Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How comforting is this? Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon-and-Cheddar Biscuits. Wow!

I could tell that the Chicken Pot Pie with Bacon-and-Cheddar Biscuits was labor-intensive (i.e, lots of chopping, mainly). Who but Hubby would be more interested in the outcome? After all, Chicken Pot Pie is his favorite dish. So I humored him a little and promised that I’d mention his name in my blog today if he’d be willing to help a little in the kitchen. He rose to the bait!

Boy, was he glad he did! Many minutes later (every vegetable in the produce department, practically, went into the mix) he was dining on this steamy, savory comfort-food dish with its tasty bacon-cheddar topping and tossing out enough superlatives to fill a dictionary. Wow!

Southern Living (January 2012 issue) really outdid itself with its section of shortcut chicken suppers, which included this recipe. The magazine recommends using grocery deli chicken to speed things along, but I boiled some chicken breasts so I’d have the homemade (and salt-free) broth to go along with them. The recipe called for Creole seasoning; I didn’t have this but did have Mrs. Dash chicken grilling seasoning that I subbed. It was excellent. Fresh parsley for the Chicken Pie Filling and fresh chives for the biscuits really livened things up.

Hands-on time: 50 minutes, the recipe says. Having a buddy in the kitchen really helped speed this up. Best of all, the recipe, baked in a 13-inch-by-9-inch dish, will last us the rest of the week (6-to-8 servings, says the list of instructions). I know that this little meal will only get better as the week progresses.

Chicken Pie Filling

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups frozen cubed hash browns
1 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup frozen small sweet peas
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Melt 1/3 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually add chicken broth and milk and cook, whisking constantly, for 6 to 7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in Creole seasoning. Set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion and mushrooms and sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken, next 4 ingredients, and sauce. Then prepare topping as instructed below.

Bacon-and-Cheddar Biscuits (topping)

Spoon chicken filling into a lightly greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In separate bowl cut 1/2 cup cold butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut butter cubes into 2 cups self-rising flour with a pastry blender or fork until mixture is crumbly and resembles small peas. Add 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked bacon (I used turkey bacon), 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, and 1 cup whipping cream (I used skim milk). Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Roll or pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to form 15 biscuits. (I skipped this rolling step and simply spooned 15 big tablespoons of batter onto the top of the chicken mixture. When baked my topping looked just like the one in the magazine and saved me the trouble of the pastry-roll step—and the cleanup.) Bake Chicken Pie Filling at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and arrange biscuits on top of hot chicken mixture. Bake 25 to 30 more minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and chicken mixture is bubbly. Remove from oven; brush biscuits with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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