Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dreary Winter Weather Calls For Comfort

I can't believe how far back I'm playing catchup with some of these recipes. I know there are some good recipes I'm missing out on posting about because I just can't remember making them, and I didn't get a picture to help me. I'll have to riffle through my mountain of printed recipes to see if I can find any gems. It definitely says nothing about the food if I can't remember it...just that I'm dumb and scatter-brained. Heh.

But one good thing comes from my delay, and that's the weather! When I first made this chicken and dumpling stew, courtesy of I made that!, it was cold and rainy and I was in dire need of some comfort food, and oh my did it ever fit the bill. I've actually made it twice already. But since then the weather warmed up and it looked as if our typical mild Southern California winter would pay us a visit. Nope. The East Coast is buried under snow, So Cal keeps getting hit with much needed rain, and six more weeks of winter are upon us. So it looks like the comfort food is still appropriate, no matter what the bright summer produce from Chile tries to convince me of otherwise.

I used chicken breasts (bone in) instead of thighs because I have an irrational aversion to chicken fat. I think it stems from my grandmother force feeding me KFC when I was a kid. Oh, and the chicken thighs they sell at the store are really fatty, if you didn't get the correlation there. I also punched up the vegetables a bit by adding carrots, celery, and frozen green beans, in addition to the peas called for. I also used 1% instead of whole milk. But otherwise I followed to recipe to a T, and it was delicious! It's creamy without being heavy, and the thyme, tarragon, and bay provide some great flavors. And the dumplings...oh the dumplings!

First off, I had never made chicken and dumplings before. So when I read the recipe I was a bit confused. I was supposed to drop the batter into the stew? No way! I closed my eyes, dropped the batter in, covered the pot and let it cook for the alloted time, and when I took the cover off, I was greeting by these huge, fluffy bits of heaven. Moist on the outside, dry and biscuity on the inside, and a great companion to the chicken pot pie flavors of the stew. Oh man, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

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