Chicken & Rosemary Dumplings

Autumn is in full swing and my allergies are going bezerk, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love this time of year any less. And I’m sure Merck doesn’t mind my monthly stock on allergy meds due to the molding leaves and wacky weather. Tennessee weather enjoys the occasional roll of the dice, never staying in exactly the right box according to the equinox. But twenty-nine years later and I still find myself having to adjust (#sadface). Despite the effects this time of year has on my health I still love it for the beauty that it brings.Autumn by The Local Forkful

Autumn crept in our back doors this year and didn’t make much of a scene. You could find her trace at the end of summer with the tumble of scarlet leaves across your shoe or a subtle chill across your cheek. I’m a fool for a reason to pull out the heavy blankets, make excessive amounts of french press, and drive slowly on the back roads.Autumn by The Local Forkful

This time of year I find myself to be in a constant state of uneasiness. I’ve never been able to pinpoint it but once fall-back is in full force. I find myself twiddling my thumbs more than usual I could blame it on the dark arriving during the five o’clock hour or the weather’s cooling that causes me to slow down. But there’s nothing I want more than to sit on the couch, drink coffee and read food literature. I crave a simple life where hustle and bustle isn’t at the center of it all. Though I am clearly living in an era where this sort of lifestyle is no longer existent, or maybe it is?

Chicken & Dumplings by The Local ForkfulOne of the best things about the cool weather settling in, is the desire for comfort foods. Hearty dishes that we avoided all summer for the sake of our beach bodies. And now the guilt that once had you chained no longer bounds you when reaching for that hidden jar of Nutella (secrets out!). When I think of some of my favorite cold-weather eats, chicken and dumplings is pretty high on the list. This dish was and is still a childhood favorite. In the past few months I have been collecting chicken stock from roasting chicken for other dishes. You won’t a more flavorful rendition than collecting the jus from roasted chicken itself. Not only that but the fat that surfaces to the top, also known as schmaltz is a fantastic by-product when collecting the juice. The only thing to make this any better would be the leftover gribenes but that’s a whole nother conversation.

What’s your favorite cold-weather comfort foods?

Chicken & Dumplings: Recipe by The Local Forkful

Chicken & Dumplings by The Local ForkfulIngredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary (fresh)
smidgen of kosher salt
4 tablespoons schmaltz (chilled chicken fat)
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 quarts chicken broth
1 whole roasted bird
2 bay leaves


1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. Follow Instructions here for Simple Roasted Chicken.Once chicken has cooled. Remove the meat from the bone and set aside.

2.Bring your 2 quarts of chicken stock and bay leaves to a rolling simmer. Remove bay leaves before adding dumplings.

3. Combine the flour, baking powder,kosher salt and rosemary in a bowl. Pinch the schmaltz and the flour together using your index finger and thumb.Until mixture starts to resemble coarse cornmeal.

Side Note:I enjoy getting dirty when making dough so leave the food processor under the sink.

4. Slowly add buttermilk a little at a time until dough begins to form. You may not necessarily use all of the buttermilk. Use your best judgement. The dough should be slightly moist and tacky. Roll the dough onto a floured surface. I usually dip my hands in flour to work with the dough better and cover my rolling pin in flour as well. Roll dumplings somewhere between 1/8″ and 1/4″ of inch thick. I like to roll them really thin because once they absorb liquid they slightly expand and I like thin dumplings. Cut the dumplings using some fancy gadget, a pizza cutter or a pairing knife into 1″X1″ squares or larger if you prefer. You may also go grandma’s route and forget the rolling all together, then you would just simply “pinch” the dough into the pot. Which can be fun as well. Decisions. Decisions.

5. Drop the dumplings into the hot broth and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes. You may need to remove a dumpling or two to check for done-ness and the dumplings should be wet on the outside and a biscuity-moistness on the inside. The residual flour from your dumplings will thicken your broth as you go. I like to swirl the broth as I drop in the dumplings, kinda like poaching eggs. Once dumplings are finished, add the pulled chicken. Dinner is served. Yum!

