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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Upside Down Chicken Pot Pie

Pot pie with rice, beans and chicken
I started a post last night wherein I wanted to share a recipe for garlic knots and some thoughts about the workplace. But for whatever reason, I was unusually tired and about a paragraph into the post I had placed the laptop on my bedside table and fallen fast asleep. I went back to the post tonight to review it and finish it but it just doesn't feel like the night to share that post. It will just have to wait till the time feels right. 
             Today and tonight were all about chicken. What began as innocent teasing and calling a friend a 'chicken', turned my day upside down. It was a very busy day at work to begin with a lot of to do items weighing on my mind. But this 'chicken' conversation added another item to my list. All of a sudden chicken was all I could think of and I wanted to rush home and make an upside down chicken potpie for dinner. It is ironic that the very mention of chicken is driving me crazy enough to want chicken right away, considering that I was staunch vegetarian for the first half of this year. I wonder what happened to the vegetarian in me? Being a carnivore, I probably I ate her. Sigh! And in case you were wondering, I did not rush home right away but stayed at work and did manage to finish most if not all of my work related items. 
          Once I had left work and picked up my sons from school, I rushed to the rotisserie aisle of my local grocery store to pick up the chicken. I hope I did not shock the fellow shoppers as I stood there staring at and drooling over the chicken. I am surprised I had enough control to not rip apart the container it came in and eat the chicken in the parking lot after I had left the store.   
I got home, put on my apron, washed my hands and began the wonderful task of taking the skin off and shredding the chicken. It really is one of my secret pleasures. As I shredded and ate the chicken I realized that I did not have the cream cheese the recipe below called for. Honestly though, I wanted my potpie to have rice, beans and veggies in it. So I did just that.
          However, two years ago when I made this pie, I had followed the recipe I have shared below, word for word and cannot say enough good things about it. And being someone who is yet to learn the art of measuring as I add ingredients to my dishes, a set in stone recipe will be very hard to come by, at least tonight. I am trying to get better about measuring ingredients as I add them and hopefully by the next time I tease a friend the urge hits me for this potpie I will be really good at measuring and keeping track of what I have added. I think it will be wonderful if I can get to a point where I have recipes I can pass down to my kids and be a little less like my mom in that one aspect (sorry amma!).
        Joy, the author of the recipe below says in her post to make this for a hungry husband so he will want to marry you again. This was so true of the last time I made it. My husband fell in love with my cooking me a little bit more that evening

Recipe Source: Joy the Baker

Makes one 9×13-inch dish  with 12 biscuits

For the Biscuits:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (depending on how spicy you like your biscuits)

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

4 ounces (half of a brick) cream cheese, cold

3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

For the Filling:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 cups whole milk

4 ounces (half of a brick) cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

3 cups shredded chicken meat

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 cup thinly diced carrots

1 cup diced zucchini (optional)

1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

Start by making the biscuits.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, black pepper, and chopped chives.

Add butter and cream cheese to the dry ingredients.  Use your fingers to quickly incorporate the fat into the flour.  Break up the butter and cream cheese with your fingers until some of the fat is the size of oat flakes and some of the fat is the size of small pebbles.

Make a small well in the center of the fat and flour mixture.  Add the buttermilk.  Using a fork, combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Try to moisten all of the flour bits with the liquid.  Dump the shaggy biscuit dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead together until dough forms a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick.

Use a round, 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits.  Gather the dough scraps, knead for a few turns, and cut out more biscuits until no dough remains.  Place biscuits on a small cookie sheet and place in the fridge until ready to bake.

Next, make the filling.  Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Dice onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, and thaw the frozen peas.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk in the flour.  Mixture will be very thick.  Heat for 1 minute.  Turn flame to low and add the chicken stock.  Whisk until no flour bits remain.  Whisk in the milk and add the cream cheese.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring often, untilcream cheese has melted and the mixture is the consistency of warm, thick pudding.  Add chicken, lemon, and nutmeg.  Stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Remove mixture from heat and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil, if using).  Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add minced garlic and saute for one minute more.  Add carrots, zucchini, and peas.  Cook for  about 3 minutes.  The vegetables will not be entirely cooked through.  That’s ok!  Remove from heat and add vegetable mixture to the creamy chicken mixture.  Stir to combine.

Spoon filling into a 9×13-inch pan.  Remove the biscuits from the fridge and place them on top of the filling.  Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy cream, buttermilk, or egg wash.

Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until biscuits are puffed and golden, and the sides of the pot pie are bubbling.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

To reheat, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Cover dish with foil and bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes.  Serve.

Chicken Pot Pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.