Last week we suddenly had a hankering for pot pie. Once something like that gets in your head, you just have to go with it, so I made one for Sunday night dinner. We used to eat this embarrassingly often, and I am likewise embarrassed to admit that I always used to make it with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. I have since decided that I don’t need to put that much salt and MSG into my system, so I did this one from scratch. It could have used a touch more salt, but I think it was the best pot pie I’ve ever produced. Comfort food extraordinaire!
I like my pot pie topped with drop biscuits, and my favorite biscuit recipe of the moment is the Buttermilk Biscuits from Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis. As long as I had the book out I ended up loosely following his recipe for pot pie, as well. I ignored some of his seasoning suggestions and did not put in any sherry. Here’s the version I made, more or less:
Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thigh meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch chunks
- a pound or so fresh mushrooms, sliced
- several carrots, diced
- some green peas from the freezer (maybe a half cup?)
- dried thyme
- salt & pepper
- two cups homemade chicken stock
- bay leaves
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 5 Tbsp flour
Cook the mushrooms in olive oil over fairly high heat, until their liquid is cooked off. Add the carrot and cook until softened. Add peas, a sprinkle of thyme and some salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the chicken stock with bay leaves in it. My stock was already bay-flavored so I just used one leaf. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or saucier and stir the flour into it to make a roux. Cook for a few minutes, whisking like crazy. Add the hot stock and whisk it all smooth, simmer for a few more minutes (you can take the bay leaves out now). Add the raw chicken to the gravy and let it simmer, covered, until the chicken is just cooked. Combine the chicken and sauce with the cooked vegetables in a baking pan (size depending on how overboard you’ve gone with the chicken and filling – I used a 9×13″ roasting pan).
Mix up a batch of your favorite biscuits, adding a little extra liquid so they don’t need to be rolled out, and drop globs of dough evenly across the top of the filling. I used a full recipe, which made big, thick fluffy biscuits -I could have gotten away with a half recipe and spread the dough more thinly.
Place in a 425° oven for 20 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350° and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden on top and no longer gooey underneath. Eat from big soup bowls while curled up on the couch watching TV and drinking good red wine.