Also if you like a thicker, creamier version of this soup then simply whisk together 1/2 a cup flour and enough water to form a runny pasty mixture. This could be called a roux or slurry(tomato…tomatuh). You are going to whisk this ‘slowly’ into your chicken and dumplings until desired consistency is reached.

Chicken & Dumplings by The Local ForkfulExtras: On day two of eating leftovers, the wife and I like our veggies. So I will dice some carrots and potatoes. Gently boil them in water with a couple of chicken bouillon cubes(to add flavor) and add that to my soup. Cornbread also makes a yummy addition. You’ll never want to leave the house with a bowl of this in hand. Enjoy!
Chicken & Dumplings by The Local Forkful

Simple Roast Chicken

Simple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local ForkfulWe don’t eat a lot of red meat, pork or game in the Hunter household so I’m always hunting for ways to be more creative with the meats we consume a lot of. Chicken happens to be one of them along with turkey and assorted lunch meats from the deli. Chicken is such a simple bird to handle in the kitchen. It lends itself well to a bevy of different flavor combinations that will suit your own palate preferences.

Jenna(my wife) and I work opposite schedules which means I typically I start dinner because I arrive home before she does. And I know that if I cook chicken; the two of us can live off the bird for at least two meals. So I never hesitate cooking a whole bird as opposed to parts. It’s much more economical to do so. And our first meal is typically roasted chicken and some side veg followed by something more creative the next night, like tostadas or pot pie. Today, I’m giving it to you in this fun simplistic format. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with making chalkboards since I made them for a friends wedding. And so I decided to give you the step by step with my latest chalkboard creation made with a piece of scrap wood that I simply sanded the edges down. Enjoy!Simple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local ForkfulSimple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local ForkfulSimple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local ForkfulSimple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local ForkfulSimple Roasted Chicken: Recipe by The Local Forkful

And Last but not least, always make sure you’re bird is 165 degrees plus. I can’t bare the thought of anyone eating uncooked chicken.


Maitre ‘d Butter Chicken Pasta

I usually get to do some of my best brainstorming for recipes when cooking for my co-workers. In the restaurant industry if your boss is cool enough, we like to have ‘family  meal’ before or after dinner service. It just so happens that I’ve been craving pasta like crazy for the last couple of weeks! And no. I’m not prego, though I’m sure the wife wouldn’t mind. Any who, if you just so happen to be a steak lover like myself. You might be familiar with Maitre ‘d butter, commonly known as compound butter. It is a simplistic combination of Italian flat leaf parsley, red onion, and unsalted butter. This will surely be your new go-to option for dinner. It’s so simple and so delicious! But I’ll let you be the judge.

Maitre 'd Chicken Pasta, Easy Meals, Chicken Pasta


1/2 lb.spaghetti pasta
1 lb. Chicken
1.5 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 T. fine chopped parsley
1/4 c. sliced red onion
2 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. white wine
1 small stalk broccoli
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Zest of 1 lemon


Preheat oven to 375. Season your chicken with salt and pepper. Place in baking dish with a 1/2 c. of water and cook until the internal temp is 165.About 25-30 min. Set aside. Once chicken has cooled, you will pull apart into chunks before adding to the final dish.

Confit Grape Tomatoes. Melt 1 stick of butter in to small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp. of salt and a 1/4 tsp. of pepper. Slightly stirring or agitating the pan, cook tomatoes until the skin pops. About 6-8 minutes. Turn off and set aside.

Prepare pasta according to box directions.Set aside, once cooked to desired texture.While you are waiting on the water to boil. Place your 1/4 c. of White Wine into a 3 qt. sauce/saute pan. Reduce the wine by half. Add heavy cream. Reduce 1/3 of the liquid or until it coats a spoon and sticks. Add broccoli, chicken, onions, and parsley. Cook for 3 minutes. Add pasta, cubed butter and lemon zest until combined.Transfer into serving dish and top with cherry tomatoes. Finish with more parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions: Dish is great with a crusty baguette or croissants. Slice baguette on a bias. Spread on a sheet pan and toast on 375 for 6-8 min. until desired crunchiness is achieved.

Vegetarian: substitute Portobello Mushrooms or Eggplant for Chicken.

