Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

I've been making chicken and dumplings for years and years, thanks to my mom who gave me her old 1970's Pillsbury Cookbook when I was a young wife. I pretty much learned how to cook from that old cookbook and wish I still had it. Chicken and Dumplings is one of our family's favorites and it's another one of those good one-pot kind of dinners that are so easy on the cook.

Chicken and Dumplings

6 chicken thighs (This is just what I had on hand-you can use whatever chicken pieces you want, even boneless)
1/2 chopped medium onion
olive oil, butter, or chicken fat
2 carrots, sliced
chicken broth,
to cover the chicken
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Sprinkle the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt the oil in the bottom of your Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and brown on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the onions and carrots to the pan for about 5 minutes, adding more oil if necessary. Also add the thyme and poultry seasoning. Sprinkle the flour in the bottom of the pan and stir well. It will form a paste. Add the chicken and broth. Let it cook until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone. Taste your broth and add more thyme, salt and pepper as desired. Make sure the stew is softly boiling before adding the dumplings.

Fluffy Dumplings

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon minced parsley
(I didn't have parsley but I did have dried chives)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten

In a medium bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto hot chicken or meat in boiling stew. Cook covered, 12 to 15 minutes or until dumplings are fluffy and no longer doughy underneath.

I'm linking up with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cracker Barrel Copycat Chicken Casserole

Cracker Barrel is one of my favorite places to eat. I love a good Southern meal and they deliver every time. I don't just love their food, but the whole atmosphere of the place. It's not just a restaurant but a country store, too. I had never had this particular dish there but I bet they make it pretty good! If you love a creamy, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish you will love this casserole with a crumbly cornbread topping. I got this recipe from the Food Lion website and it was super delicious (my husband-not the biggest casserole fan-even loved it!).

Cracker Barrel Copycat Chicken Casserole


1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (you can substitue 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and add enough milk to make 3/4 cup
1 egg
1/2 cup melted butter

Chicken Filling

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup celery sliced thinly
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup ( I used some of my homemade from the freezer)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into pieces


Mix all ingredients except the butter into the bowl until smooth. Pour into greased 8-inch square pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool until it can be handled. Crumble and place 3 cups of the cornbread into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup melted butter and mix well. Set aside.


In a saucepan or skillet over low heat, melt butter and sute onion and celery until soft. Add the broth, soup, salt and pepper. Stir until completely blended. Add the chicken and stir until it reaches a low simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Put the chicken mixture in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish or individual dishes (about 4). Spoon the cornbread topping over the chicken mixture. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until crumbs turn golden brown and casserole bubbles.

I had some of the cornbread crumbles left over so I put them in a freezer bag and they are now sitting in my freezer for the next time I want to make a yummy casserole. I was thinking that I could also make my Chicken A La King and put the cornbread crumbs over it. What do you think?

I'm participating in The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap, Friday Potluck, and Foodie Friday

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

In my quest to not waste food that we aren't eating fast enough and because I always love a good soup, I made this creamy, cheesy, and satisfying soup. I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge that was just starting to go bad and knew this soup would be perfect. I adapted this recipe from my Joy of Cooking cookbook and it was so good. Broccoli could be subsituted for the cauliflower, too.

Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower (1 average head), trimmed and coarsley chopped

1/4 cups flour

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 to 1 cup whole milk, half-and-half, or cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Cheddar cheese (Swiss would be good too!)

In a soup pot melt the butter. Add the chopped celery and onion, salt and pepper lightly, and saute until vegetables are tender but not browned. You just want to sweat them. Stir in the cauliflower, cover, turn down heat to low and steam for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the flour, coating the vegetables. Turn the heat to high and stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the liquid comes to a simmer, partially cover, and let cook until the cauliflower is very tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a food processor, blender, or immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the milk, half-and-half, or cream. Heat through but do not boil. Add the salt and pepper and cheese, heating until the cheese is melted. Makes about 8 cups.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taffy Apple Salad

Although this is more of a dessert than a salad, it is light and refreshing. With apples in season right now and the holiday season coming up I thought this one would be good for sharing at a potluck or family dinner. We really love it!

Taffy Apple Salad

1 (20-oz) can chunk pineapple (save the juice)

1 tablespoon flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup whipped topping

3 medium to large apples, cored and cubed

1 cup chopped peanuts

4 cups mini-marshmallows

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Open pineapple and drain juice into a medium saucepan. In a large mixing bowl combine pineapple chunks with marshmallows and set aside. In saucepan, add flour, sugar, beaten egg and white vinegar to juice and stir constantly over medium heat until it boils and thickens like a pudding consistency. Chill. Add chopped apples, marshamallows, and pineapple. Fold in the chilled mixture and whipped topping. Top with peanuts.* Refrigerate.

*The original recipe said to fold some of the chopped peanuts into the salad but they will get a little soggy if the salad isn't eaten the same day so we put them all on top. This recipe makes enough for a large family gathering and we had leftovers that still tasted good 3 days later when we finally polished it off. I had even sent some home with my married daughters.