Recipe Showdown: Classics V. Shortcuts

One is a classic tried-and-true recipe and the other has been reinvented for quick weeknight meals. How do you prefer your classic Southern recipes? Tell us!

Double-Crust Chicken Pot PieDouble-Crust Chicken Pot Pie
Why We Love The Classic: classic key ingredients, flaky piecrust, and comforting appeal

Double-Crust Chicken Pot Pie

1/2 cup butter
2 medium leeks, sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups frozen cubed hash browns with onions and peppers
1 cup matchstick carrots
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add leeks, and sauté 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and next 3 ingredients.

Roll each pastry sheet into a 12- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Fit 1 sheet into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate; spoon chicken mixture into pastry. Place remaining pastry sheet over filling in opposite direction of bottom sheet; fold edges under, and press with tines of a fork, sealing to bottom crust. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water, and brush over top of pie.

Bake at 375° on lower rack 55 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let stand 15 minutes.

Related: 20 Comfort Food Classics


Stovetop Chicken Pie
Why We Love The Shortcut: 35-minute hands on time, flaky buttermilk biscuits, easy assembly

Stovetop Chicken Pie

8 frozen buttermilk biscuits
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 (8-oz.) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, cubed
1/2 (0.7-oz.) envelope Italian dressing mix (about 2 tsp.)
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed

Bake biscuits according to package directions.

Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until golden. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients; cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in peas, and cook 2 minutes. Spoon chicken mixture over hot split biscuits.

Related: Shortcuts with Rotisserie Chicken


Classic Chicken and DumplingsClassic Chicken and Dumplings
Why We Love The Classic: tender homemade dumplings, one-dish family meal, makes enough to share

Classic Chicken and Dumplings

1 (3 3/4-lb.) whole chicken
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
3/4 tsp. pepper, divided
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/3 cup shortening
2 tsp. bacon drippings (2 tsp. butter plus 1/4 tsp. salt may be substituted)
1 cup milk
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Bring chicken, water to cover, garlic powder, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 1 hour. Remove chicken; reserve broth.

Cool chicken 30 minutes; skin, bone, and shred chicken. Skim fat from broth. Add chicken, bouillon, and remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper to broth. Return to a simmer.

Combine flour and poultry seasoning in a bowl. Cut in shortening and bacon drippings with a pastry blender until crumbly. Stir in milk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch pieces.

Drop dumplings, a few at a time, into simmering broth, stirring gently. Cover and simmer, stirring often, 25 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

Related: 26 Satisfying Soups & Stews

Easy Chicken and DumplingsEasy Chicken and Dumplings
Why We Love the Shortcut: only 7 ingredients, easy enough for weeknights, rich and flavorful broth

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

1 (32-oz.) container low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 (10.2-oz.) can refrigerated jumbo buttermilk biscuits
2 carrots, diced
3 celery ribs, diced

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; return to a low boil.

Place biscuits on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat each biscuit to 1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1/2-inch wide strips.

Drop strips, 1 at a time, into boiling broth mixture. Add carrots and celery. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent dumplings from sticking.

Related: Simple Slow-Cooker Suppers


Chicken Under a SkilletChicken Under a Skillet
We We Love The Classic: impressive presentation, wonderful flavors, great with any side dishes

Chicken Under a Skillet

1 (3- to 4-lb.) whole chicken
3 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/3 tsp. herbes de Provence
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Place chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board. Cut chicken, using kitchen shears, along both sides of backbone, separating backbone from chicken; discard backbone. Open chicken as you would a book. Turn chicken, breast side up, and press firmly against breastbone with the heel of your hand until bone cracks. Tuck wing tips under. Place chicken in a baking dish or pan.

Pulse garlic and next 8 ingredients in a food processor until mixture forms a thick paste. Reserve half of paste. Rub remaining half of paste on both sides of chicken. Cover chicken with plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.

Heat one side of grill to 300° to 350° (medium) heat; leave other side unlit. Place chicken, breast side down, over lit side of grill; top with a piece of aluminum foil. Place a cast-iron skillet on foil-topped chicken to flatten. Grill, covered with grill lid, 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is browned. Remove skillet and foil. Turn chicken over, and transfer to unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of breast registers 165°. Remove chicken from grill, and let stand 5 minutes. Brush with reserved paste.

Related: Southern Classics Made Easy


Spicy Honey-Lime Grilled DrumsticksSpicy Honey-Lime Grilled Drumsticks
Why We Love The Shortcut: takes half the time, make-ahead barbecue sauce, no-mess assembly and presentation

Spicy Honey-Lime Grilled Drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Vegetable cooking spray
Spicy Honey-Lime Barbecue Sauce
Garnishes: fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges

Spicy Honey-Lime Barbecue Sauce
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; add 1 diced medium onion (about 1 cup), and sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1 (12-oz.) bottle chili sauce, 1/4 cup honey, 2 Tbsp. lime juice, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Let stand, covered, 30 minutes.

Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 5 to 10 minutes on each side or until browned. Reduce grill temperature to 250° to 300° (low) heat; grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Spicy Honey-Lime Barbecue Sauce. Reserve 1 cup sauce.

Brush chicken with remaining barbecue sauce. Cover with grill lid, and grill 10 more minutes or until done. Serve chicken with reserved 1 cup barbecue sauce. Garnish, if desired.

See More Reinvented Classics like Meatloaf, Chicken Tetrazzini, and Chili!

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