I thought about just jumping into this post without acknowledging that I haven’t blogged anything in five months, but now I’ve gone and mentioned it, so some sort of explanation is in order. First off, I blame this guy:
Kidding! It’s really because I’ve been doing a ton of educational data contract work at night, and I’ve been too tired to do anything else. Tell me more about this fascinating-sounding educational data, you say? No. You don’t say that because nobody ever says that. Anyway, I’ve just finished two of the three big projects I’ve been working on, and I can do fun things again! Last night Andy and I went crazy and watched 4 dozen (not really) shows on hulu while I ate leftover ganache with a spoon. This is living.
Anyway, despite the lack of blogging, I have been cooking as much or more than I ever did before. This means three homemade, largely unprocessed meals nearly every day, and I’m eager to share my favorites with you again. I’ve been trying a ton of new recipes, and I’ve been trying to cook healthier stuff too- much less white sugar and flour (don’t look at the top of this post). But for my triumphal return to blogging, I want to share with you one of my very favorite, pre-health-focused, dinners: chicken pot pie with biscuits.
This recipe is a Frankenstein-ian mash up of Cook’s Illustrated’s pot pie (which is fast, but uses boiled chicken breasts and canned stock, blargh) and Ina Garten’s chicken stew with biscuits (which uses too much of everything and requires you to blanch the vegetables individually). I’ve taken what I feel are the best elements of both, with an eye toward simplicity, and the result is a pot pie that has become a family favorite. It’s infinitely adaptable: substitute any vegetables you like, lose the chicken, cover the top with pie dough instead of biscuits, drink the filling from a balloon snifter style cognac glass, what have you.
Chicken and Kale Pot Pie with Biscuits
For the Biscuits (from the Barefoot Contessa, Family Style)
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium-large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 small celery ribs, diced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth, homemade if possible
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 2 cups leftover roasted chicken, shredded
- 1/2 bunch curly-leafed kale, cleaned and chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, if you’ve got it
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Make the biscuit dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry knife until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine with a fork. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and knead once or twice to bring it together. Use your fingers to pat the dough into a rectangle that’s about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut out 9 biscuits with a glass or 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate until the filling is ready.
- Heat the canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl (or the casserole dish you’ll be baking the pot pie in, if you’re like me and want to dirty as few dishes as possible).
- Melt the butter in the now empty pan. When the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the chicken broth, and then the milk (the gravy may have pockets of flour lumps- keep whisking and the big ones will break up, and the small ones will disappear when the pot pie is baked. you can avoid lumps altogether by heating your stock and milk, but i don’t cuz of the same dirty dish aversion i mentioned earlier). Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer until the sauce fully thickens, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the sauteed vegetables back to the pot of gravy along with the shredded chicken, chopped kale, frozen peas, and the parsley, stirring to combine. Taste for salt and pepper again and add more if necessary. Pour the filling into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the biscuits and brush the dough with the egg wash, if you’re feeling fancy. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 25 minutes.