Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Ideas...

Well, for a few months I've been cooking from Ina Garten. She has been my biggest cooking inspiration since watching the Food Network. Well, what I've found is her meals take what feels like Forever to prepare and assemble. Which is suitable for a weekend but not a weeknight. They are also quite expensive. I'm hooked on this new personality of Food Network, Claire Robinson. Her show is 5 Ingredient Fix. Pretty amazing how few ingredients can be used for a meal! I also really enjoy Sandra Lee Semi Homemade. They are a much different style than Ina, clearly but it's more suitable for easy weeknight preparation that tastes great!

It's funny how you can be so into something for a while but than get tired of it. I think since Ina's meals were so time consuming I got a little tired of all that. But now I think this new woman plus Sandra Lee and others it will make it more interesting. I'm also going to try out some healthier foods for a while also. There is someone in my life now who is becoming health conscious and I want to support that fully! Check back with me tomorrow night because I'm trying out Giada DiLaurentis's Ground Chicken Burgers with a Rosemary garlic Mayo topped with Arugula. It looked very appealing.

I want to try Clair's fresh Tuna salad also. She had a great technique for helping to remove the fishy flavor from her kitchen. She put parchment paper on the pan and layered lemon slices down. Than she placed the Tuna on top of the lemon and wrapped the parchment paper over it for an easy clean up. Pretty clever!

Well, til next time Happy Cooking my friends!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ina's Chicken Stew With Biscuits

Earlier this week I made Ina Garten's Chicken Stew with Biscuits. It was absolutely delicious. I have to admit this was one of her easier recipes. You first have to cook the chicken and than assemble the stew. The only thing I didn't like about it was the pearl onions. I love chopped/sauteed onions but the pearls were just too big and unnecessary in my opinion. But the biscuits were the best part! So most and scrumptious! It makes great left overs too! :) I haven't done much cooking in a while. Ina's recipes I've found are more meant for special occasions. Her Greek lasagna was amazing but it took a few hours to prepare! Not suitable for a week night but absolutely delicious. I'm still going to blog about cooking but with numerous chefs. Sandra lee had a show today where everything had beer in it. It was for the German Festival and she made an awesome apple angel food cake. It was simply a store bought angel food cake and her apple topping. She soaked the apples with half water and half lemon soda pop to keep them from browning. Than she made the topping which was butter, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup and apple brandy! How cool is that? It looked amazing.

Well, I'm off to make some muffins!

Til next time friends,

Chicken Stew with Biscuits

Ina Garten
2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All rights reserved
  • Cook Time:45 min

  • Level: Intermediate

  • Yield: 8 servings


  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the biscuits:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.