Last week I featured Ada's Banana Pudding recipe and a snippet from my new book SLOW AND STEADY RUSH. Next up is my heroine Darcy's Chicken and Dumplings. This is definitely a Southern favorite.
A RT Book Reviews
"....marvelously funny, engaging, and memorable in a place where everyone knows your name."
Southern style chicken and dumplings are easier than you think and great for weeknight dinners. Kid and hungry, single hero approved.
2 celery ribs, diced
3 carrots, diced
~5 cups chicken broth (of course, Darcy makes her own, but store bought is fine tooJ)
1 tsp Poultry seasoning
½ tsp pepper
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (for a quick weeknight dinner use a ready-made Rotisserie)
1 ⅔ cups of baking mix (Bisquick or Darcy prefers Formula L Biscuit Mix by Southern Biscuit)
⅔ cup milk or buttermilk
1. Sauté celery and carrots in large Dutch oven coated in cooking spray or teaspoon of oil for ~6 minutes or until tender.
2. Stir in broth, poultry seasoning, and pepper, bringing it to a boil.
3. Stir together baking mix and milk/buttermilk until blended. Turn out onto floured surface. Roll dough to ~1/8 in thickness. Cut into strips. Drop strips into broth.
4. Stir in chicken. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes.
SLOW AND STEADY RUSH (Teaser with chicken and dumplings!)
A comfortable silence gathered around them. Chicken broth heated while Darcy rolled out dumplings.
“I ran into Robbie at the Pig. The man looks like he’s living on frozen pizza and pot pies.” Darcy cut dough and dropped it piece by piece into the broth.
“I’m sure he’s been missing my dinners,” Ada said.
“What do you mean?”
“He would check on me conveniently right around supper time. I got into the habit of inviting him in. He turned me down the first few times, but I told him if he was going to keep taking out my trash and mowing the grass, he’d better accept food as payment.”
Darcy stirred the dumplings and half-turned to see her grandmother. “Did he talk much about himself? About family?”
Ada barked a laugh. “He didn’t talk much at all.” She paused. “He hasn’t had a lick of family visit.”
Logan’s comments about Robbie’s lack of mail in Afghanistan added to the resonating sadness she sensed behind his gruff exterior, and an ache that had nothing to do with hunger gnawed at her stomach.
After finishing the pot of chicken and dumplings, she spooned a large serving into a bowl. Pulling out the last slice of pie, she slipped on tennis shoes and started down the lane to his house.
His truck was there, and she almost turned around. No, she could do this. She knocked on the front door. Nothing moved. Relief punched the disappointment to the pit of her stomach. Indecision had her wandering the length of his porch and peeking in the windows. If she left the food outside, varmints would be on it in no time.
She jiggled the knob, and the door swung open. Calling his name, she stepped over the threshold, tensed for an attack. The house felt empty. She continued into the kitchen and set the food on his stove. Since she was here, a peek into the den wouldn’t hurt, would it?
A few magazines covered a scuffed coffee table. To Kill a Mockingbird was splayed open on an ottoman. Everything was surprisingly neat and clean for bachelor quarters. A single picture was propped on the mantle in a cheap-looking plastic frame.
With a glance toward the front door, she moved farther into his domain and took down the picture. It was a young Robbie in a gold-and-purple football uniform. A middle-aged man stood at his side wearing khakis, a whistle hanging around his neck. The man had an encompassing smile and kind eyes. His hand lay on Robbie’s shoulder pads. The teenaged Robbie already wore a protective, hard look on his face. Unsmiling, he stood apart and alone.