Kitchen comfort and joy

Posted 3/20/20

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Kitchen comfort and joy

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Gentle Reader, these are trying times.

For reliable information and updates, I strongly urge you to visit: I also strongly urge you to double-check any information you get from other sources; scammers and trolls abound. Even people of goodwill are unknowingly sharing material that is useless at best, and harmful at worst.

But it’s looking as if many of us will be spending a lot more time at home than we likely have in a long time. And I am happy to offer up a few tips to avoid the horror of cabin fever.

Bring the family together for some fun. Play a board game: Sorry, Clue and Monopoly are loved by everybody. Fun movies like Thin Man movies, National Lampoon Vacation films, and Simon Pegg productions are always enjoyable.

But time spent with loved ones in the kitchen has multiple benefits. For you this week I have my favorite biscuit recipe and a thick, creamy chicken soup full of veggies and the perfect comfort food for those worrisome days ahead.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at

Triumph Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading and rolling

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Big pinch of sugar

7 tablespoons butter, grated and frozen

1 cup cold buttermilk

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda together into bowl. Cut frozen, grated butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Refrigerate for 90 minutes.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 425°.

Pour buttermilk into butter and flour mixture. Mix in buttermilk just until there’s no liquid in the bowl. It will still need to come together more, but you’ll do this on the counter with very gentle kneading.

Turn onto a floured surface, and mix by hand until it becomes a rough-ish dough, using only as much flour you need. Shape into rectangle. Fold the rectangle in thirds. Flatten back down and refold. Do this 3 or 4 more times.

Roll dough on a floured surface to about ½ inch thick. Cut out 12 biscuits using a 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter. Transfer biscuits to parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pan 180 degrees midway through.

Almost Chicken Chowder

1 rotisserie chicken torn into bite-size chunks

8 tablespoons butter divided

1/2 cup flour

3 carrots, peeled and cut into same size pieces

4 stalks celery, leaves and all, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

3/4 cup dried mushrooms, reconstituted and chopped

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dry thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

zest of 2 lemons, divided

juice of 2 lemons

1 cup rice or grain mix

1 1/2cups frozen shoepeg corn

1 cup white wine

5 cups chicken stock

1 1/2 cups skim milk

1 cup heavy cream

Make roux:

Melt 6 tablespoons butter in small skillet. Whisk in flour and cook over low until it’s light blonde in color. This is your roux.


In a large heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Place in pot: Carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves, half the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Cook until there is some color on veg, and carrots are starting to soften.

Stir in rice and/or grains and let cook until they start to brown around the edges. Deglaze the pot with wine. Cook until it’s all cooked in. Pour in stock and skim milk. Bring to boil. Add corn.

When it comes to a boil, whisk in roux until it’s cream soup thickness.

Turn down to low. Pour in lemon juice. When the juice is thoroughly mixed in, stir in cream. Gently add chicken.

Check for seasoning, and keep warm until service.

Makes about 8-10 servings.


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