I love winter! I’m naturally always hot (temperature-wise) so when the temperature drops Julianne is a happy girl. One of the most enjoyable things about winter is comfort food. I’m talking slow-made, stews, soups and casseroles. Mushy warm goodness that is my winter Chicken & Dumpling recipe is like a bowl of hugs for the soul. Curling up with a bowl and a spoon in front of a warm Netflix screen is a perfect evening for me and Kitty.
My mother is Filipina and my dad was in the Navy, so growing up we had a lot of delicious foods. My dad is of Italian, Irish and German descent and specialized in lasagna, chili and mashed potatoes. Mom’s Lumpia and chicken adobo were and are the best you will ever taste. However, it was until my childhood friend Barbi (not a doll although I was definitely a Barbie-girl– Barbi being short for Barbra) moved to Virginia from Georgia. And thus, with many a night spent over at her house I got to sample a whole new world of foods: southern comfort food. I remember chatting with her mother, Brenda, over the stove while she made Chicken & Dumplings for me the first time. I remember being very confused, what was this lovely stewish soupy thing? Why was it so delicious?
It wasn’t until years later when I returned from my first deployment that I got interested in cooking. Ship chow isn’t bad, most of it is pretty okay really! Plus not having to wash a dish for seven months during deployment ain’t bad either. Well, unless you’re mess cranking, but that’s a whole other store.
Anyway, for the seven or eight months of my first deployment it was my first year without the home cooking of my parents, the friends of my parents and mostly without fast food or take out. Many military member will tell you most of deployment conversation revolves around, “what’s the first thing you’re going to eat when you get home?” For me, it was three things. Mexican food, spaghetti and meat sauce, and Chicken & Dumplings.
My first crack at C&D was Sandra Lee’s semi-homemade Chicken and Dumplings. This recipe is delicious, fast and frankly way less of a pain in the ass than my recipe. Roast Chicken + Chicken Broth+ Biscuit dough + veggies= you’ve gained about three hours of your life back.
But if you’ve got an abundance of time and are a homebody like me, then my recipe is easy enough. It also is mostly made from scratch so you know what’s in it. It’s minimally processed, low on salt and high in fresh veggies. I like to sneak leafy greens into everything too, it gives me a sense of morality with my comfy decadence. Boiling the bones and the scraps a second time gives the broth a heartier more velvety texture because the gelatin starts to extract. In addition, a whole chicken is the lowest price you’ll pay for chicken, so this recipe is a bargain as well.
Happy Wintering y’all!