Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Southern Comfort

With the rain falling it just seemed like a comfort food kind of day. After the morning’s ordeal of getting my yearly mammogram and a trip to Costco, I had this craving for chicken and dumplings.

I arrived at the ultrasound office to find a hand-written sign stating that their processing machine was out of commission so there would be a delay. I hadn’t planned to spend hours sitting around thinking about sensitive parts of my anatomy being compressed. But after about an hour it was business as usual and I was lucky not to need any re-dos on the 4 standard “pictures” they take.

I practically sailed through Costco, totally emptied of the look of Christmas and obviously gearing up for New Year’s with champagne and chafing dishes. I never go to Costco without buying one of their $4.99 roasted chickens. They are undoubtedly not free-range chickens, but they are cooked to perfection and the price is definitely right. Every other item in my cart was fruit!

It was on the way home that I remembered the rest of the ½ recipe I had made of “homemade” Bisquick for the waffles (which were delicious). The chicken and biscuit dough just seemed destined to be combined, so here’s the recipe (for 2) I dreamed up.

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
– Mix 1 cup of your version of Bisquick with 1/4 cup of milk. Set aside.
– Saute the following chopped ingredients in a small amount of olive oil: ½ onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 carrot.
– Add a heaping tablespoon of flour to the vegetables. Add chicken broth to cover.
– Add chopped parsley, French thyme, salt, and pepper.
– Add one chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces.
– Cook just until slightly thickened.
– Pour into a small souffle dish or other baking dish.
– Form the dough into biscuits/dumplings with your hands and place them on top just barely touching.
– Bake until the biscuits are tender and slightly brown (about 20-25 minutes.) Should be bubbling by then.

Just as it was ready to come out of the oven my husband walked in. I solved his perpetual dilemma of what to eat for lunch. He even went back for seconds.

Given the 15 minutes of prep time, this impromptu chicken and dumplings exceeded my expectations and made me forget about the dreary day outside.


Blogger Kristin said...

Absolutely perfect on a cold, dreary day. I actually left my desk for once and hit King Street Blues for a vegetable tamale pie. Not exactly chicken and dumplings but comfort food, never the less.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I guess our minds were on a similar track, although yours was vegetarian! It was certainly not a day for a cold sandwich or yogurt.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I can attest to its "delectability". Best lunch in a long time.

3:14 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

What's a chafing dish? Sounds painful.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

David -- You finally made an appearance in the Blogosphere again! I see you finished off the chicken and dumplings for dinner, so it must have been a big hit.

Matt -- That is an odd term for one of those dishes with sterno or a candle underneath that is used to keep things hot on a buffet table. I found this via Google, source of all knowledge:

A chafing dish is in fact related to the chafing one gets from riding in the saddle too long, or having one’s skin rubbed raw in general. Before 1300 it was chaufen "inflame, warm, heat", from Old French chaufer (yep, source of chauffeur, the fellow who stoked the fire of a steam engine). The Old French form arose from Vulgar Latin calefare, an alteration of Latin calefacere "make hot" (from calere "hot" + facere "make").

9:06 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hmmm ... I would have thought kosherness would have been a biger issue than free rangedness.

I find quick (or at least easy) to prepare meals more satisfying. Perhaps it is because I am not overstressed when I eat them.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- We don't keep kosher, but we do attempt to eat healthy food.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Ooh! That is interesting. Does that only extend as far as preperation or does it also extend into "forbidden" foods?

9:01 PM  

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