Comfort Food

What do you do when you come home from a visit to the nursing home sad, your house is an empty nest and you’re in need of some comfort?   Of course you start menu planning and cooking.  When I get in these funks, I love to find comfort in food.  I’m not talking chips and cake, though those would be just fine.  I’m talking good, hearty meals that bring back memories of days gone by.  Using what I have in the house, today I decided to make one of my childrens’ favorite meals.  Whenever I had chicken and would ask them what they wanted for dinner, inevitably they’d all say – chicken in broth.7E10B182-A46A-4C4E-ACB6-788142EAEBF6

I have three children, two boys and one girl.  They are off being busy adulting these days, but I can still remember when they were all here.  The madness, the noise, the mess, be careful about wishing them away for you will miss it all someday.  My house is way too quiet for me on these dreary winter days, so today I will conjure up images of the past and eat some beautiful chicken with broth.  Maybe, just maybe, if there’s any left I’ll pack some up for them.

When I was a young working mother of three, I really had little time to prepare any fancy meals.  I looked for easy meals that would be finished in a short amount of time and didn’t require a lot of ingredients or preparation.  My dad always loved chicken pot pies, but who really had the time back then to make pie crusts and fill them.  My kids all preferred the insides of the pie anyway, so I just made up a simple version that did not require baking, or a crust.  I loved the simplicity of the meal, but it packs a good punch of comfort and warmth.  If you decide to try it, please let me know how it worked out for you.  If you tweaked it, I don’t get offended, let me know as well.

Laura’s Chicken in Broth

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken tenders cubed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (If you like it thicker use one cup)
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • unsalted butter or olive oil

Directions:

  • Pour a glass of Pinot Grigio and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchenF32DA590-EDBB-4799-B8ED-3FFA51E50D20
  • In Dutch oven over medium heat, brown chopped onion, red pepper flakes, celery and carrots in unsalted butter or olive oil. (4 minutes)A1386E2C-A490-4387-82AF-1905CF25D403
  • Add chopped garlic and sautee for an additional minute.
  • Place chicken cubes into a food storage bag with flour. Shake to coat.
  • Move onion mix to outside edges of pot to make room in center for chicken.  Add some oil and place chicken in.
  • Cook to brown, stirring as needed.95B73322-8591-4CD3-850E-B23F3B85D76D
  • Add some broth to deglaze the pot, then add remaining broth.
  • Add spices2DBEC3CB-C3C0-4EDA-A8CE-13BCBC96476B
  • Stir, reduce heat and cover
  • Cook on stovetop, covered, over low heat for 60 minutes.3E8A0B1E-3B93-4F37-AAE8-66FD92E16DE5

We have added pasta, potatoes, rice, spaetzle and many other items to this recipe.  Today, I added small red potatoes.  They were peeled and put in right from the beginning.  If adding pasta, only add it during the last 30 minutes.  Do the same for rice.

Today, since I am seeking comfort in food, but avoiding the Ruffles, I decided to make homemade biscuits.  They are wonderful for soaking up the broth.  These are NOT biscuits that will rise and be buttered   These are biscuits that you put right in the broth in your bowl.  Break them into pieces and put them right in.E31943DA-656F-49C7-BAC6-B04E6B845F7E

Laura’s Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

Directions:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in your Kitchen Aid mixer, using paddle attachment.2C92FE4B-6464-406A-9EBC-3EE5A1E6094B
  • Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.
  • Add the heavy cream and combine on low speed.
  • Place the dough on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick.86CE6039-C556-4394-8B04-129E10AFEC82
  • Cut out six circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. (Makes 12 so I freeze half for another meal)
  • Bake 20 minutes in 375 degree oven.  You can put egg wash on if preferred, we like ours plain.86DDE6E6-AC93-4A0E-9793-3BC6DBA1784B

We are eating in the kitchen tonight so we can watch and listen to the playoff game.  5F2AD953-60AF-4C6B-A0CD-70B8101CFC76

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