Chicken & Dumplings

 

The other night I made chicken and dumplings from scratch. The creamy sauce was so delicious. My daughter ate a bite and told me how she really liked Grandma Pat’s version of Chicken & Dumplings. My son said he preferred the homemade broth in the recipe I had made that night. My children know I appreciate honesty about my meals so I can keep improving my cooking skills and make things everyone enjoys. I asked Pat for the recipe and I’ve decided I am going to somehow intertwine the two recipes. But first, I am going to share both recipes with you while I experiment.

First recipe found on tasteofhome.com and modified by me ( this one is the harder recipe):

Step 1/Prepare the Chicken and Broth

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBS canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 garlic gloves, mined
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces one at a time and coat, shake off excess. In a stockpot, heat oil and brown the chicken in batches. Remove and set aside. Add onion, carrots and celery to same pan, cook for 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and blend. Gradually add stock, stirring constantly and stir in wine, sugar, and bay leaves. Return chicken to broth, bring to a boil, set to simmer and cook covered 20-25 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear.

Step 2/Make the Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 1 TBS butter, melted

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk and butter. Combines mixtures until moistened, do not overmix. Drop by TBS onto parchment paper, set aside (this allows the baking powder to produce gas bubbles and helps them with a light consistency).

Step 3/Back to the Chicken

Directions:

Remove the chicken from the stockpot and let cool slightly. Discard bay leaves and skim fat from broth. Remove skin and bones from chicken while shredding the meat. Return the meat to broth and cook, uncovered until it reaches a simmer. Drop the dumplings on top of the broth and chicken, reduce temp to low and cook, covered for 15-18 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the dumplings to see if they are done, it should come out clean. Carefully remove dumplings then stir in cream, parsley and thyme while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Return dumplings to the pot and serve.

Second recipe from Pat titled Crockpot Chicken Stew

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 3/4 cup fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 10 3/4 oz cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 oz dry ranch dressing mixture
  • Fresh parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pre-made biscuits, refrigerated

Directions:

Melt butter in sauté pan, add vegetable and stir to coat. Place vegetables in crock pot. Dice chicken, season with salt and pepper and add to crock pot. In a pot over the stovetop, mix chicken soup, milk, sour cream, and ranch mixture, until heat and blended then pour into crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Make biscuits before serving. Serve dish over biscuits and sprinkle with parsley.

 

Bananas Foster

It makes complete sense that Bananas Fosters is the dessert we made at the cooking class I attended in New Orleans. After all, it was invented at Brennan’s in New Orleans. Born from the once booming banana trade in New Orleans, this dish was invented by Ella Brennan in 1950. Her brother, then owner of the famous Brennan’s on Bourbon Street, Owen Brennan, asked Ella to invent a dessert that would honor the New Orleans Crime Commission Chairman, Richard Foster. Inspired by the Baked Alaska, Ella caramelized bananas with brown sugar, butter and liquor, set it aflame and served it over ice-cream. It was instantly a hit and is still served to this day at Brennan’s in New Orleans. if you get a chance to visit NOLA, pay this place a visit and try this delicious dessert. In the meantime, here is the recipe so you can make it on your own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 oz. banana liqueur
  • 4 oz. dark rum
  • ground cinnamon
  • ice cream

Directions:

Melt butter and add brown sugar to form a creamy paste. Let this mixture caramelize over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes.

Stir in the banana liqueur, bananas and rum. Heat and ignite. Agitate to keep flame burning and add a few pinches of cinnamon to the flame.

Let flame go out and serve over ice cream.

 

 

 

 

Grillades with Cheese Grits and a Poached Egg

 

 

My favorite part of my recent trip to New Orleans was my cooking lesson at the New Orleans School of Cooking. This was the main dish we made. We used veal but the recipe calls for round steak and I have used chicken upon returning home. The recipe is served on cheese grits and topped with a poached egg; both recipes follow. I don’t usually eat veal and probably will not use it for this recipe moving forward but it was delicious. Use the protein of your choice. Vegetarians could use tofu and vegetable stock. Over the years I have learned that any recipe can be manipulated to your own desire, it will change the flavors but it can still be amazing.

Grillades

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb round steak
  • 1 TBS Joe’s Stuff seasoning (or your own seasoning, see note*)
  • 1/2 cup flour + 2 TBS
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 celery, chopped
  • 1 TBS sliced garlic
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 TBS sliced green onion
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • additional Joe’s Stuff to taste

Directions:

Pound out round steak to about 1/4 inch thick. Julienne the beef into 1/2 inch thick strips. Combine flour with Joe’s Stuff and dust the pieces of meat in the flour, shake off excess flour. Heat the oil and brown the pieces of meat on each side; remove and set aside. Lower heat and add onion, bell peppers and celery until translucent. Stirring constantly, add the remaining 2 TBS flour and cook on medium heat until flour starts to brown. Add garlic, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, tomato and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add meat. Cook 30-45 minutes until beef is tender. Add hot sauce and seasoning to taste.

Serve over warm grits and garnish with a poached egg and green onions.

Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

  • Water
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs

Directions:

Bring water and vinegar to a boil. Crack eggs gently into a large spoon or ladle and bring the boiling water to a swirl. Lower egg into simmering liquid. You may need to ladle the egg out to test that the whites are down and the yolks are not over cooked.

Tips:

  1. Poach 2 eggs at a time to not overcrowd pot.
  2. Use very fresh eggs at room temperature
  3. Pour a small amount of whites out prior to lowering into pot.

Cheese Grits

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup stone ground grits
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 TBS cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Bring water, milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk grits into the pot. Reduce to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Before serving, add Romano cheese and cream cheese. Stir until melted.

*Link to buy Joe’s Stuff seasoning:

http://store.nosoc.com/joes-stuff-4-5-oz/

You can make your own with salt, dehydrated garlic, paprika and dehydrated onion. I am sure they put some type of secret ingredient in there that I can’t give you.