I like to share recipes with you. I also like to take enticing pictures of said food and share those with you as well. But, if I am honest with you, not every recipe I attempt ends up with a gorgeous picture or is always edible. Usually, I will still share those recipes with you simply to share my own personal experience with it. Remember the overflowing orange gingerbread incident? Nobody else, that I know of, had any issues with it, just me. One reason why I made it again was because I was
stubborn certain it would have a great flavor – which it did!
Fast forward to a new year. A new recipe to try. My CincyBff and I have wanted to collaborate and share another post with you since our last collaboration on mushroom sloppy joes back in 2009. One cold night last week, we were texting like teens, scheming various dinner ideas, while 752 miles apart. We both decided to try out the roasted tomato soup from Thug Kitchen. We set to work. The clock was ticking, the kitchen was a mess and I was in the middle of it all snapping photos in the fading light of day. Meanwhile, CincyBff was contending with her own soup makings, with a toddler under foot and would, somehow, send me pictures along the way! She was eating soup with her family well before I was. Her report: her husband, Valentino (an amazing cook as documented here) said it was pretty delicious with a lot of flavor and he liked the texture. Cincybff wanted more zing, but liked the easy peasy prep and how accessible the recipe was to make. My report: after I struggled with my immersion blender, and my food processor to get this soup smooth and creamy I was left underwhelmed. I, too, wanted more zing in flavor. I will attempt this again…and I have my eye on other Thug Kitchen recipes as well! Remember I had taken loads of photos in the waning light of day? I accidentally erased them. But, here are some of our iPhone photos from the great soup night.
This brings me to my next cooking project. I turned to Martha Stewart for inspiration…she does not disappoint – remember those delicious graham crackers?! My goals for dinner last night were clear: I wanted something warm, comforting and on the table in about an hour. I spied a chicken and dumpling recipe from Everyday Food and I set forth to create a modified version of it. I had just enough energy to chop, saute, stir, mix and wait patiently. My ‘real’ camera was still in the case and the thought of dealing with lenses, and shooting photos throughout the process was a bit more energy than I could muster. Such is real life, friends. In fact, I was not thinking of sharing this recipe. But when Sweet Z went back for thirds? I quickly re-assessed the situation!
I made a few modifications to the original recipe and you can to! If you are wanting something along the lines of chicken pot pie this is for you! I started out with onions, carrots and dried thyme sauteed in some unsalted butter. I added in flour (for thickening), and deglazed with white wine until it was cooked off. I had some low sodium vegetable stock on hand and added that in along with a handful of mushrooms. Next up were 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut and cubed. The entire mixture simmered for about 2o minutes. About a cup of frozen peas were the finishing touch. The dumpling dough was a breeze – flour, salt, baking powder and fresh dill were whisked together. I added in buttermilk then dolloped 10 tablespoons of this dough, spaced slightly apart, (I used my tablespoon cookie scoop – easy peasy!) on top of the gently simmering stew. I put a lid on the pot, walked away for 20 minutes and then peeked inside. The dumplings grew to a beautiful size (thanks baking powder) and were firm to the touch. Dinner is served!
- Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food
- 3 Tablespoons, butter, unsalted
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
- 4 carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 Cup AP flour, may need a tablespoon or more for extra thickening, depending on your preference
- 1/4 -1/2 Cup white wine (for deglazing)
- 1/2 Cup mushrooms, sliced
- 3 Cups broth (I used vegetable, but original recipe uses chicken) - you may need more or less depending on your preference for more or less liquid
- Chopped fresh dill to taste
- 1 Cup frozen peas
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 Cup AP flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill (or 3/4 teaspoon dried) Fresh is best!
- 1/2 Cup buttermilk (may need an additional 2 Tablespoons)
- For the stew:
- In a large pot, over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the carrots, onion and thyme for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of flour over the carrot onion mixture and 'cook' it for a minute or so. Deglaze with white white, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Start with a 1/4 cup and add in a tablespoon or more at a time as needed to completely deglaze the pan. Let this cook out for a minute or two.
- Add in the broth and mushrooms and return the mixture to a boil. A nice pinch of salt (if you are using low sodium broth, especially) and a few cracks of fresh pepper could be added here. I had extra dill and added some chopped dill here too.
- Add in the cubed chicken and gently simmer this mixture for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Note: If you prefer a thicker consistency for your broth: take a tablespoon of flour, mix with a tablespoon of broth until smooth and pour this into your simmering broth. It will thicken like magic! I was going for a gravy-like consistency, myself.
- Add in 1 cup of frozen peas, making sure the mixture returns to a gentle simmer.
- Assemble the dumpling dough: In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and fresh dill. (You could use 3/4 t. dried dill) Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and mix together with a fork until combined. The consistency of this dough should be slightly thicker than pancake batter and fall easily from a spoon (or cookie scoop!). You may need to add up to 2 Tablespoons more of buttermilk at this point.
- Drop the biscuit mixture by tablespoonful (or small cookie scoop) around the pot of gently simmering stew, leaving space between each biscuit. You should have about 10 tablespoons. Give these biscuits space - they WILL expand.
- Cover the pot and let the dumpling work their magic for 20 minutes, until the dumplings feel firm to the touch. Serve immediately and enjoy!