Cook the Book with Nancie McDermott, Jenni Field and Denise Vivaldo

On Facebook awhile back I joined to participate in an event to cook Sheri Castle’s Watauga County Chicken Stew with Fluffy Dumplings from Nancie McDermott’s newest cookbook, Southern Soups and Stews. The event was an inspiring idea by Jenni Field who’s know as the Pastry Chef. It aired this afternoon eastern standard time. I had hoped to watch on blab which was moderated by Chef Dennis K. Littley. The event was live streamed on blab and you could see Nancie and Jenni in her NC kitchen, Denise in her California kitchen and Dennis in his home. Also there was an empty spot for others who were cooking along to pop in. You could also ask questions and chat while the cooking was going on. 

I had looked forward to this event all week, hoping I would’t have to work on this Saturday. Wednesday they posted a sign that we were working. Thankfully Friday they took the sign down and we didn’t have to work. Hubby set up a laptop in the dining room for me, but the sound just crackled.  I moved to the desktop computer in our computer room, but for some reason I couldn’t get any sound until after the live event was over. I did watch a bit afterwards and plan on going back and watching the whole thing when I have more time. If you’re interested it’s at the following link:

I did cook along. I started with some homemade stock I had in my freezer to cook the chicken and veggies in to make a rich stock for the dumplings around midday on Saturday.


After the stock was finished. I removed the chicken and chopped it up placing it in the fridge to add back to some stock later. I then added the skin and bones back to the broth and veggies to continue cooking. This made for a wonderful rich and tasty bath for the fluffy dumplings, chicken and more veggies. I then sauteed my diced veggies, more thyme, salt and pepper, then added some of the stock and let it simmer for the called for time. After that the chicken and some parsley were added to the diced veggies and stock and let it sit on the stove warming while I stirred up the dumplings. I used lard and butter as well as half heavy cream and milk to make my dumplings.

Veggies and thyme sauteing in butter before adding some stock and the chopped chicken.
Veggies and thyme sauteing in butter before adding some stock and the chopped chicken.

Finally the dumplings are placed on top and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes more. I used a cookie scoop to add my dumplings to the broth, chicken and veggies. After that it’s time to dig in. I normally enjoy what we call sad dumplings in my chicken and dumplings instead of fluffy ones, but these were so good in this version of chicken stew. This may take a little time but it’s so worth it for the amazing results.


I added some black pepper like my Mom always did to the finished dumplings. Mine were done about mid point of the presentation so I dipped some to cool a bit and dug in. Oh my! Delicious! Southern comfort in a bowl on this rainy autumn day.

Ready to dig in
Ready to dig in

I’m keeping my fingers crossed as they are giving away three autographed copies of Nancie’s wonderful Southern Soups and Stews cookbook to three lucky participants who cooked the dish and posted a photo by Sunday Nov 8. I posted a copy of the last photo above, so wish me luck. If you’d like to made this wonderfully delicious stew you can get the recipe at the following link:

Or better yet you need a copy of this book. If I don’t win I know I’m getting one soon.


4 thoughts on “Cook the Book with Nancie McDermott, Jenni Field and Denise Vivaldo

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