So I have to admit I watch Martha Stewart. I think she’s a freakin’ genius in the kitchen. I don’t think though I’ve ever actually made any of her recipes because I just don’t have the time to make everything from scratch. However, her guests are another thing. I’ve tried recipes that several of her chef or foodie guests have presented because they’re so much more feasible for a normal person with a life.
Recently Martha had Jessica Seinfeld on her show to promote her new book, Double Delicious. She made some really cool and simple looking breakfast items and I was sold. I didn’t rush out to buy her book but the next time I was at Costco I happened to notice it in the book section and I picked it up. This is a continuation from her first book Deceptively Delicious and includes recipes that are appropriate for family meals any time. All recipes include some kind of fruit or vegetable puree. The pictures are wonderful and the recipes are straightforward and fast. I’ve made a few of them already and all have been hits with both my picky little girl and almost equally picky husband (wonder where she gets it…).
I made this Chicken and Biscuits for dinner on one of our recent crazy snowy New England days. It was the perfect comfort food to warm you up on a cold day after spending hours battling the snow! It was really tasty with a hint of sweetness in the biscuits and a wonderful rich gravy. I had to improvise a little since I didn’t have buttermilk and was fresh out of whole wheat flour. So, I googled how to make buttermilk and found a great tip on ehow.com: 1 tbs of white vinegar mixed with 1 cup minus 1 tbs of milk will make a substitute (put the vinegar in a measuring cup and add milk to the 1 cup line and let sit for 5 minutes.) Note: if you try this substitution, this recipe calls for ¾ cups of buttermilk. Instead of the whole wheat flour, I used enriched unbleached flour. My substitutions must have gone somehow wrong though since my biscuit dough was too runny and instead of individual biscuits dotted over the chicken, it had a sort of biscuit crust covering the whole thing (I suspect it was the flour). Still, it wasn’t a bad thing and the biscuit dough definitely had the buttermilky tang to it and cooked up nice and airy. The recipe serves 6 and between my husband, our daughter, my mom, and me, there was only a tiny bit left over (enough for my daughter to have lunch the next day). Clearly we all liked it! My little girl actually asked for thirds! Unfortunately I don’t have a photo to share since my camera’s battery decided to die just as I tried to take some pictures but when I make it again I’ll take some photos and share them. Probably when I make it again I’ll add some frozen peas to the gravy for some added texture and goodness. Try the recipe, check out Seinfeld’s website at www.doitdelicious.com and buy her book.
1tbs olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (about 1 pound)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (8.5 oz) can reduced fat cream of celery soup (no one in our family likes celery so I used cream of mushroom soup and it tasted really good.)
½ cup non fat (skim) milk
½ cup pumpkin, carrot, or sweet potato puree
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup trans-fat-free, soft tub margarine spread
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup honey
½ tsp cream of tartar
¾ cup low-fat (1%) buttermilk
1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with pepper. Add it to the casserole and cook until the chicken begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the soup, milk, and vegetable puree until all ingredients are well combined. Remove from heat.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare the biscuits. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Rub the margarine into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg, honey, cream of tartar, and buttermilk all at once. Mix just until a soft dough forms. Dot the biscuit dough over the chicken mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, uncovered, until the biscuits are cooked through and golden on top. Serve immediately.
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Yield: Serves 6
The time is pretty accurate as I even had time to make carrot puree from scratch (cooking the carrots it my trusty microwave) and still it only took about an hour altogether.