September 16, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings-Trial One

I recently met a friend at a bar here in St. Johns which is somewhat known for its chicken and dumplings. I'll admit, I've never had chicken and dumplings before and I didn't that night either. But my friend did and as I looked at the dish I thought, hm, just seems like thicker chicken pot pie without all the fuss, I could probably swing that. And it just so happens that DP loves chicken and dumplings. Probably because he likes to say dumplings but really, who doesn't? I went in search of a recipe and ended up with one from Real Simple that looked easy. I didn't change much about the recipe except for I poached some chicken breasts and shredded them instead of using a store bought rotisserie chicken. Oh yes and I added mushrooms. And peas.

I liked this recipe but it lacked the thickness that I wanted. Next time I'd probably try using a slurry or a beurre manie to thicken it up. I'll definitely give this another go during the approaching fall! I have posted the recipe as I made it.

Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Real Simple

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups of crimini mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 3/4 cup of frozen peas, or fresh if you have 'em
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 medium sized chicken breasts (2 1/2 to 3 lbs), poached and meat shredded
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


  1. First poach the chicken. Cover chicken with water in a medium sauce pan. Add any spices you like, I usually go for ones that dissolve easily. After about 15 minutes of boiling, check the chicken. Be careful not to overcook it as it will cook a little bit more later in the recipe. Once it's done, put it on a plate and shred it using two forks.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, leek, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute (do not let it darken). Stir in the broth, wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 cup of flour with the baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir in the sour cream and egg.
  4. If soup doesn't seem thick enough, this is where I might add in a slurry to thicken it up. Add the frozen peas. Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough into the stew and cook, covered, until the dumplings are plump and cooked through, 15 to 17 minutes. Sprinkle with the dill before serving.

Siamese Mushroom!
Chopped up
I really missed Mich for this one, she's a master shredder
This was the fun part
and done.

September 6, 2010

Blueberry Streusel Scones

Having newly discovered my love of baking, thanks to those cupcakes I posted about whenever that was, I decided to make some scones last weekend for breakfast. Scones are another new love of mine, since I recently discovered that scones are delicious and flaky like a biscuit and not hard as rocks as I had been led to believe by a certain big coffee company's poor excuse for scones! In any case, I had been wanting to make something with the blueberries that popped up in our front yard and I found this tasty recipe on Joy of Baking.

Without further ado:
Blueberry Streusel Scones!

Blueberry Streusel Scones:
-2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
-1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
-2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
-1/8 teaspoon salt
-6 tablespoons (85 grams) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
-1 cup (150 grams) fresh blueberries
-1 large egg, lightly beaten
-1 teaspoon (5 grams) pure vanilla extract
-1/2 cup (120 ml) milk or cream
-Brushing tops of scones:
-Milk or Cream

Streusel Topping:
-1/4 cup (55 grams) brown sugar
-1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-2 tablespoons (30 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

For the Scones: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries. In a small measuring cup combine the cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough or the scones will be tough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough gently four or five times and then pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round and about 11/2 inches (4 cm) thick. Cut this circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream or milk.

For the Streusel Topping: In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until crumbly. Top each scone with a teaspoon or two of the streusel mixture. Cover and refrigerate any leftover streusel mixture.

Bake the scones until nicely browned, about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. These are best eaten the day they are made but can be covered and stored for a few days. Makes 8 scones.

Note: I did not have any baking powder! so after a little bit of research, I put in about 1 teaspoon of baking soda and about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I also discovered mid mix that I did not have vanilla! I just threw in a tiny extra sugar. The scones still turned out delicious though probably not perfect. We ate them all up over the next few days and I marvelled at my newly acquired baking skills. These also weren't nearly as sweet as we expected they would be, given the streusel topping. Super tasty and a great consistency, even with my jankity improvisations!

Sadly, none of my photos turned out so hot, but you can get the idea:

Scones made with blueberries picked out of our front yard!

2010-08-29 scones 003