A Recipe Change Up
Chicken and Dumplings My Style
My mother is from Arkansas. In 1939 she travelled to her new home in California. She brought with her a southern style of cooking which included recipes for fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes, and chicken and dumplings. Vegetables and fruits were mainly canned to preserve. This seems to be in vogue again today!
As a child I had a very difficult time eating chicken. I was generously given the drumstick … Every child’s favorite it seemed. But I could see every vessel and tendon … Even more so with stewed chicken and dumplings. The taste was delicious but…. I was being a kid!
What I have done here is create more of a shepherd’s pie with chicken. Rather than placing the biscuits or dumplings, mother used the same recipe for both, into the chicken dish I have included them separately. I loved my mother’s biscuits! She liked to make them thinner than most would, pressing the dough thin before cutting. This created a biscuit that was less cakie. If baking biscuits separately not as a topper, she would dip each in bacon drippings, lightly coating both sides before placing into a baking dish and popping into the oven. Yep! Still love this taste today. But for those who are not bacon fans butter works.
Bake 350 degrees F for 30 minutes until bubbling can be seen
Serves 6 Adults
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Cup onion chopped fine
2 Ribs celery-diced
3 Chicken thighs-skinned, boned and cubed 1/2 inch to 1 inch
I Full chicken breast (both halves)-skinned, boned and cubed 1/2 inch to 1 inch
1 Cup of chicken stock
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon water
5 Medium white potatoes
1/3 Cup half and half
2 Tablespoons butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sauté onion, celery and carrots in the olive oil over medium heat. When tender add chicken. While accomplishing this bring peeled potatoes to a boil and simmer until fork tender.
Continue cooking chicken for a few minutes over medium heat until it acquires a little color. Check on potatoes for doneness.
Here the potatoes are done and have been drained of the water. Ready to mash. The chicken in the skillet to the right is ready for the next step. Add the chicken stock to the chicken mixture and heat. Mix the tablespoon of cornstarch with the tablespoon of water. Mix in with the chicken and vegetables. Simmer until thickened. Just a few minutes.
Test the chicken mixture for salt and pepper needs. Add to taste. The mixture is now transferred into a medium sized buttered oblong baking dish. Next the potatoes are mashed. Add butter and cream to the potatoes and beat with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Taste the potatoes for need of salt, and pepper if desired. Spoon mashed potatoes in small dollops on top the mixture. Smooth with light pressure with the back of a spoon. When the mixture is fully covered with potato run fork tines across the top to give a textured look.
Place into the oven to bake. Now for the biscuits
Bake 425 degrees F for 10-15 minutes until biscuits lightly brown
Makes 8 medium biscuits
1 Cup all purpose flour and extra for kneading board
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/4 Generous teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup vegetable shortening
1/3 Cup milk-dough should be slightly sticky
Drippings from 3 thin slices of bacon, about 1-2 Tablespoons
Mix the dry ingredients and cut in shortening as you would for pie crust. Now add milk. The dough should be a little sticky. Scoop dough mixture out onto a floured board. Add flour to your hands and the board as needed to avoid sticking. Knead several times until smooth.
The dough is ready to cut.
The bacon was cooked in this pan, and this pan will be used for the biscuit baking just like it is.
The biscuits being popped into the oven.
The dish had been removed to make room for the biscuits. The dish needs to rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Notice the veggies are cut fine. Just makes the dish sooo much better. This has a richness, my family would say.