Cook of the Week: B.C. Lipford recipes

Thomas Wells

Chicken and Dumplings

4 to 5 skin-on, bone-in chicken breast halves

2 quarts water

1 large onion, quartered

3 carrots, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces

3 large celery ribs, cut in 2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

2 cups self-rising flour, sifted

1⁄3 cup shortening

1⁄2 cup reserved chicken stock

2 to 3 tablespoons butter

Wash chicken breasts and put them in a large pot with 2 quarts of water, onion, carrots, celery and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 11⁄2 hours. Remove chicken and allow it to cool. Pour broth over a strainer; discard onions, celery and carrots. Pour strained broth back into the pot. Set aside 1⁄2 cup of broth. When chicken is cool, break it into bite-size pieces.

Combine the sifted flour and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the reserved 1⁄2 cup chicken stock a little at a time and stir with a fork until the mixture leaves the sides of the mixing bowl. Roll out dough to 1⁄8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Begin cutting long strips about 1-inch wide, then cut the strips into 3-inch-long dumplings.

While you’re cutting the dumplings, bring the chicken stock back to a rolling boil; add butter. Add the dumplings to the stock, one at a time, working quickly. After all dumplings are in, immediately reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes until dumplings are done. Gently stir once or twice during the cooking process to prevent the dumplings from sticking together. Stir the chicken pieces into the dumplings shortly before serving.

Southern Pecan Pies

3 eggs, lightly beaten

11⁄3 cups light corn syrup

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

11⁄2 cups pecans

2 regular pie shells, unbaked

In a large bowl, combine eggs, corn syrup, flour, sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Divide pecans evenly between two pie shells and top with egg mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean.

Ham and Sausage Jambalaya

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

11⁄2 cups chopped celery

1 stick butter

11⁄2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon Paul Prudhomme’s Vegetable Magic

1 teaspoon Paul Prudhomme’s Veal and Pork Magic

3 cups chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can Italian-seasoned stewed tomatoes

1⁄2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

2 bay leaves

1⁄4 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon thyme

11⁄2 cups cooked, diced ham

1 pound kielbasa sausage, cut in 1-inch lengths

11⁄2 cups uncooked instant rice

Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper and celery and stir occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add butter, garlic and Prudhomme’s seasonings and continue to heat and stir until butter is melted. Add broth, tomatoes, Tabasco, bay leaves, allspice, thyme, ham and sausage. Heat until mixture begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and add uncooked rice. Cover for 6 to 8 minutes or until rice is tender.

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

4 Russet potatoes, cut in 1⁄4-inch slices

1 onion, sliced in rings

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

11⁄2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Layer half the potatoes in the bottom of a greased casserole. Top with the onion slices, then the remaining potato slices. Season with salt and pepper.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in  flour and salt and stir constantly for 1 minute. Stir in milk and cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese mixture over the potatoes and cover the dish with foil. Bake 11⁄2 hours.

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