Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe (Main Dish)
Buttermilk biscuit dough (recipe below)
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 cups low sodium or homemade chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 medium large onion
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
2 small celery ribs, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons dry sherry (this is essential for flavor)
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1. Make pie dough or biscuits and refrigerate until ready to use. If using commercial puff pastry or phyllo dough, follow package instructions for thawing.
2. Adjust oven rack to low-center position and heat oven to 400. Put chicken and broth in a dutch oven or large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is just done, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer meat to a large bowl. Transfer broth to a four-cup pyrex measure or to another bowl.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until just tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Transfer cooked vegetables to bowl with chicken and set aside.
4. Heat butter over medium heat in Dutch oven. When foaming subsides, add flour (whisking) and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in reserved chicken broth, milk and any accumlated chicken juices and thyme. (I blend the broth and milk together first in a 4 cup pyrex measure and heat it in the microwave until warm. Then, I add it to the roux.) Bring to a simmer, stirring until sauce fully thickens, about 1 minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in sherry.
5. Pour sauce over chicken-vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Stir in peas and parsley and adjust seasonings. Pour mixture into a 13 X 9 inch pan or any shallow baking dish of similar size or into six 12-oz ramekins or bowls. Top as desired. Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 28-30 minutes for large pies and 20-25 for smaller pies. Serve immediately.
Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 12 or so pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk plus 1-2 tablespoons more if needed (you can substitue plain yogurt for buttermilk in any recipe, by the way)
1. Pulse flours baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.
2. Transfer mixture to medcium bowl. Add buttermilk and stir with fork until dough gathers into mmoist clumps. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and form into a rough ball. Roll or pat dough 1/2 inch think. Using a 2 1/2 inch pastry cutter, stamp out 8 rounds of dough. If making individual pies, cut dough slightly smaller than circumference of each dish. (Dough rounds can be refrigerated on a lightly floured baking sheet covered with plastic wrap for up to 2 hours. I have even frozen them with pretty good results.)
(ALTERNATE LAZY METHOD: Add the buttermilk directly to the food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a bowl and sort of mush it together very briefly and spooon it onto the pie. The biscuit quality is probably not as light and fluffy but it is really much easier and still comes out great.)
3. Arrange dough rounds over warm filling and bake as directed in step 5 above.
(IF YOU WANT TO BAKE THE BISCUITS FOR ANOTHER USE SUCH AS STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE, JUST SHAPE AND BAKE ON A PARCHMENT LINED BAKING SHEET AT 400 UNTIL LIGHTLY BROWNED AND DONE, PROBABLY ABOUT 12 MINUTES...WATCH THEM AND USE YOUR JUDGEMENT.)