Mawmaw's Kitchen

AMAZINGLY EASY & YUMMY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS


My grandmother never owned a crock pot.  She was strictly old school, cast iron pots or Magnalites.  She made amazing chicken and dumplings; everything that she made was amazing!  However, as much as I LOVED and miss her cooking, I also LOVE my crock pot.  After a few adjustments, I have come up with the easiest, most delicious recipe for chicken and dumplings, second only to Mawmaw's, of course.  Enjoy!  You won't regret it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 raw chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • chicken broth (approximately 24 ounces)
  • 1-2 stalks of celery cut into thin pieces 
  • 1 can of carrots
  • 1 can peas
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp. Herbs de Provence (French cooking spice blend)
  • 2 tsp. (or more depending on preference) of Tony's Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 can of small biscuits
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of cream of celery (or mushroom if you prefer)
  • (optional) you can add in a can of green beans or a can of mixed vegetables.
Note: You can use fresh or frozen veggies.  Just put them at the beginning instead of later in cooking.

Instructions:

  • Line 5 Qt. or larger Crock pot with a crock pot liner or spray with non-stick spray.
  • Cut onion and celery into small pieces.
  • Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  • Place chicken, celery, onion, Herbs de Provence, Tony's, and soups into crock pot and cook on low for 3 hours.
  • Cut each biscuit into 2-4 pieces depending on how large you like your dumplings.  Each piece will double in size.  








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Mawmaw's Cooking

Everything that my Mawmaw cooked was THE best, even her Jello!  I swear! I used to make my Moma so mad; I would ask her to make Jello, but every time she did I said, "That doesn't taste like Mawmaw's."  I guess everyone thinks that their grandmother's food is the best.  What made my Mawmaw so awesome is that I never saw the woman measure a darn thing.  She also was not afraid to add extra ingredients that she had on hand to any dish.

My grandmother did little things that made everything she cooked special.  It's hard to make veggies special, but she did it.  Remember this is Southern cooking, so if you are watching your cholesterol or triglycerides, feel free to substitute healthier add-ins.  Here are a few tips from MawMaw's kitchen:

  • Don't make boring green beans.  Put a couple of tablespoons of cooking oil (I use extra virgin olive oil) in a medium saucepan.  Cut up about 1/2 an onion if you are cooking two cans of beans.  Saute the onions in the oil until they start to turn clear and get soft.  Always drain your vegetables; never use the water from the can.  Drain your beans and throw them in with the onions.  When she had leftover ham from Christmas or Easter, she would dice that up and throw it in with the onions. If she had bacon in the frig, she would cut up a couple of pieces and fry it with the onions before sauteing the onions.  When she added meat, she omitted the oil.  Once onions are translucent, add a couple of tablespoons of water, drained beans, and seasoning.  You can use a little salt and pepper, or better yet, Tony Chechere's Creole Seasoning.  Don't use too much seasoning if you added the already naturally salty bacon or ham.  Cook beans with the lid tilted off just a bit so that the water evaporates slowly and stir often.  It will be perfect in 20 minutes.  
  • Always peel tomatoes.  It can be messy, but they are SO much better.  Even more importantly, use home grown tomatoes whenever possible.  Mawmaw had a garden in her backyard and grew a variety of vegetables.   There is nothing better than home grown tomatoes!  If you ever get the chance, cut up a store bought tomato and a homegrown tomato so that you can taste the difference.   It's like apples and oranges; they are completely different!  Mawmaw would throw cut up tomatoes in corn, rice and gravy, etc.  If they were not in the food, they were served on the side.  If you don't have access to homegrown tomatoes, go to your nearest farmer's market.  Look for tomatoes that are locally grown, Creole tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.  
  • Make donuts from biscuits!  I remember her using a bottle cap to make the hole in the middle!  Heat up grease until you can put a tiny piece of dough into it and it starts to fry immediately.   Then put your donut shaped biscuits into the grease.  Cook for about 3 minutes or until the ends start to brown.  Flip and repeat.  Drain them on a paper towel lined plate.  While they are still hot, sprinkle with regular sugar, powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar.  USE WHAT YOU HAVE!  
  • I'll put more of Mawmaw's tips on a regular basis.  I just called my mother and my godmother and asked them to dig up the recipes that Mawmaw used, or more often, created herself.  Mawmaw taught me that you don't have to have a recipe book to be a good cook.  Just be creative.  For example, I never eat plain scrambled eggs.  I love to toss in ingredients and see what happens.  Most of the time it pays off.  For examples, see my "Throw That Stuff in a Pot" page where I do my own food experimenting.  Don't worry; I only put the stuff that comes out yummy on my page!  
  • See you soon with more tips from Mawmaw.    








I'm in the process of finding some of my grandmother's original recipes.  In the meantime, here are a few of the Cajun treats and cooking tips she passed down to me.


  • Cook and serve pudding is SO much better than instant.  No comparison.
  • Mawmaw's easy beignets: Fix pancake batter as directed.  Heat about 1/2 inch of cooking oil in a skillet (preferably a black cast iron skillet).  Let the grease get hot enough so that if you drop in a tiny dot of the pancake mixture it immediately starts browning and bubbling.  Drop enough batter for one pancake (1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on how big you want them).  Cook until the ends start to brown and then flip it.  Keep frying until that sucker floats and the middle is brown.  Drain on a paper towel. Serve with syrup, powdered sugar, or anything else your heart desires.
  • Scrambled eggs: When whipping the eggs, add in 2-3 tablespoons of whole milk or half and half.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I also add a tbsp of mustard) and whip it for at least a minute.  Drop a couple of tablespoons of butter into a skillet; allow it to melt and then spread it all over the bottom of the pan.  Drop in the egg mixture and stir, stir, stir with a big spoon.  Don't overcook.  Take eggs out before they brown.  
  • Ever had rice with milk?  It's pretty damn good!
  • Cakes made front scratch or always better than cakes made from a mix. 
  • On Sunday nights we always had cornbread.  Throw some in a bowl with some milk and a spoon of sugar- YUMMY!  Even better, pour some Steen's syrup (cane syrup, not maple) on top of a piece while it's warm.
  • Put a little salt on melon to make the flavor POP!
  • Popcorn popped on the stove is a million times better than microwave popcorn.  Put a few tablespoons of cooking oil in a skillet that has a lid.  When it gets hot, add popcorn. Put the lid on and gently shake pan back and forth while the kernels are popping.  Don't let it burn!  Check often and keep moving that skillet.  Pour the popcorn into a big bowl, salt to taste and shake, shake, shake.  Yummy, yummy!
Coming Soon: Mawmaw original recipes!!!