too much flour. It has excellent taste and texture, it does not split when kept in the freezer even for 6 weeks (when stored in a glass container with a tight lid) and it cooks perfectly straight from the freezer.
It takes some time and skill to make individual dumplings, but it is worth the effort. Make it once, and you will be ready for several emergency dinners from the freezer. I often serve them in chicken broth, but they are very nice with butter or sour cream, horseradish and dill sauce.