Ah, January! Cold, windy, snowy, bitter.
You make me want to hunker down and pull a pile of warm blankets over my head for a few weeks. Unfortunately such behavior is frowned upon in our modern world – even if you do claim to be a hermit. That is where meals like Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust come in – it makes even the coldest person want to climb out of their blankets and come to the table and enjoy a warming meal.
You can, of course, top a pot pie with a normal pastry type crust – leaving out the sugar of course, but I really prefer these biscuits. Not only are they easier, they add a hearty touch to this stew that nothing else quite equals.
You don’t have to follow my exact ingredients either – I often use different vegetables, even leftovers if I have some that I need to use up. You should put in whatever your family will enjoy most or what you have on hand.
Sometimes I throw in a handful or two of frozen mixed veggies, or add some cubed rutabaga or potatoes. I usually tend to stay away from the starchier vegetables in it though, because the crust is enough carbs for me – I prefer this kind of dish to be packed with cauliflower and broccoli.
- Olive oil
- kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper
- 3 medium sized chicken thighs - bone in and skin on
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 large stalk celery, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 large carrot, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, cut in eights
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried whole leaves
- 1 small rosemary stalk
- 4 cups of water
- 1 large stalk celery, cut in small dice
- 1 small onion, cut in small dice
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper as needed
- ¼ cup half and half
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 & ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut in small cubes
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- Place a good glug of olive oil in a 5 quart having soup pot or dutch oven, and set over a medium high burner.
- Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle all side of the chicken thighs with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Carefully place chicken, skin side down in the hot oil in the pot. Make sure they aren't touching each other.
- Allow to brown, without moving or turning, for about 5 minutes, until the skin has a nice deep color, then turn over, and cook the other side another 5 minutes.
- When you turn the chicken over, add the celery, carrot and onion to the pan as well, pushing into the empty spaces between the thighs so that as much of it as possible is touching the bottom of the pan.
- After 5 minutes,carefully add the white wine to pan, and leave over medium high heat, until slightly reduced.
- Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary and 4 cups of water to the pan and cover.
- Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked though.
- Remove chicken to a plate to cool off. When cool, remove bones and skin and cut meat into 1 inch chunks, reserve - discard bones and skin.
- Carefully, strain the broth through a mesh strainer and set aside.
- Wipe out the pot and return to the stove.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the soup pot and add the celery and onion. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, until the vegetables are softened.
- Add the strained broth back to the pot, along with the carrot, broccoli and cauliflower, thyme and poultry seasoning.
- Bring up to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are nearly tender.
- Add the chicken and bring back up to a simmer. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Stir the half and half and cornstarch together until smooth, and add to the filling, stirring constantly, until the mixture is back to a simmer and slightly thickened.
- Hold mixture at a low simmer while you prepare the crust.
- Turn the oven to 400º to get it heating up.
- Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
- Use a pastry cutter or two knives, or your fingers to blend in the butter - it should resemble coarse crumbs when you have it mixed together.
- Stir in the buttermilk, just until combined.
- Dust the counter with flour and turn out the dough - knead for a minute or two until a smooth ball is formed, then roll to the size of the baking dish you are using.
- Remove the filling from the heat and spread in a 3 quart baking dish.
- Lay the biscuit crust on top of the filling, and brush lightly with a tablespoon or so of additional buttermilk, or melted butter.
- Place in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top of the crust is nicely browned and the gravy at the edges is bubbly.
- Allow to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then serve.
A very welcome sight on a day like this!