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Chicken and Biscuits Pot Pie
50

It’s Election Day and my nerves are completely shot.  I’ve been wishing this day would come for…what seems like ever… with the hopes that the ridiculously smug TV political ads would end soon.  We have a hot Senate seat up for grabs here in CT and it’s been a contentious race between the businesswoman wife of the CEO of WWE (think Hulk Hogan-esque wrestling – but not the recent sex tapes Hulk Hogan – ewww stop) and our current Congressman.  It’s been an odd few months to say the least.

So this chicken and biscuits pot pie is a nerve-soother and it will make you forget about the political jargon, Quinnipiac polls, and personal attacks.  It’s really just a superb recipe for a hearty and homey chicken pot pie topped with flaky buttermilk biscuits instead of pie dough.  And to be honest, from here on out I’m nixing pie dough as my pot pie topper.  Why fuss with pie dough when you can make a bunch of biscuits and avoid all of that chilling and rolling?  Plus?  Come on – they’re biscuits.  They’re kind of like the most obvious food you’d want to dip into your pot pie anyway, aren’t they?  The pot pie comes together quite easily (especially when you use a rotisserie or leftover roast chicken) and in about an hour, dinner is on the table.  We adored this meal and with the weather feeling like full-on winter here already in CT, I can see this being a regular nerve-soother in our house.

Chicken and Biscuits Pot Pie

Yield: 8 servings

You can make this pot pie in either a 13x9-inch baking dish or individual oven-safe bowls (which I find cute but a nuisance) - just bake the bowls for 20-25 minutes. The filling and biscuits can both be made in advance. Keep them separate, reheat the filling before adding it to the baking dish(es) then proceed with the baking process as instructed in the recipe.

Ingredients

    For the buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter chilled, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • For the chicken pot pie filling:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 small ribs celery, cut crosswise 1/4-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 to 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
  • 3 to 4 cups (about 1 1/4 lbs) shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

Instructions

  1. To make the biscuits: In a large bowl, stir the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar together. With a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter resembles course meal with some larger butter lumps remaining. Stir in 3/4 cup of the buttermilk with a fork until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra buttermilk - 1 tablespoon at a time up to 2 tablespoons.
  2. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and pull it together into a ball with your floured hands. Pat the dough out to 3/4" thickness and cut out 12 rounds with a 3-inch biscuit or cookie cutter. Transfer the biscuits to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until you're ready to use them. The biscuits can be made and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in advance.
  3. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer cooked vegetables to a bowl with the chicken; set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the same pot. When melted, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, chicken broth, and thyme. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the sherry (if using). Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables and chicken to the pot, stirring until the filling is well-combined. Mix in the peas and parsley. If the filling is too thick (you'll know), stir in the extra chicken broth, about 1/4 cup at a time up to 3/4 cup until the filling loosens up a little.
  5. Pour the filling into a 13x9-inch baking dish and bake for 18 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven (keeping the oven on and door closed) and top the filling with the biscuits. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Source

source: adapted from The New Best Recipe by the editors of Cook's Illustrated

http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/11/chicken-and-biscuits-pot-pie/

King Ranch Casserole
3

King Ranch Casserole

I can honestly say that in my life since moving out on my own almost 10 years ago, I have never made a “traditional” casserole.  If you were born after 1940, you know what kind of casserole I’m talking about…the kind that involves canned cream of ::fill in the blank:: soup.  We’re all familiar with them as most of us grew up with them as staples in our mother’s cooking repertoires and I’m not ashamed to admit that I likely ate them with gusto as a kid myself – hello “clean plate club!”  However, as an adult, I figured out how to read a nutritional label (holy sodium batman!) and understood what everything actually meant…and I proceeded to banish all canned soup from my pantry, including the broth soups I had been eating for lunch for months when soup was the only thing I could afford during graduate school.  So needless to say, “traditional” casseroles have not been a part of my adult life.

IMG_0433

And then in walks The Pastry Queen with her seductive homemade casserole boasting its mighty name.  After all the amazing recipes I’ve made from this book, how could I turn this casserole down?  I couldn’t.  And I didn’t.  And I fell head over heels for this dish – we both did, actually.  After all my lamenting about the unhealthiness of canned soup, don’t let me fool you into thinking this recipe is healthy because it definitely is a “once a year” kind of meal, but at least by making a homemade sauce, you’re able to control the ingredients that go into it.  I made the recipe as written except that I halved it, used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, and used one poblano chile and one jalapeño.  The sauce, while not all that appealing to look at, is downright fantastic; it’s what makes this whole meal so great.  The mushrooms disappear into the sauce and by the time the casserole made its way to my plate, I had forgotten they were even involved.  Be prepared for some spice with this dish but it’s more a smokey heat than a burn-your-tongue-off heat and if you’ll be serving this to kids or lightweight adults, you can cut back on the amount of fresh chiles you use.  Overall, this King Ranch Casserole is a complete winner in our book and I won’t hesitate to bring this to any potluck or serve it for a casual dinner with guests.

You can find the full recipe on Jody’s blog, Savory to Sweet.  I’m a little behind with Project Pastry Queen recipes so later this week, I’ll be posting a fun twist on pizza…stay tuned!