Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables

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What’s the definition of comfort food?, Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables. It’s so comforting you’ll get warm fuzzies inside!

I do have to honest here, I didn’t make my own dumplings or this dish, I took some help from my local grocery store. I mean, making your own from scratch is probably best and can make all the difference in the world except if you’re like where the value of your time, store-bought dumplings are a quick alternative and a great time saver.

One ingredient that’s a staple in my frig is chicken fat. Steve loves to grill chicken thighs and doesn’t use the skin, he gives those to me. I render the chicken skin down and collect all the drippings (chicken fat) for recipes like, Matzo ball soup and this dish. The fat adds so much flavor by enhansing the chicken flavor thoughtout certain recipes. I’ll show you how I incorporate it.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Chicken Quesadillas (10)

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Chicken Quesadillas (12)

Shredded Chicken

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Onion

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (4-quart) saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, 1 (6-quart) stockpot

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 tablespoons chicken fat (substitute 3 tablespoons of olive oil)
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, poached and shredded
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary (crush up in your hand)
1 1/2 teapsoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1 (10.5-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 package of Mary B’s Open Kettle Dumplings (12 ounces, break strips in half, freeze unused dumplings)
1 package frozen peas, optional
6 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

Tip: While chicken is poaching, prep all the vegetables for this dish.

Directions For Poaching Chicken:
To start, place 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, in a single layer, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and a sprinkling of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, into a large pot. Cover the chicken with either water or (I’m using) unsalted chicken broth. If the 1 quart of broth does not cover the chicken completely, add water so that it will cover the chicken by at least 1-inch.

Bring the chicken to a boil on medium-high heat. You’ll see some white scummy foam collecting on the surface as the liquid starts to boil.  Since I’m not using the poaching liquid for this recipe, there is no need to skim this off, it’s fine to leave it.

As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer. The chicken will typically finish cooking between 25 to 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat and whether it has a bone. The chicken breasts are done when they are opaque through the middle and an instant-read thermometer put into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165-degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, transfer the cutting board, and begin shredding them using two forks, transfer to a bowl.

Directions For Frozen Dumplings:
Gently separate the dumplings right before adding them to the broth.

Directions For The Chicken And Dumplings:
In a small dice, dice the onions, carrots, and celery. Finely mince the garlic. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil, and chicken fat over medium heat. Add in all the vegetables, poultry seasoning, bay leaves, and rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook until the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cream of chicken soup to the pot and stir. Next, add the chicken broth (making sure to add enough broth to where it comes up to over the halfway mark in the soup pot), and give another good stir. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait until it returns to a boil. Once boiling, drop in the dumplings one by one. Let them boil in the soup, (45 minutes according to the package), stirring occasionally until they are all tender. Next, carefully fish out the two bay leaves.

Return cooked shredded chicken to the pot and gently stir through.

To Thicken Broth:
In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of corn starch with 4 tablespoons of water.
Add to the boiling broth, a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency. This is my Chicken And Dumplings With Vegetables.

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Pavlova With Fresh Berries

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There’s a long-standing argument on whom credit is given, New Zealand or Australia, for creating this beautiful dessert. This dessert was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who first toured Down Under in 1926. It was said that this dessert was created by a Wellington chef in her “honor”.

This meringue-based dessert’s origin was created somewhere else. After tireless research, it turns out this dessert actually belongs to the Americans and English. This meringue-based dessert with its crisp crust, and soft light inside, usually, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit is as elegant as it is delicious.

Pavlova With Fresh Berries is a dessert that can be made in advance and assembled right before serving. I’m going to use all types of fresh berries and modestly toss them in a delicious raspberry sauce. I’m also going to make a fresh whipped cream kissed with pure vanilla.

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mint

Fresh-Mint-Leaves

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food Processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, Stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, pastry bag with a star tip

Ingredients For Meringue:
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup of sugar
3 teaspoons of cornstarch, sifted
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract

Raspberry Sauce:
Yields: 2 cups
1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of raspberry jam with seeds (seedless optional)
1 tablespoon of Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

Fresh Berries:
1/2 pint of hulled and sliced strawberries
1/2 pint of fresh blueberries
1/2 pint of fresh blackberries
1/2 pint of fresh raspberries
Fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 180-degrees F.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw the outline of 4 inverted 6-inch creme brulee dishes, using the dishes as your guide, two on each paper. Turn the paper upside down so the pencil marks won’t get on the meringue.

