Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chicken and Biscuits

Is there a dinner more comforting that chicken and biscuits?  I think not.  It is the ultimate comfort food:  tender chicken, a salty, creamy filling, just enough veggies to make you think you're healthy... and then the top is studded with flaky, buttery, biscuits.  The bottoms get kind of soft, and the tops are crunchy and flaky.  So so good!

A few weeks ago, my in-laws took a trip to Hong Kong.  Their return trip was almost 24 hours long, so I thought they'd appreciate a home-cooked meal upon their arrival home.  I also knew they would probably be REALLY ready for some simple, American, comfort food.  I made the chicken and biscuits, a harvest pear salad, and an apple galette for dessert, and had them just stop by on their way home to pick it all up.  My mother-in-law said it was just what they needed and wanted after traveling so much, and the homey comfort food totally hit the spot.  I can't say my motives were totally selfless though - I actually made it in two dishes and kept one for our own dinner (and a few lunches)!  This was just as big of a hit with the little ones as it was with us - though in my opinion, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything more comforting and delicious!

Chicken & Biscuits 
adapted from The Barefoot Contessa, Family Style
serves 8-12

The original recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of salt, but I decreased it and "only" used 1 1/2 teaspoons.  I still thought it was pretty salty, so if you're sensitive to salt, then definitely decrease it even more.  I'd probably recommend 1 - 1 1/4 teaspoons.  

For the Chicken Stew:

  • 4-6 cups of cooked and shredded or chopped chicken (2 rotisserie chickens work well here)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Tbs (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cups diced carrots (3-4 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen peas (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
For the Biscuits
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 Tbs cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbs water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a large baking dish (or 2 smaller dishes) and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken stock and the bullion cubes.  Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bullion cubes have dissolved.

Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until softened and translucent.  Stir in the flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Whisk in the chicken stock and cook until thickened, another 1-2 minutes. Add 1 - 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, the chicken, and the heavy cream.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the frozen peas.

Pour the stew into the prepared dish(es), place the baking dish on a sheet pan, and bake 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits.  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the half and half and parsley and combine on low speed until a cohesive dough forms.

Dump the dough out on a well-floured surface and roll out to 3/8-inches thick.  Cut out 12 circles with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling.  Brush them with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Return the dish to the oven and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden-brown and the stew is bubbly.


Elizabeth said...

I made a chicken pot pie with biscuits a couple of months ago and it was fantastic! This reminds me so much of it.
Looks delicious!

Joanne said...

It reminds me of a chicken pot pie without the annoyance of having to make a crust! Swoon.

Anonymous said...

That looks great. I think I'll try making this and freezing it for after Baby comes. I'll likely want to add the biscuits right before I actually cook it, don't you think?

Tara said...

Ha! I was just going to call you Ina Garten for having them stop by to pick up dinner and then I saw it's also Ina's recipe. In all seriousness though, I've never had chicken and biscuits. I really should remedy that soon!

Kelsey said...

This is most certainly comfort food, Josie! As for the salt, I'm definitely with you. I almost always reduce the salt when I make Ina Garten's recipes.

Michelle said...

I know you can make this in your sleep, as can I. And I was just thinking of tossing this on my menu for next week because it is so much colder up here than I am used to in Atlanta.

Josie said...

Yes I'd probably just freeze the filling in a freezer bag, thaw, and follow the directions as written... maybe adding a few extra minutes to the cook time pre-biscuits (if that makes sense). YOu could also make the biscuits ahead, freeze them, and then throw them on top of the filling when it's cooking (and I think you could just add the biscuits frozen with no ill effects). Enjoy!

Kent said...

Hey Josie! If I don't want to buy heavy cream (we never use that) would I ruin the recipe by using half and half instead? Thanks girl!

Josie said...

Hi Kent, Half-and-half would definitely be fine. Hope you enjoy!

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