Thinking of you

Whenever I have a bowl of Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup, I think of my dad. He used to make me soup for lunch. He’d always serve it with milk and a paper towel instead of a napkin. To an 8-year-old, the paper towel was very cool.

I have a lot of food-related memories when it comes to my family. Most people, do. It’s because of a conversation with a colleague about food memories that I made chicken and dumplings this weekend.

I turned to The Pioneer Woman for this recipe. I still love her.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 whole Chicken, cut into pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • salt as needed
  • Dumplings:
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Half-and-half

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.

Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.

In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.

Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman (adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

Talking turkey

Rachael Ray. There was a time I loved her, but that was before she had a magazine, a talk show and every other TV show on Food Network had her in it.

Seriously, why do people always go for overexposure? It never ends well. Look at Glee’s ratings.

Anyway, I still have a few of Rachael Ray’s cookbooks and there’s one recipe, Mini Meatball Orzo Soup, I love. I make this often in the fall and winter. My only gripe is that it doesn’t work well for leftovers because the pasta absorbs the chicken broth.

MINI MEATBALL ORZO SOUP

  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
  • 3 tbs Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 3 tbs breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot. Sauté the onion and carrot for five minutes, then add the broth and bring up to a boil.

Mix the meat with cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix, and if the mixture is too moist, add a few more breadcrumbs.

When the soup comes to a boil, roll and drop 1-inch meatballs into the broth. Stir in the orzo and cook for five to eight minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray’s Yum-O: The Family Cookbook