Place the egg whites and salt n the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about a minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about another 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the sifted corn starch, white vinegar, and vanilla extract to the beaten egg whites.

Fill the piping bag with a star tip with the egg whites. Starting in the middle moving outwards, draw out the meringue to complete the traced outline of the creme brulee dish. Once the outside of the line of the dish has been reached, go around one more time on the outer line to make a lip. This will allow you to fill the meringues to be filled. Refer to the pictures above.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven, for a least 1 additional hour. They will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

While the meringues are baking and cooling in the oven, this gives plenty of time to make the raspberry sauce and prepare the whipped cream.

Directions For Raspberry Sauce:
Place the raspberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and the Chambord, into the bowl of the food processor, fitted with a steel blade, and process until smooth. Transfer the raspberry sauce to the frig and chill.

Directions For Sweetened Whipped Cream:
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When the cream starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Note: Do not overbeat!!!
Yields: 2 cups

To Serve the Pavlova With Fresh Berries, carefully place the meringues onto the serving dishes. When ready to serve, fill the centers of the meringues with sweetened whipped cream. Place 1/4 cup of the mixed fresh berries (per meringue cookie) in a bowl. Ladle 1 to 2 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce in with the fresh berries and toss. Then ladle the sauced berries onto the top of the whipped cream in the center of each of the meringue cookies. Take a tablespoon of the raspberry sauce and drizzle some around the meringue. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

2 Comments »

Sweet Chili Fire Chicken

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How about making “take out” at home? I’m saying “why not”! Sometimes grabbing fast food once and a while is sometimes a necessity. Making delicious Chinese “take-out” dishes at home is even better. A few simple ingredients with a heavy bottom pot can make this dish a reality. This is my version of Sweet Chili Fire Chicken.

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Chives (2)

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Snow Peas

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Olive Oil

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eggs

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, candy thermometer, spider, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red bell peppers, julienned
2 1/2 cups of canned pineapple chunks, drained
2 bottles of Thai sweet chili sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of snow peas, very thinly sliced on the bias
3 tablespoons of chives, finely minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

For The Chicken:
2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/2-inch size cubes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 cups of cornstarch
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:
Prep all the veggies first, having them on stand-by.  Using a meat cutting board, dice up all the chicken, tossing them into a bowl along with the salt and pepper.  Using tongs, make sure the salt and pepper are distributed evenly on the chicken. Grab the largest bowl you have or a large Tupperware container, making it easier to coat the diced chicken pieces. Next, add the flour and toss so that all the pieces are coated.

Preheat Vegetable oil to 360-degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, and using a candy thermometer, have the oil temperature reach 360-degrees F. The oil will take a little while to reach the perfect temperature for frying. Move on to sautéing the vegetables.

Add olive oil to the sauté pan. Over medium-high heat, add the veggies and minced garlic. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, cook until just soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks just to warm through. Turn the heat off.

Transfer the sautéed veggies and pineapple, from the sauté pan, to a large deep-sided skillet. This will be necessary for accommodating all the ingredients. Set the skillet to the back of the stove before starting the frying process.

In one large mixing bowl have the beaten eggs, in another large mixing bowl have the cornstarch. In small batches, dip the diced chicken into the eggs and then into the cornstarch shaking off any excess cornstarch. Place the finished coated chicken pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Check the temperature of the oil. Once the oil is ready, add the battered chicken in small batches, about 5 to 6  at a time, into the pot. Continue dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the cornstarch. Cook around 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, then transfer them onto a sheet pan lined with a paper towel. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are cooked.

Place the skillet over medium heat. Add in all the crispy golden pieces of chicken to the veggie and pineapple mixture. Pour in the bottles of the Thai sweet chili sauce and toss to combine. Simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once everything is hot, turn the heat off. Garnish with minced chives.

Serve immediately.

I like to serve my Sweet Chili Fire Chicken over a bed of Basmati rice.

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