I can finally saw that winter has officially arrive in western Pennsylvania. After a uncharacteristically warm December, we made up for it this week by getting over two feet of snow, and temperatures that dropped into the single digits. This is the time of year that makes me question why I don’t live further south…
Between the plummeting temperatures outside, and the fact that I was sick most of last week, I was craving some comfort food this weekend. Chicken and biscuits seemed to fit the bill perfectly. This was a dish my mom made all the time growing up, except that she used cream of chicken soup and refrigerator biscuits from a pop-tube. Now that I ‘m an adult and have to worry about fun things like trans fats and atherosclerosis, I’ve had to eliminate those amazingly flaky, buttery pop-tube biscuits from my diet. Since living a biscuit-free live is no fun, I knew I needed to find a biscuit recipe that made both my taste buds and my arteries happy.
This recipe got rave reviews of Food Network’s website, so I knew it wouldn’t disappoint. The stew is thick and creamy, full of flavor, and chock full of hearty chicken and vegetables. The biscuits are baked on top, so they come out crispy on top while remaining nice and soft on the bottom. It was delicious, and the perfect meal for a cold winter’s day. This recipe makes a ton, and even with halving the recipe there was still a ton left after my husband and I ate. Luckily, it’s great as leftovers.
Chicken and Biscuits
Yields: 8-10 servings
4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on*
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes**
1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)**
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
*or 3-4 cups leftover cooked, diced chicken
**or a bag of frozen mixed veggies
For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, basil, oregano and the heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well. Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.
Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.
Source: Food Network