Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Easy Chicken Pot Pie (with Biscuit Crust)

These past months I have been oscillating between a cranky old lady complaining, “whatever happened to winter? In my day, snow came up to the earlobes” and a silly teenage chasing sunrays to tan in. But seriously the amount of times I have not worn a winter coat outside in February terrifies me. Mostly my concern lies in the loss of deep winter, snowed-in style comfort food. What about the stews and the roasts? Bread pudding? And pot pie, what about pot pie?

In the very recent snap of frigid weather, my mind leaped at the prospect of making a chicken pot pie. Unfortunately, my body did not. Using the low temperatures as an excuse to wear jammies and snuggle under blankets all day while watching movies, I grew lazy. Luckily, I found the below recipe which uses a biscuit topping rather than the traditional piecrust. You just stir up the biscuit dough and drop it onto the pot pie filing. (Maybe a little more gracefully than me.) Not having to fret over handling the dough or get into an epic battle with the rolling pin, really made the whole ordeal easy as pie. 

Chicken Pot Pie

adapted from nytimes
yields 4-6 servings

3tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 medium carrots
about 2 ½ cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped (I used a leftover roasted chicken. The meat from 2 drumsticks and 1 thigh yielded a perfect amount of chicken)
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup milk
1 egg.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour oil into a large pot over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the leek, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add stock and bring to a boil. Let bubble for a minute and then add carrots and chicken. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes; carrots should be tender. Add peas and cook for a minute more, stirring occasionally.
3. Whisk cornstarch with a few tablespoons of broth together into a paste. Add paste to pot and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Transfer filling to a large ovenproof pan or two small cake pans and set aside.
4. Stir together baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and stir with a fork, pressing the butter into the flour until the mixture looks like small peas. Mix in milk and egg until dough just comes together.
5. Spoon batter on top of filling and smooth with a knife, covering as much surface area as possible. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes if cooking in a large dish or 25-30 minutes if cooking in two small ones. Pot pie should be golden on top and bubbly underneath. Serve immediately.


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