Monday, November 24, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

There's nothing I like better than chicken pot pie. It's a delicious, comfort food meal; however, it is somewhat time-consuming. You could easily use a rotisserie chicken & save at least one step. On the other hand, if you are trying to save money, start with a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts. You will need to add more liquid to cook it, and it will take longer to cook. Instead of 10 minutes, simmer for 40 minutes. You could do this a day or 2 ahead. I like this with biscuits on top, but it's really good with a pie crust topping as well. You could use the frozen pie crusts and save another step, but drop biscuits are super easy to do.

To cook chicken:
2 whole chicken breasts (4 1/2 breasts),preferably with skin and on the bone
1 stalk of celery, broken in two
1/4 large onion
1 bay leaf
2 cans chicken stock
Place all in a pot and bring to a bare simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off and let chicken cool in broth. Remove chicken from broth. Remove skin & take off bone. Dice chicken and reserve covered. Strain stock and return to pan.

1-2 peeled potatoes, cubed
handful of baby carrots
green beans

Add potatoes to stock and bring to a boil, add carrots & green beans. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables & reserve.

To make sauce:
4 tbl butter
5 tbl flour
1 stalk of celery,chopped finely
1/4 large onion, chopped finely
sieved chicken stock from cooking the chicken
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup milk
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter & add onion & celery. Cook until onions are translucent. Add flour and cook 3 minutes without browning. Whisk in cooled chicken stock, white wine, and milk. Bring back to a boil, continue whisking for about 3 more minutes.

Drop Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour (I like White Lily)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1/4 cup Crisco
1-1 1/2 Cups buttermilk

Stir together dry ingredients. (You can just use self-rising flour if you want to simplify your life.) Cut Crisco into flour mixture. Add 1 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix together. If too dry to drop from a spoon, add a little more buttermilk.

Assembly & baking: Preheat oven to 500.
Frozen green peas (optional)

Add chicken and vegetables to sauce. Bring to a boil & add optional peas. Taste & correct seasonings. Pour into greased casserole dish. Drop biscuits by large spoonfuls onto mixture. Place dish on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil to catch spills. Place into preheated oven & bake 12-15 minutes or until biscuits are browned & mixture is bubbly.

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