Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chicken and Dumplings

This is a seriously homey dish--perfect for a cozy winter Sunday when you're home for the long haul and have the time to let it cook for good, long time. I started this in the morning and let it simmer away on the back of my stove building layers of flavor through the afternoon until I was ready to devour an embarrassingly large portion of it that evening. The dumplings will be big and lumpy and awkward-looking, but still delicious. Just go with it. xo

Chicken and Dumplings
Adapted from My Father's Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
3 lbs. chicken thighs and legs
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 slice bacon, finely diced
1 dried bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Fresh parsley, torn (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the chicken and aggressively season the pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and olive oil in the largest, widest oven-safe pot you have, at least 12 inches wide, with a lid, over medium-high heat. Thoroughly brown the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary (7-8 minutes per side), and remove to a plate, leaving the fat in the pot. Add the vegetables, bacon, bay leaf, and thyme to the pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

Return the chicken to the pot. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and water, bring to a boil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with a circle of parchment paper, and put the lid on top. Cook the chicken in your 400 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, half-and-half, and fine salt together in a bowl. Take the pot out of the oven, discard the parchment and scoop large spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture on top of the chicken mixture--you should end up with about 10 dumplings. Cover the pot and put back in the oven for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and bit more black pepper. Serve immediately, being sure to spoon plenty of juices over each portion.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ralph Lauren Fall 2013

I started off my Valentine's Day in the loveliest of ways this morning--at the gorgeous Ralph Lauren fall 2013 show. Such a beautiful, romantic collection. xo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fettuccine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Shrimp

I'm getting to that point in February where I start to get desperate for some warmth and sunshine. You know what I'm talking about--you want to burn your coat and your tights, all your sweaters are pilling, you've eaten your body weight in stews and red meat and potatoes, and you'd just about give your left arm for a light, fresh heirloom tomato salad. Sigh.

So, over the weekend, I whipped up a pasta that was as close to summertime eating as I could get. I used sun-dried tomatoes in lieu of the fresh ones that are nowhere to be found at the moment, and some delicious jumbo shrimp. It was pretty heavenly. x

Fettuccine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Shrimp
Serves 4
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 1/2 lbs uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2-3 scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
2 tablespoons shredded basil, plus extra to garnish
1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
Pinch of ground white pepper
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan or grana padano, plus extra to serve
11 ounces fettuccine
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat and saute the garlic until softened but not colored. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque. Remove the shrimp from the skillet and leave to cool, then chop into thirds.

Add the scallion, basil, sun-dried tomato, pepper, chicken broth, and cream to the skillet, and cook over medium-low heat, bubbling away gently, for about 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and is at the consistency you like. Stir in the parmesan and cook for 1-2 minutes more until melted and combined.

Return the shrimp to the sauce to heat through and keep warm. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine in a large saucepan of salted boiling water according to package directions or until al dente. Drain well.

To serve, add the pasta to the sauce and toss together. Garnish with extra parmesan, basil, and a grinding of black pepper. Serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Superbowl Recipes + Entertaining

I gave MyHabit's blog The Fix three of my favorite Superbowl recipes (roasted chicken wings, chorizo-stuffed jalapenos, and hot crab dip) and a few entertaining tips for the big day. Click on over HERE to get the whole story. xx