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Recipe: Comfort foods made keto-friendly in new book

                                ‘Keto Friendly Recipes: Easy Keto for Busy People’ by Jennifer Marie Garza.


    ‘Keto Friendly Recipes: Easy Keto for Busy People’ by Jennifer Marie Garza.


By Jennifer Marie Garza (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $22.99)

It’s comfort food season.

The holidays bring a desire to cozy up and make something warm, usually a soup or a stew, but sometimes a butter-covered carbohydrate, too.

If you’re on a ketogenic (or other low-carb) diet, it can be hard to find low-carb, high-protein meals that are worth getting nostalgic about. Austin blogger Jennifer Marie Garza offers a solution in her new book, “Keto Friendly Recipes”: chicken with flour-free dumplings. (OK, her recipe calls for coconut flour, but it’s grain-free.)

The key to the dumpling’s consistency is the combo of mozzarella, egg yolks and xanthan gum, which combine to make just the right texture and taste to go along with the homemade chicken soup. Garza, who gained an internet following through her popular Facebook group, “Keto Friendly Recipes,” says that the soup passes muster with nonketo eaters, and she points out that the dumplings don’t need to cook for very long. You’ll also need a silicone mat and a rolling pin to make them, but this technique will come in handy when you want to make any kind of dumpling soup.

“The dumplings in this recipe are really special,” Garza writes. “Served in a warm soup, they take on the flavors of the stock, with a texture you may remember from childhood. The trick to successful keto dumplings is to roll them out thick and put them in the pot just before serving because they don’t need a long time to cook. This recipe is well-loved by my non-keto friends too! You could use store-bought rotisserie chicken meat, which you’d add to the soup after cooking the vegetables.”


By Jennifer Marie Garza

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought chicken broth
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • >> Dumplings:
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim low-moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 large egg yolks

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Add to pot and brown 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add celery, onion, garlic and thyme to pot and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add water, stock, melted butter and bay leaves; stir to combine. Return chicken to pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred meat from bones with a fork. Discard bones (or save to make the stovetop chicken stock in the recipe that follows). Return shredded chicken to pot and cook another 10 minutes, until heated through.

>> To make dumplings: Have a silicone mat ready. Place mozzarella in microwave-safe bowl and heat in microwave until fully melted, about 1-1/2 minutes.

Add coconut flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and egg yolks and mix into a stiff dough.

Transfer dough to silicone mat and knead until smooth. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to the edges of the mat, 1/2-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, gently cut strips of dough about 1 inch wide. Sprinkle strips with a bit of coconut flour so they don’t stick to one another.

Just before serving, carefully add the strips to the soup, 4 or 5 at a time so they won’t stick to each other, and cook very gently for 2 to 3 minutes. For a creamier soup, stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream after the dumplings have cooked. Serve immediately. Serves 6.


By Jennifer Marie Garza

  • 2 to 4 pounds raw or roasted chicken bones
  • 1 onion, peel on, trimmed and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 20 cups water

Combine ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat, and simmer at least 6 hours, or up to 12 hours. Skim off any foam that forms during the first couple hours of cooking. Stir occasionally and add water as needed; water should cover bones completely.

Strain stock into a large bowl and discard solids. Let cool.

Refrigerate cooled stock in a covered container for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Be sure to leave a little extra room at the top of the container to allow for expansion as the stock freezes.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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