Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Out with Chicken Pot Pie

We're moving tomorrow--finally! And so I present to you the final recipe in the Operation Clean Out the Pantry series. Drumroll please...

On the "let's finish this up" list were about four skinless chicken thighs, on the bone; buttermilk; herbs; mushrooms; cheddar cheese; and a big bag of all-purpose flour. I have to say, the challenge of figuring out what to make with odds-and-ends ingredients like that is a lot easier if you use the Internet. A search on Epicurious led me to Turkey Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust, which I quickly determined could be easily adapted to my ingredients. The recipe actually was meant to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving, and I'm sure that's a terrific use for the meat. But I'll also say that roasting chicken in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes and then pulling it off the bone, shredding it to chunks, works just fine as well. The other sub I made was dill in the place of thyme. Other than that, I followed the recipe.

You cook onion, celery, chopped parsnip and herbs until tender, and then toss in some chopped mushrooms, stirring them until they're soft. You thicken the veggies with a sprinkle of flour, and then pour in a fair amount of chicken stock. Once your soup is nice and thick, you stir in the meat and a box of frozen peas, and season the entire thing with salt and pepper. And this is where things get interesting. While the veggies were cooking, you had already whipped up a quick biscuit dough made with buttermilk, butter, Parmigiano and grated sharp cheddar. So you take that batter, which is quite lumpy, and drop dollops of it on top of the thickened soup/meat mixture. And then you slide the rather bizarre-looking creation into a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes.

This was one of those dishes which, when cooking, your mouth is watering so much that it takes everything in your power not to tear the dish from the oven and dig in right there. The smell of buttermilk biscuits, savory vegetables and roasted chicken have to be some of the most appetizing I know, and taken together? Hold me back. Of course, we had to wait another nearly interminable 10 minutes for the dish to cool before we could spoon it out, but eventually that time came, and let me tell you, it was sweet. Amazing, actually. The biscuit was thick and fluffy; the flavors of the meat and vegetables underneath had melded together into a warm and comfy stew. It was heaven, seriously.

And with that, I'm off to our new kitchen!--S

Turkey Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Crus

Serves 8

For stock:
Carcass and skin from a 12- to 14-pound roast turkey
10 cups water

For filling:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large parsnip (peeled), cored and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 t chopped thyme
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 lb mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/4 c all-purpose flour
4 c roast turkey [or chicken] meat, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 (10-oz) package frozen baby peas, thawed
[3 1/2 c chicken stock]

For biscuit crust:

2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 c coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1/4 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/4 c well-shaken buttermilk

Separate parts of carcass and put, along with skin, in an 8-quart pot. Cover bones with water and simmer until liquid is reduced by one third, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Set aside 3 1/2 cups stock (reserve remainder for another use).


Make filling:

Cook onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and thyme in butter with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch-wide shallow pot (3- to 4-quart), covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in stock (3 1/2 cups), scraping up any brown bits, and bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in turkey, peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat over low heat just before topping with biscuit crust.


Make biscuit crust and bake pie:

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop biscuit dough onto filling in 8 large mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.

Bake until biscuits are puffed and golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Cooks' notes:

· If using carcass and meat from a brined turkey, filling may need little or no salt.

· Filling can be made in a 12-inch skillet and transferred to a 13- by 9-inch baking pan before topping with biscuit dough.
· You can substitute another turkey stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth for the stock in this recipe. You can also make stock using leftover cooked chicken in place of turkey.

1. Separate parts of carcass and put, along with skin, in an 8-quart pot. Cover bones with water and simmer until liquid is reduced by one third, about 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Set aside 3 1/2 cups stock (reserve remainder for another use). [Skip this step if you're using pre-cooked chicken.]
2. Cook onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and thyme in butter with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper in a 12-inch-wide shallow pot (3- to 4-quart), covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in stock (3 1/2 c), scraping up any brown bits, and bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in turkey, peas, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
5. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop biscuit dough onto filling in 8 large mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.
6. Bake until biscuits are puffed and golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet

1 comment:

Laura said...

BEST CHICKEN POT PIE (POTPIE?) I'VE EVER HAD. IT WARRANTS ALL CAPS. THAT'S HOW GOOD IT IS.