June 16, 2012

A Taste of Childhood....Smells Like Sunday!

"My approach to cooking is simple because for the most part our foods are simple. But that does not mean it's boring. Coming from a family of hard working farmers, let me tell you, the farming life leaves precious few hours for anything but simple cooking. I am pretty much stuck in the past. I still cook the basic, simple survival foods, dishes that brought us through the Great Depression and the hard times of failed crops and lean harvests.

Our original family home no longer stands. The old wood-burning cookstove has rusted into pieces. The silver teas are a thing of the past. But precious recipes are still intact and the tastes and smells of the foods of my childhood let me know I can go back again. This recipe will take you back to a world of old-fashioned family cooking and Southern country warmth and hospitality."~ Dorie Sanders

"The day Aunt Vestula decreed that we should cook a little chicken and ground beef together as we needed to stretch the ingredients, was the day this wonderfully tasty dish was created. " Dorie Sanders grew up near York, South Carolina. She is the author of two best selling novels, Clover and Her Own Place.  She does most of her writing in the winter and reserves her time during the peach growing season for work on the family farm and at Sanders Farm Stand. Her cookbook, Country Cooking, Recipes and stories from the Family Farmstand, is one of my all time favorite cookbooks and her recipe for Chicken Fricassee with Meatballs was one of our all time family favorites!

The Chicken
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 lb lean ground beef
fresh ground black pepper
1 small onions, chopped
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil

First of all make the meatballs by combining all the meatball ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Shape mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and brown in a single layer in the oil, over medium high heat, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Wipe the skillet clean.

Wash chicken and pat dry. In a shallow bowl, combine the 3/4 cup flour, seasonings and mix well. Dredge the chicken in this mixture to coat, shaking off any excess flour. In skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and brown on all sides about 4 minutes per side. Remove and set aside. Pour off the oil from the skillet, leaving only a thin layer. Add the chopped onion and saute over medium high heat until tender and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the 2 tsp flour and mix well. Add the stock and wine, stirring gently to blend. Cook until thickened. Return the chicken and meatballs to skillet. Cover and braise over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes until chicken and meatballs are cooked through. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice or little noodles. Alternatively, chicken, meatballs and sauce can be layered in a covered casserole and cooked in a slow oven for several hours.

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