Sunday, January 30, 2011


So, food. I really, really like it. I think about it A LOT. And, thanks to running, I can afford to think about it more than if I just sat around on my butt all the time. (I consider that to be one of the major benefits of running.) I've got lots of recipes I'll probably be sharing over time, but I feel like I should be posting gorgeous pictures of the food along with the posts. My friend, Natalie, sent me a few links to some food blogs that she follows. The photos of the food were so beautiful; very artistic. I'm not that far along in my blogging abilities yet. And, honestly, I'm kind of a crappy photographer. Like I said in my last post, I think I'll have to ask Jeremy to be my Blog-tographer. (Yup, I just made that right on up.)

Anyway, we're expecting some serious winter weather around these parts this week. *yippee* A friend of mine mentioned, on Facebook, that this type of "impending doom" sends her into a "cooking frenzy". So true! The grocery store was a complete madhouse today, with that crazed look in everyone's eyes. I was confused, though, to see everyone stocking up on so much soda. Huh? Is that what one really needs a lot of during a major winter storm? I don't really drink soda, so maybe I just don't understand. What I did think about stocking up on today were the ingredients for chicken stew with biscuits, apple crisp and bread pudding. Oh's gonna be one of those weeks.

The chicken stew with biscuits is an Ina Garten recipe. I've only made it one time before, and it was for someone else who had just had a baby. But, I remember tasting it as I made it and wishing I wasn't going to be giving it away. So, this time I'll make it for us. And, it seems the perfect food for a cold, snowy night. Plus, just last week I made homemade chicken stock for the first time. What better use for homemade chicken stock? (Geez, I'm already kinda drooling.) So, I don't have any fancy pictures of the dish. Maybe I'll try to take some when I make it. But, here's the recipe anyway:

Chicken Stew with Biscuits

For the stew:
3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced)
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2 - inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ahlf-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley.

Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the buscuits on top of the filling. Brush with the egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Wow! That's a long recipe. And, it's not quick to make either, but I think it's going to be worth it. I have to admit, though, that I'll be taking a short-cut in using refrigerated buttermilk biscuits. I have them leftover from when I made monkey bread, so they've got to be used up. I also have to admit to taking some of the "joy" out of this recipe by not using any chicken bouillon cubes (they have MSG--ick--that's a no-no in our house), using Smart Balance sticks (1/2 Smart Balance, 1/2 butter) in place of regular butter, and using our 1% milk in place of the heavy cream. Pretty sure it's still going to be awesome, though.

Maybe I'll post the apple crisp and bread pudding recipes later this week. They're not nearly as long!

So, what are some of your favorite "snowed in" recipes?


  1. That sounds really good! Although I haven't made this recipe, I've made a number of her dishes. I can tell you that this method of cooking chicken to be used in a recipe is THE best way. It is fabulous!

    Now I'm feeling that my snowed-in grocery run was wimpy by comparison. I stocked up on fresh strawberries, blackberries, bananas, yogurt, deli turkey and ham. But I have lots of Orville Redenbacher's (sp?) popcorn in the house!! And movie channels!

  2. ROFL - LOVE IT!!!! I sooo wish you were my neighbor! Now that I'm (somewhat) "into" the gym thing, you can coach me on running. I love your sense of humor. Thanks for the laughs!!!