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Monday, November 23, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 4:58 PM

I had never heard of Chicken and Dumplings until I moved down south a few years ago. Boy, was I missing out. The creamy stew of chicken, veggies, and broth topped with hearty fluffy biscuits made of cream and flour is the ultimate comfort food for a cold winter day.

This recipe takes only one hour and you get great results. Though you don't make your own chicken broth here, this is the real deal, no short-cuts like using cans of globby cream of chicken. There's no need to cheat by using canned biscuits either – these drop biscuits are easy to put together. You can even use shredded leftover Thanksgiving turkey in place of the chicken (just skip to step 2).

chicken

Chicken and Dumplings

Stew:

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

5 Tbs unsalted butter

4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 tsp salt

3 garlic cloves

6 Tbs all-purpose flour

3/4 cup dry sherry

1/3 cup heavy cream

Dumplings:

2 cups flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1-1/3 cups heavy cream

Directions for the stew

1. Bring broth to a simmer in Dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and return to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through (about 10 min). Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with aluminum foil. Transfer broth into large bowl.

2. Return empty Dutch oven to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add carrots, onion, and salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in four and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, scraping up browned bits. Stir in reserved broth, cream, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until stew thickens, about 20 minutes.

Directions for dumplings

Stir flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in cream until incorporated (dough will be very thick and shaggy).

To finish

Discard bay leaves and return stew to rapid simmer. Shred reserved chicken and add to stew along with any accumulated juices, peas, 3 tablespoons parsley. Using 2 large soup spoons or small ice cream scoop, drop golf ball-sized dumpling onto stew about 1/4 inch apart (you should have 16 - 18 dumplings). Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until dumplings have doubled in size, 15 - 18 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve.

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Want to give on Thanksgiving?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Homemade baked desserts are needed for The Charlotte Rescue Mission Thanksgiving Day Extravaganza. Drop off your desserts at the Mission on Wednesday, November 25 all day or Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26 until 9:30 a.m. The Charlotte Rescue Mission, Rebound campus, 907 West First Street. 704-333-HOPE.

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Food news from Pewter Rose, Mama Ricotta's

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 12:52 PM

• Pewter Rose Bistro, 1820 South Blvd. in SouthEnd, will serve brunch on the Friday following Thanksgiving, Nov. 27 and on New Year's Day, Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.

• Mama Ricotta’s Restaurant has hired Tom Dyrness as executive chef. Dryness is a graduate of Johnson & Wales, Providence, R.I. and most recently worked at Mimosa Grille.

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Vegan cheese at Brixx?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Just got this in an e-mail from the folks at Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza:

Did you know Brixx offers a 100 percent vegan cheese product? It can be substituted on any pizza at no extra charge. This alternative is caisen-free, unlike many soy-based cheeses.

Nope, I did not know that. And they say "it tastes good," too. Hey, you be the judge.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Need turkey?

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Soul Gastrolounge, 1500 Central Ave. on the corner of Central and Pecan (upstairs), will be open on Thanksgiving from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m. The menu includes hot sage sausage and brioche stuffing cubes; sour cream whipped potato croquettes with giblet gravy; turkey and provolone panini with cranberry aioli; fried mushrooms on creamy shaved Brussel sprout ragout; and tempura fried green beans and onions with porcini mushroom cream. $6 to $8. 704-348-1848.

The Morehead Inn in Dilworth, The VanLandingham Estate in Plaza-Midwood, and their Good Gracious! Events catering arm has Thanksgiving "To Go" again this year. The menu includes roasted turkey with giblet gravy and cranberry apple chutney; beef tenderloin; honey ham; broccoli and cheese casserole; oyster stuffing; pecan pie; pumpkin pie; and chocolate cake. To order visit or call: www.moreheadinn.com or 704-376-3357; www.vanlandinghamestate.com or 704-334-8909; or www.goodgracious.net or 704-375-3919. Items may be ordered through Monday, Nov. 23 and picked up Monday through Wednesday, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Harper's Southpark and Harper´s To GoGo, 6518 Fairview Road, have complete Thanksgiving dinners to go. Orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 23rd, and picked up Tuesday, Nov. 24 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. or Wednesday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. 704-366-6612.

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Tonight: Upstream's First Annual Oyster Bash

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 12:47 PM

oysters

Upstream's First Annual Oyster Bash will go down on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Oysters include Old Salt (one of my favorites) from the Chincoteague, Blue Point from the east coast, and Kumamoto from the west. Paired with the oysters are wines and champagne. A portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to Share Our Strength, the national organization that is fighting to end childhood hunger by 2015. $75 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. 6902 Phillips Place. Reservations: 704-556-7730.

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Back of the Box: Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Where do the recipes on the back of cans of beans, boxes of cereal, bags of candy, jars of jam and other packaged foods come from? And more importantly, are they any good?

I figure they've got to be some of the best of the best recipes if they are worthy to be printed on every single container and were chosen by the corporate food gods, or test kitchens, if they have one, to best showcase the ingredient being sold.

Well, I'll test out those recipes for you as part of a new Eat My Charlotte series: "Back of the Box."

The first Back of the Box (or Bag, in this case) recipe to test: Hershey's Kisses: Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies.

pbcookies

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I forgot how good these classic peanut butter and chocolate cookies are. Warm out of the oven, the peanut butter cookie is soft and the chocolate is melty (not fully melted, but not hard either).

Making them is a cinch: Make the dough, roll the dough into balls, roll the balls into sugar, bake. The fun part is mushing the Hershey's Kisses into the cookie balls when they come out of the oven.

I'd say this recipe is pretty darn good. There are a lot of impostor recipes out there, but I have absolutely no complaints with this one, so it's a winner. The cookies even stay soft and yummy on the second day.

Delightfully Delicious Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter Blossoms

48 Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolates

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg

2 Tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Granulated sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove wrappers from chocolates.

Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl. Add 1/2 cup granulated and brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat into mixure.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Back 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press at Kisses Chocolate into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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More Turkey

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Eat Here Now, 2016 Ayrsley Town Boulevard, has a Thanksgiving meal for six people for $49.99 plus sales tax. Dinner includes 2 pounds of sliced turkey, 2 pounds of homemade dressing, 8 ounces of turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, 3 quarts of a side item and rolls or cornbread. Sides include green beans, corn, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and new potatoes. Pecan, chocolate pecan, pumpkin or sweet potato pies are $7.99. Dinners may be picked up from 8 a.m. until noon on Thanksgiving Day: 704-499-9999 or www.eatherenownc.com.

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Thanksgiving at home: Chef Adam Long of Big Daddy's Burger Bar in Ballantyne

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 9:19 AM

We’re asking executive chefs at local restaurants what dishes they’ll have on their Thanksgiving menu … at home.

Executive Chef Adam Long of Big Daddy's Burger Bar in Ballantyne shares his kicked-up, Americana-style/untraditional Thanksgiving day menu with us. On his turkey-day table will be:

Fried turkey with a peanut butter dressing injection

Cornbread stuffing

Mashed potatoes with giblet gravy

Green bean casserole

Collard greens

And for dessert ... Tequila

Mmmm ... Not sure what sounds better: The fried turkey with peanut butter dressing injection ... or the tequila dessert!

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

PETA's 'sexy pilgrims' invade Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 4:22 PM

The "sexy pilgrims" of PETA ...

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... descended on Uptown Charlotte today, handing out "Tofurkies" ...

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... to promote the joy of a meat-less Thanksgiving. Here's what Kristina Addington, campaign coordinator for PETA, had to say about today's effort:

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