I love food in a bowl. Macaroni…corn flakes…ice cream…
Each one of those things makes me happy, gives me that warm fuzzy feeling that makes a great bite of something worth the time, expense or both.
When I travel and know I may never return to the area of the world I am I always ask “if I never return, what is the one bite I should remember “insert city name here” by?
In St. Louis the answer was chicken and biscuits. Gosh. That seemed pretty pedestrian but since I asked I took the advice. That bite came so long ago but I still remember the buttery biscuits over a chunky and creamy chicken stew. I was traveling alone for business and remember that evening not just for the meal but because after dinner I went to the lobby bar, busy with folks participating in the Variety Club Telethon. Lou Rawls was the celebrity host and chat with me about the mission of the organization. It was just a few short years after our son died and he was very kind. It was exactly 23 years ago this month because my best memory of that trip, however, was coming home and finding I was expecting our son.
Chicken and biscuits…food in a bowl…warm fuzzy…this is how my mind works.
My friend recently asked me if I had a good recipe for chicken and dumplings. Honestly I had no idea what the difference between chicken and biscuits and chicken and dumplings was. The Internet is a beautiful thing. I did a little research and learned dumplings and biscuits are made from the same biscuit mixture, which varies regionally, but cooked differently.
The chicken is cooked in a liquid (usually water which miraculously turns to chicken broth when simmered with a chicken and other good stuff) and then removed. The biscuit mixture (I saw some recipes where the only biscuit mixture preparation was “pop open the tube”) is dropped in the broth where it turns into moist, dense drops of goodness called dumplings. The broth is then thickened and the chicken and vegetables are added back in and simmered a bit more to cook the chicken and dumplings through.
Chicken and biscuits are a savory chicken stew finished in the oven with biscuits baked on top. If you put the mixture into a bowl, cover it with a pastry dough and bake you’ve just made chicken pot pie.
At our house we like the stew straight in the bowl. I have played around with some ingredients and offer you my twist on this savory chicken recipe which when eaten from a bowl is meant to bring back a memory of home.
Jude’s Shredded Chicken Stew
Prep time: 1:00
Total time: 11:00
Categories: Chicken & Other Poultry, Soup & Stew
• 4-5 lb Chicken Thighs, bone in, skin removed
• 2 Potatoes
• 3 Parsnips
• 4 Carrots
• 3 Stalks Celery
• 10 oz Pearl Onions**frozen are fine but see below for an easy tutorial on using fresh pearl onions
• 6-7 oz Shitake Mushrooms
• 1 12oz-16 oz bag Frozen Peas
• 2 Tbsp Butter
• ½ c flour
Peel and cube all vegetables. Clean mushrooms, remove stems, cut in half then chop. Add to slow cooker.
Boil pearl onions for three minutes, rinse in cold water and drain. With one hand remove stem while squeezing onion out with the other. Add to slow cooker.
Season vegetables with about 1 tablespoon coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Mix with hands.
Remove skin from chicken and place on top of vegetables. Season generously with Old Bay seasoning. Cook on low for 9-10 hours.
Remove chicken from slow cooker into a bowl, saving any drippings.
Using a turkey baster, remove as much liquid as possible, at least two cups.
Add frozen peas.
Cool chicken to the touch and remove from bones. With two large forks, shred chicken and add back to slow cooker.
In medium saucepan, over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons butter. Whisk in ½ cup flour and heat through. Add 2 cups liquid from slow cooker. Whisk gravy until thick. Fold in gently to chicken mixture.
Cover and heat on medium for 15 minutes.
Serve in bowls with bread and butter.
**how to peel pearl onions
Add to boiling water and cook about 3-4 minutes.
Squeeze into bowl.