Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on News Radio 830 WCCO! See all of Mpls. St.Paul Magazine’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s Top 5 lists here!
One of you lovely listeners found me on Twitter, where I am @deardara, and asked for braised chicken dishes that kids will eat. Braising of course is cooking slowly in a liquid, and more importantly for our purposes braising is one of those techniques that let you start something at noon and eat at six, or do a double batch on Sunday and eat all week. It’s a technique you need when you’ve got little kids around. And they’re constantly handing you Guinea Pigs that got into the poster paints. Or show up in the kitchen half naked because they froze their snowpants into the snow fort they were trying to build. Or got a black eye trying to high-jump over the living room couch. What I’m saying is it’s hard to make scallops a la minute when you’ve got kids in the kitchen. What I’m also saying is that to me, kid-friendly includes chicken you can scrape the capers off… I believe it’s better for children to co-exist with capers than to live in conflict with them. And it’s good to have braised chicken dishes in hand! Like these.
Slow cooker Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken Pot Pie
When you want chicken pot pie but don’t want to mess around with pie crust, you can make a crock pot version with thick noodles instead of crust. Sloppy, floppy, easy and good.
Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Olive, and Lemon
Put some chicken thighs in a pan with fat green olives, lemons, and potatoes and you’re on the road to a good easy dinner. Both my kids love salt, so those big fat briny green olives are always a favorite—though of course you can just leave the olives in the pan and serve the kids the chicken and potatoes. They love that.
Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
It’s the rare dish that you can serve to your beloved for Valentine’s Day next to a prestige bottle of Northern Rhone red wine and can also serve to a toddler. But this riff on a classic French 40 cloves of garlic dish really fits the bill. .
Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
If you don’t have leftover chicken—or turkey—to make this, you can use a supermarket rotisserie chicken as the basis for one of the creamiest, most comforting dishes in the classic American repertoire. If you’ve never made chicken and dumplings, definitely give it a whirl. It’s so satisfying to eat those gummy rich dumplings that cook in with the chcken.
Throwing whatever sausage or chicken parts I can find into jarred red sauce is my weeknight desperation dinner routine, and I tell the kids we are eating chicken cacciatore. But, a more deliberate routine with a layered red sauce you build up with aromatics—that’s luxury living. And if you’ve got very little, suspicious children just tell them it’s pizza-sauce chicken.