The other day I was looking for a chicken and dumplings recipe, and this gem, from the Rosies Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, can be easily adapted for making chicken and dumplings. It’s also an easy way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken, or holiday turkey. Best of all, it’s delicious.
SOUTHERN CHICKEN PIE
11/2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
6 tablespoons butter
8 tablespoons enriched flour
4 cups milk (or half chicken broth and half milk)
3 cups cooked, sliced chicken
Pan-fry celery, green pepper, and mushrooms in butter until tender. Remove from butter; add flour; mix well. Add milk gradually, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add celery mixture and chicken; blend well. Season to taste. Turn into 21/2 quart casserole or baking dish. Top with the following:
Sift flour once, measure; add baking powder and salt; sift together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk all at once, mixing until all flour is dampened. Turn out on floured board; knead lightly for a few seconds to smooth out dough. Roll out to fit over casserole. Place over chicken mixture. Bake in hot oven (425 F) about 25 to 30 minutes until crust is done. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
Modern adaptation: Carrots can also be used. Dough can also be placed over chicken mixture dumpling style.
Minestrone has always been one of my favorite soups, but when I did an online search for recipes I found so many variations it made my head spin. Suffice to say minestrone is one of those dishes intended for using up leftovers, and for that it works quite nicely. I can clean out my fridge and create a tasty dish at the same time. Best of all, it’s never the same twice.
As I created my own version of minestrone I noticed I used a few ingredients consistently. The rest was whatever I happened to have on hand, which is why I’m leaving plenty of leeway on my ingredients list.
By the way, Rosie, of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, would have approved. She never let leftovers go to waste.
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
1 cup sliced celery (optional)
1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 or 2 carrots, sliced (optional)
1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 can garbanzo beans
Other leftover vegetables, such as corn, lima beans, chopped zucchini or cubed potatoes
3/4 cup small pasta, such as stars, small shells, or mini farfalle
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 package of spinach, fresh, frozen or canned
Heat oil and butter, if desired, in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots or celery. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato sauce and broth or water. Stir well. Add any remaining vegetables, garbanzo beans, seasonings and pasta. Heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for twenty minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another minute or two. Serve with bread, rolls or corn muffins.
Presenting another delicious historic recipe from Rosie’s Riveting Recipes cookbook that still tastes great today. I tested the recipe with white bread, as it was popular in Rosie’s time. However, I’m pretty sure it would taste just as good with whole wheat or multigrain bread, or whatever bread you may happen to have.
CELERY STUFFED SPARERIBS
1 side spareribs (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup diced salt pork or bacon fat
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups soft bread cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Fry the salt pork until crisp, then remove the pieces. Cook the onions in the fat for a few minutes, add the crisp salt pork, celery and bread cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Lay the spareribs over the dressing in baking pan, sprinkle the outside with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and rub with flour. Place pan in 350• F oven uncovered and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until ribs are tender. Yield: 4 servings.
Modern adaptation: Sliced bacon can be substituted for salt pork. (Bacon fat is another name for bacon grease.) Chop 4 to 6 slices of bacon and fry in a skillet or frying pan. Add onions and continue preparing the dressing as instructed in the original recipe. To help keep the dressing from getting too dry add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Once the spareribs are placed in the baking dish decrease salt to 1 teaspoon, or, for more zing, use 1 teaspoon of celery salt. Bake as directed in the original recipe.