RACHEL’S IRISH FAMILY FOOD: 120 Classic Recipes from My Home to Yours

Dubbed by the BBC as the “Irish Cooking Queen,” Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin, and at eighteen left to study at theprestigious9780007462582 Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork. Rachel’s new cookbook provides 120 recipes that offer the best in both traditional and modern Irish cooking. Recipes range from new twists on old classics, to tried and tested recipes which have delighted many generations in Ireland, and are sure to become firm family favorites here in America.

 “This is a cookbook I have always wanted to write. It’s a collection of my very best family recipes, seriously comforting and nourishing food, all inspired by both traditional and modern Irish cooking. In Ireland we have fabulous ingredient-led dishes that make the most of the wonderful produce from our farms and fish and seafood from our coast. These are my favorite recipes to cook for my family, the ones I turn to again and again. Whether or not you’re familiar with Irish food, I’m sure you’ll love this introduction to our country’s culinary culture.” – Rachel Allen

Rachel is the author of four bestselling cookbooks, which include Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home and Rachel’s Food for Living. She hosts the Cooking Channel’s “Bake!” You can follow Rachel on Twitter, @rachelallen1, or find her on Facebook. You can also visit her website, http://www.rachelallen.co.uk/ for more great recipes, apps, tips, and more.

Today we are excited to share a recipe from her latest cookbook, RACHEL’S IRISH FAMILY FOOD.

Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Herb Dumplings

This is such a perfect family meal: a steaming pot for the center of the table, just the kind of food I want on a blustery day. It’s really easy to make and the dumplings are a fantastic alternative to potatoes or bread. I like to serve this dish with a green salad.

(Serves 6-8)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutesChicken Casserole

  • 1 whole chicken (4 pounds/1.8kg)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces (350g) thick-cut or unsliced bacon, cut into ½- to ¾-inch (1–2cm) chunks
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, sliced ¾-inch (2cm) thick on the diagonal
  • 3 cups (700ml) chicken stock (page 35) or vegetable stock (page 34)
  • Few sprigs of thyme

For the cheesy herb dumplings:

  • 2¾ cups (350g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, or chives
  • 1¼ cups (300ml) buttermilk or soured milk
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/Gas mark 4).
Remove the breasts from the chicken and cut them in half. Remove the leg portions and divide them into thighs and drumsticks. This will make eight chicken pieces in total. Season them well with salt and pepper.
 Pour the olive oil into a large Dutch oven or flameproof casserole over high heat, add the bacon, and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the chicken in batches and sear on each side until golden, then remove. Add the onion and carrots and fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden.
Return the bacon and chicken to the Dutch oven, pour in the stock, add the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Bring slowly to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the dumplings. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and stir in the herbs. Make a well in the center and pour in most of the buttermilk (leaving about ¼ cup/50ml) in the measuring cup). Using one hand with your fingers outstretched like a claw, bring the flour and liquid together, adding a little more buttermilk, if necessary. Don’t knead the mixture or it will become too heavy. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky.
Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and bring together, forming it into a round. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a thickness of about ¾ inch (2cm). With a 2-inch (5cm) cookie cutter, stamp out 10 to 12 dumplings, or divide the dough into 10 to 12 pieces and roll each one between your hands into a small ball.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and turn the heat up to 450°F (230°C/Gas mark 8). Arrange the dumplings on top, leaving slight gaps to allow for spreading. Sprinkle with the cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to 400°F (200°C/Gas mark 6) and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through.
One Response to “RACHEL’S IRISH FAMILY FOOD: 120 Classic Recipes from My Home to Yours”
  1. The casserole looks amazing! Would love to do a review and giveaway of this book!

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