Saturday, January 11, 2014

Is your chicken and dumpling gravy brown?

Is your chicken and dumpling gravy brown?

So Callie Summerlin mentioned her family had been enjoying a batch of chicken and dumplings, and that they serve it with a scoop of white rice. While that was blowing my mind, she said they cook it in a brown roux sauce.
I’d never heard of either deal, but I was intrigued. I mentioned to someone else that these methods were new to me and she said I must not have people from Louisiana. Excuse me? Grandma came from Breaux Bridge and my mamma said her mamma never did that.
Anyways, Callie was kind enough to supply me with a taste and I loved that brown sauce full of chicken. It was so rich, like a gumbo. Which makes me wonder, how does this family with duck hunting and Sabine Pass ties fix their actual gumbo? I’ve heard tell it’s good. Maybe I’ll know for myself some of these days.
While meeting new people at holiday parties, I threw out that brown gravy chicken and dumplings. People told me their folks’ dumplings were served in a yellow sauce without rice. Two people  said the Summerlin way I was describing was what their family called “wild rice casserole.” Now I want to try that.
Readers, if you are familiar with brown sauce for chicken and dumplings, of if you put your rice in it, tell me about it in an e-mail to

“Y’all Come Over”
I just love the word “y’all” and a couple of cooks have turned the concept into an invitation, a fun read and a Southern cookbook.
Ever have the new pastor over to dinner while fretting that some other woman was ahead of you in serving something memorable? Ever booked an appointment at the Scarlet Oh-Hair A Salon or been the one whose daughter thinks your clothes are too “loud” for a Foruth of July picnic? Patsy Caldwell and Amy Lyles Wilson have written “Y’all Come Over,” which embodies our ways. I mean The South and what we love about it. College football loyalties, debutante parties and foods with bacon and pecans. What they’ve done is created a community of townsfolk we can all relate to. We for sure want their recipes.
Elbert might be running for town council, so Evelyn may be entertaining more. Her section includes Chocolate Punch, Bacon Cheddar Deviled Eggs, Bacon Tomato Jam and Chili Creole Shrimp.

Chocolate Punch
1 cup chocolate syrup
5 cups milk
1 and three fourths quarts vanilla ice cream
1 quart ginger ale, chilled
Combine the chocolate syrup and milk in a punch bowl, stirring to mix. Add ice cream, stirring until partially melted. Add the ginger ale and serve. Makes 24 servings.

Chili Creole Shrimp
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon crole mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce
half cup chili sauce
one fourth teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
half cup finely chopped red onion
2 and one half pounds shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, oil, Creole mustard, hot sauce, chili sauce, salt and paprika. Add the onion and shrimp, stirring to evenly coat. Cover and refrigerate four hours. Makes  8 to 10 servings.

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