chicken stew with biscuits

This post is dedicated to the many people affected by Hurricane Sandy. For everyone without electricity or heat or gas or worst of all, your home, I wish I could make every single one of you this chicken stew.

I want to thank everyone who helped my family while we were without power and heat. And now that we are fortunate enough to have returned to normalcy in my household, we are glad to provide warm food, beds, and showers to friends that are still without.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my new appreciation for the comfortable lives we lead and for life itself.

This recipe is the ultimate comfort food and it is the perfect thing to cook if you are in a position share it with someone (or two or three..) who could really use it right now.

                                            

Chicken Stew with Biscuits

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

Stew:

  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 10 oz. package frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley

Biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, plus 1 tbsp. water for egg wash

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare sheet pan with cooking spray.  Place chicken breasts on sheet pan and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove meat from bones, discard skin, and cut chicken into a large dice. Should yield about 4 cups of diced chicken.

While chicken is cooking, prepare the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until butter is the size of peas.  Keeping the mixer on low speed, add the half and half. Mix in the parsley. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board and with a floured rolling pin, roll dough out to 3/8-inch thick.  Cut out biscuits with a 2-1/2 round (I used a glass).

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock.  In a large saucepan, or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions and carrot over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Add the hot chicken stock and stir for 1 more minute over low heat.  Season with salt and pepper and add heavy cream.  Add the diced chicken, peas, onions, and parsley.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until frozen vegetables are heated through.

Prepare a 10 x 13 x 2 baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer stew to baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove stew from oven and arrange biscuits on top of the filling.  Brush them with egg wash and return to oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until biscuits are browned and stew is bubbly.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

How I eat it: with extra biscuits on the side for dipping! (You may want to double the biscuit recipe like I did!)

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red wine chicken & mushroom risotto

In my last post I went on about how much I love dinner.  The food, the company, etc.  Well, get ready for more of the mushy stuff. Two weeks ago, my aunt and uncle from Florida came up to visit.  I am always looking forward to their stay because we can count on an adventure into the city, some fun and relaxing nights at home, and this year we spent a day on Fire Island as well.  Considering we only see them once, sometimes twice, a year, it always feels really special to catch up and spend some time together in person. The night they arrived I offered to cook dinner for them, my parents, brother, and grandparents.  I dug this old chicken recipe up as I was putting together my recipe book — a topic for a whole other post! Red wine chicken was probably one of the first things I ever cooked for my family (years ago!).  Before my Food & Wine and Bon Appetit reading days, Allrecipes.com was my source for new dishes and that is where I found this simple and tasteful recipe.

To re-debut the chicken, I paired it with mushroom risotto.  Risotto is one of my favorite sides — you can switch up the flavors to complement almost any meat, fish, or simply veggies! We also had green beans (made special by my dad with his favorite seasoning), and a salad courtesy of my Oma (who always puts together the freshest, most delicious salads!).

        

Red Wine Chicken & Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients (serves 8)

For the risotto:

  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2  lbs. mushrooms, sliced (I used white since they were on sale, but cremini or shitake would add nice flavor)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6-8 cups chicken stock OR vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I prefer thin-sliced)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup red wine (I always use wines that you would drink)

Method

For the risotto:

In medium saucepan, bring stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter.  Once hot, add mushrooms and a bit of salt and pepper, and allow mushrooms to soften and brown (about 10 minutes).  Remove mushrooms and juices and set aside.  Add the rest of the olive oil and butter to the same pan.  Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender (~3-5 minutes).  Add arborio rice and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure that the rice is coated with olive oil/butter.  This assures that your risotto won’t be clumpy/sticky.  Add the red wine and stir until absorbed.  Add 1 cup of stock and stir until nearly absorbed.  Continue adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time and stirring each time until nearly absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and coated in a creamy sauce.  Add the thyme, parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the chicken: 

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, coat a large skillet with olive oil.  Add garlic and saute until tender (1-2 minutes).  Brown the chicken, in batches if necessary (about 5 minutes on each side).  It is okay if the chicken is not cooked through yet — you do not want it to dry out later!  Drain the oil from the skillet and add all the chicken to the pan.  Sprinkle with the paprika and brown sugar and pour red wine around the chicken.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, occasionally basting the chicken with the sauce, until chicken is cooked through.

Chicken recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

Mushroom risotto recipe adapted from Whole Foods Classic Risotto Recipe

How I eat it: always with a some chicken and risotto in the same bite!

       

fajitas

It’s been a tough and crazy week my friends: two of my good friends are moving to the west coast, my brother is off to college, I had my wisdom teeth out, plus an earthquake and a hurricane on top of all that!  Although I’m eating yogurt and pudding for a few days, I had a few posts prepared for the yummy meals I’ve shared with my friends and my brother before they left.

This post is for one of my best friends in the whole world who’s moving to Seattle this week.  She came to Long Island last weekend and we relived a little tradition that we and our roommates had when we lived together at college: Margarita Mondays.  I loved living with my best friends and I miss those days so incredibly much! Anyway, despite the fact that it wasn’t really a Monday, we made fajitas and margaritas and watched a super cheesy movie.

I’ve adapted this recipe from my Mom and it is a regular in my household.  I usually make it with chicken, but it’s also delicious with sauteed shrimp, sliced up skirt steak, or just the veggies for you vegetarians out there!  This guacamole recipe is a necessary accompaniment to the dish.

                                            

Momma’s recipe ♥

How I eat it: a little chicken, a lotta veggies, a massive amount of guacamole.