These days include, but are not limited to: rainy days, blizzards, relaxing brunches, and prom. Yes, prom. My parents do not like the mention of prom, and I seem to be allergic to prom dresses. So, I called up two of my favorite gal pals to come spend the day at my place.
Menu: chicken pot pie with cream cheese biscuits, followed by apple cake.
Afterwards, we watched Les Miserables and roasted chocolate stuffed marshmallows. (We had to improvise because I forgot gram crackers for s’mores.) We also watched an episode of Friends and that wonderfully hilarious video How Animals Eat Their Food.
Rotisserie chicken is shredded and added to the creamy sauce. Using rotisserie chicken saves time and energy for more important things, like biscuits. The biscuits need to remain cold for maximum fluff, so keep them in the fridge until necessary.
Sautéed veggies are tossed in and stirred until evenly coated. Learn to love your veggies, and your veggies will love you back. Truth. Feel free to add chopped zucchini in the mix, but I left that out this time around.
Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese Biscuits:
Makes one 9×13-inch dish with 12 biscuits
For the Biscuits:
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or 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 (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 4 ounces (half of a brick) cream cheese, cold
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, cold (or measure a little less than a tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into the 3/4 measuring cup, then top with any fat milk and set aside for close to 10 minutes)
For the Filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk or 2% milk (would not recommend skim in this recipe)
- 4 ounces (half of a brick) cream cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 3 cups shredded chicken meat
- 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 1 medium 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, and black pepper.
Add butter and cream cheese to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers or a pastry blender 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. It should look a bit like wet sand.
Make a small well in the center of the fat and flour mixture. Add the buttermilk. Using a fork (or pastry blender), 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 350 degrees F.
Dice onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini (if using), 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, heat olive oil. 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 an egg wash.
Bake for 25-35 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.