This recipe, a favorite of ours for years now, comes from the relentlessly delicious kitchen of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I've spent many happy hours of my life curled up with her cookbooks and a cup of coffee, dreaming that I too had a cooking assistant named Barbara by my side, and that I too had a gigantic barn-sized kitchen with two dishwashers and plenty of gorgeous natural light. If I had those things, couldn't I too whip up some fantastically comforting food for my husband and millions of viewers? I think I could.
As it turns out, Ina's recipes are entirely doable in the smallest of kitchens with the dreariest of lighting. Even though this particular recipe for chicken stew with biscuits dirties a lot of dishes, I started making it in my tiny grad-school kitchen that had approximately 12 square inches of counter space. I didn't use a mixer to make the biscuits, because I didn't have one yet. I was covered in flour by the end of it, but that only added to the comforting, homey effect, I'm sure: tender chicken napped in gravy, vegetables that add the perfect texture and sweetness, and biscuits that are crisp on the top and wet on the bottom, a little dumpling-y, in fact.
Keep reading for Food Orleans's chicken and biscuits lessons.