October 3, 2012

Wednesday's Chow - Chicken and Dumplings and Peach Cobbler

By Caroline Clemmons.
This week's guest blogger shares not one but two country cookin' recipes.  If you didn't visit Caroline's Monday blog, The Best and Worst of Being a Writer, please do so HERE.
What do you remember about trips to Grandmother’s house? Numerous things pop into my head, but one thing I remember is the foods we had. She cooked as her mother and grandmother had. I don’t remember her trying “new” recipes other than the cake recipe from the box of White Swan Cake Flour. A good dish pioneers made was chicken and dumplings because it stretched one hen to serve a larger group of people. More people show up, add a few more dumplings. Here is my grandmother’s recipe for that dish. I’ve tried to replicate her cooking, but my result never tastes the same as hers.  I’m sure Aunt Lizzie, from the Men of Stone Mountain books BRAZOS BRIDE and HIGH STAKES BRIDE, prepared this recipe. 

                                                          Chicken and Dumplings
1 large stewing hen
2 cups flour                                                                 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup lard or shortening                                           1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk                                                                   Optional: sliced carrot and celery

Choose and prepare a nice fat hen.  Cut it up, with the meat on the bone.  Stew the chicken in a large pot with plenty of water.  After the chicken has cooked, you may want to remove the bones so people do not have to deal with them when they eat, but they add flavor and nutrition to the broth.  

Cook the chicken until it is tender (about an hour).  You can put slices of carrot and celery in the broth as the chicken cooks.  Season broth with salt and pepper.  When the chicken is tender, cook on very low simmer while you make the dumpling dough. 

To make the dough:  Mix the flour, shortening, baking powder, salt and milk.  Roll dough out thin and add more flour if it is not stiff enough.  Cut it into strips about 1" to 2" wide.  Keep heat low under chicken.  Drop half of dumplings into broth, pulling strips of dough into pieces as you drop them.  After about five minutes, push those dumplings to the side of the pan and drop in the rest of the dough in the same way.  Cook another five minutes or so.  Stir. Take a little fresh milk or buttermilk and drizzle it around the edges of the pan.  Stir.  Cook another ten minutes.  Test to insure dumplings are cooked through and serve.    

A favorite of cowboys everywhere was canned peaches, and I’m sure the Stone brothers were no different. Ranches and line shacks all over the West were stocked with canned peaches. For a busy day dessert, how about peach cobbler? And what’s even better, the recipe below is a short-cut which doesn’t require rolling out pie crust. This recipe is a favorite for my family.


Busy Day Cobbler

1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Fruit filling:

One 16 oz can fruit *
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup of the juice from the canned fruit (If there is not enough juice to make one cup, finish filling cup with water.) 

*If using fresh fruit, use 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water instead of amounts given above

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth. Pour into greased loaf pan (10 x 5 x 3) or greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Spoon drained fruit over batter. Sprinkle with sugar and juice. Bake 45 to 50 minutes. Serve with warm cream or ice cream.

Thanks to Anna Kathryn for letting me share a couple of my favorite recipes. Thank you for stopping by!
Caroline Clemmons writes mystery, romance, and adventures—although her earliest made up adventures featured her saving the West with Roy Rogers. Her career has included stay-at-home mom (her favorite job), newspaper reporter and featured columnist, assistant to the managing editor of a psychology journal, and bookkeeper. She and her husband live in rural North Central Texas with a menagerie of rescued pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, reading, travel, browsing antique malls and estate sales, and genealogy/family history.
Excerpts from some of her exceptional reviews can be found on her website, along at www.carolineclemmons.com. View her blog posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com and find book reviews, giveaways, interview, and miscellany.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/carolinclemmons (No E in Caroline)
Caroline loves to hear from readers at caroline@carolineclemmons.com

1 comment:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Anna Kathryn, I love your blog and have copied down many recipes from your Wednesday Chow posts. Thanks for letting me share today.