Real Men Eat Quiche!….True Story.

I don’t know who came up with the silly notion that men don’t eat quiche. It’s practically a one-stop-shop for our lazy butts! Thank you to the Germans who are thought to be the originators of the delectable ‘break-fa-bruncha-linner’ treat. (You’re Welcome for the new word…no charge)

One thing you need to know before we get started is that I can tend to be an everything but the ‘kitchen-sink’ chef. If I have something in my fridge that I feel will compliment the dish I’m creating. It quickly becomes apart of the ingredient list. It’s part of the way I was raised in the respect that nothings trash, and everything has value.  I  thoroughly enjoyed how tasty the quiche was when I tried it. I’m typically a quiche Lorraine man myself.

I cooked the quiche for a food blogger event and had no idea what to whip up before Sunday. And the ingredients I had on hand minus the crust made for great inspiration.

People often think quiche to be complicated, when in reality, it is a food preparation process that I would recommend to an inexperienced cook. Without further a due. Let’s break some eggs.

Oven-Roasted Tomato & Veggie Quiche 

2 Roma Tomatoes

1 Bell Pepper, cored & seeded

1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cored & seeded

1 Sweet Yellow Onion, (1/2 small dice, 1/2 medium dice)

1 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 T. butter 0r margarine

1/4 c. White Wine

4 eggs

1/4 c. 2% milk

1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

Fresh Ground Black Pepper & Kosher Salt (to taste)

1 Frozen Pie Crust or if you like, make your own…Snob!

  1. Preheat your oven to 425. Oil a sheet pan with about 2 T. of  EV Olive Oil. Layer your sliced Romas in a single layer and generously S&P them. Cook them approx. 20 min. or so. It is really dependent upon your own oven as how long you will cook them. You just want the tomatoes to start to wither and get a little color on top because you’re going to let them finish cooking on top of the quiche. 1b. Also place your room temp pie crust in the oven for about 6 to 8 min. You only want to par-cook  it and allow it to finish with the filling. Set your timer and once finished. Place to the side.

2. Preheat your skillet to med heat. Add a couple drops of water and wait for evaporation to know when your pan’s hot. Add 1 oz. of EV Olive Oil and butter, let melt. Add both diced onions, sweat till almost transparent, then yellow & green peppers. Saute till tender or desired texture. Lightly S&P, then add white wine and cook for 2 more min. Just long enough to cook the acidity out of the wine. Spread mixture out in even layer on a plate and allow to cool or leave in pan if you have fridge space.

2b.At this point your tomatoes and pie crust should be finished. Turn your oven down to 325.  Break 4 eggs & and add 1/4 c. of 2% milk or heavy cream. (You’re preference, for my heart-healthy followers.) I typically mix the eggs with a whisk at a pretty rapid pace to avoid any egg clumps, but that’s just my OCD. You do as you wish, but you want to make sure all is incorporated nicely.

3Grab you’re pie crust and cooled down filling. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the crust. Proceed to evenly distribute the egg mixture across the top. You will think that it can’t take anymore filling, but grab a fork and scoot the mixture around a little to allow the egg to spread through. You only want to go to the rim of the inside of the crust.

Gently place your roasted tomatoes over the top, strategically placing them in a circular pattern. (OCD says so)

4.Place 1 tsp. of smoked paprika in a strainer and dust the top of the quiche. Or you can finish with fresh minced chives or parsley. Allow your quiche to cook at 325 for about 25 to 30 min. Once again this is subjective according to how your oven cooks. You want to be able to loosely hold a knife with your index finger and thumb, allowing it to drop in the center and remove it with no residue left on the knife. 

5.Let cool for 5 min before slicing. Enjoy!

I enjoy a little tapenade on my quiche, so if desired. Allow 1 oz. of cream cheese to come to room temp. Take a 1/2 c. of sour cream, 1oz. cream cheese, 1 T. chopped chives, 1 tsp. chopped dill, pinch of lemon zest, dash of white pepper & kosher salt. Mix on low speed with standing mixer or by hand with whip. Combining cream cheese, herbs and seasoning first, cream it together. Fold in sour cream and Enjoy!