Recipe: Chicken Pot Pies with Biscuit Topping

This just felt like home. I wanted a comforting dish and this hit the spot. 
Perfect for cold weather or for emotional moments. 

I love chicken and I love biscuits. What a glorious combination! It's super rich and calorific but let yourself indulge once in a while. It's not like you'll eat this everyday. Remember, I eat what I crave. And it took me about 3 days until I finally satisfied this itch. I didn't have any carrots or celery but that didn't stop me.

I'll be honest. I measure with feel, weight, sight, and taste when I cook. I seldom actually use measuring cups and spoons.  In Tagalog, it's termed as "tancha" - to guesstimate. Of course this is different when I bake because baking needs to be exact. But when I cook, I let my senses direct me if I want more or less of something. If the mixture isn't thick enough, the food isn't salty enough, or sweet enough, I'll add or subtract as I go. The smell, visual appeal, feel, consistency of the dish. These are my indicators to tell me it's good enough for me. So I'm trying to calculate in my head, remembering all these dishes I've made, and put them all in writing. Sometimes I forget an ingredient but looking at photos alone, I'll remember what I added or will know in my head what the main items are. It's just a matter of etching it down on paper to make it measurable for everyone to enjoy and follow. Sometimes I look at a dish and I'll know most of the ingredients I need. Tasting and feeling it on my tongue, in my palate, seals the deal. Sometimes I hit it right on the spot or sometimes I'll miss an extra ingredient (the "secret ingredient" so to speak).

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Chicken Pot Pies with Biscuit Topping
This recipe can make 6 individual ramekins (8oz). Or you can use an 8-inch or 9-inch square pyrex dish to make 1 big pot pie to share. I just like serving it individually so no one hoards the biscuit topping. This way, each serving has ample biscuit amount.

You'll need 6 x 8oz ramekins, a large saucepan (or deep skillet), a baking sheet, a pastry brush, and a mixing bowl.

Filling Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken thighs, boneless and cubed
2 bacon strips, sliced
1/4 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cremini or bella mushroom, chopped
1/4 cup peas, frozen or fresh
1/4 cup whole corn kernels
1/4 broccoli florets (I had broccoli and I didn't want to waste it that's why I included it here. You can definitely substitute this for chopped carrots instead.)
1 tsp pepper

2 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream (You can also use evaporated milk, it will be sweeter though.)

Biscuit Topping Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter, salted
1/2 cup milk, warmed

2 tbsp melted butter, salted, for brushing

Procedure
1. Preheat the oven to 450℉.
2. In a saucepan, heat to medium and sauce chicken pieces until browned. Add chopped onions, garlic, and bacon until onions and bacon sweat. Season with pepper. (I don't add salt because of the bacon. But you can season to taste.)
2. Add the mushrooms, corn, peas, and broccoli (or carrots). Sauté until peas and broccoli are bright green. You don't want to overcook these as they will continue cooking throughout and you want to avoid them being mushy.
3. Add the butter and flour and sauté this for about 2 minutes. You're creating a roux within the mixture. (A roux is a thickening agent of equal parts fat and flour. The longer you cook this, the darker the mixture becomes.) Add the cream and stir until the mixture thickens. Once thick enough, set aside.
 
4. To make the biscuit topping batter, add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the warmed milk and 1/4 cup of the butter and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not over-mix the batter, you just want them incorporated. Set aside.
5. On a baking sheet, evenly space out each ramekin. Spoon the chicken to fill about 3/4 of the ramekin. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of the drop biscuit batter. With a pastry brush, brush the top of the biscuit with melted butter. Repeat this for all 6 ramekins.
6. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.
7. The hard part again. You need to keep calm and wait. Once the timer goes off, let this rest for about 5-7 minutes. The mixture is still bubbling inside.
8. Enjoy!

 
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*If you have extra filling, not a problem. You can save this for later or eat with mashed potatoes or on rice with broiled cheese on top. Or, you can double the biscuit recipe and cover up the remaining chicken filling on a separate pyrex. Remember, I'm typing these recipes from memory, deep inside my head. 

**I mentioned Roux earlier. This is a fat-based thickener perfect for sauces or soups. It's basically equal parts fat and flour. The longer you cook it, the darker this becomes. Hence, there are 3 types of roux - white, blonde, and brown. For lighter sauces, stick to the white. For a more golden colour, go with the blonde. For deeper brown sauces, like using a red wine or au jus base, even an hunter sauce, go for the brown roux. The brown roux also has a nuttier flavour because you've toasted the butter, technically now a thick beurre noisette. For this recipe, you only need a white roux.

***You can use the biscuit recipe for any biscuit needs you might have. You can even add chives, garlic, and cheddar to make it a perfect side dish to your barbecues in summer or to go with a crab and lobster boil! I like drop biscuit recipes because there's no need to roll out and prep your counter to roll and cut out.

#donyaluzee #recipe #food #chicken #potpie #dropbiscuit #biscuit #cream #comfortfood #ramekin

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