If I had to pick a favorite blogger it would be, without a doubt, Annie of Annie's Eats. She has inspired me to be more daring in the kitchen, especially the baking department. Her photo tutorials and tips have turned recipes that I thought were going to be too difficult into something that I can definitely complete successfully.
I've been reading Annie's blog for a long, long time. We are a part of the same message board community and on the occasions that we've communicated, she's always been sweet and funny and someone that you know you would get along with outside of the blogging world.
Annie has two darling children, a seemingly wonderful husband - a great family. Over the Thanksgiving holiday Annie experienced a great, unexpected loss within her close knit circle. Her father suddenly passed away, with no warning. I know that her world is forever changed and my eyes are welling with tears as I type this.
I offer my condolences and if I could, I would deliver this warm, delicious casserole directly to your doorstep, Annie. For me, this is comfort food as its height. The classic flavors of chicken and dumplings in casserole form. I am thinking of you and your family in this difficult time.
Chicken and Dumplings Casserole
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into ¼-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 onion, minced
3 cups chicken broth
¾ cup heavy cream, ½ & ½, or whole milk
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 bay leaves
1 ½ cups frozen peas
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
For the dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ cup whole milk, warm
¼ cup buttermilk, warm
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease a 13x9 inch baking dish; set aside.
2. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Place into a baking dish large enough to fit both pieces of chicken, drizzle chicken with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes depending on size of chicken pieces. Let cool and then chop into bite size pieces. 3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the broth, cream, potatoes, and bay leaves, scraping up any browned bits.
4. Add the chicken, along with any accumulated juices, to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes.
5. Using a potato masher, gently mash about half of the potatoes. Stir in the peas and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into prepared baking dish and set aside.
6. Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in the milk and buttermilk until incorporated. Using two soup spoons, drop eight generous ¼ cup dumplings onto the filling, about 1 inch apart. Brush the tops of the dumplings with the melted butter.
7. Place the baking dish the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling and dumplings are golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Cook's Country Best Lost Suppers