Thursday, January 30, 2014

chicken n biscuits

Wow have I been a bad blogger.  I have just been completely blog lazy.

I've been blazy.

It's a real word.  Look it up.

Well it should be a real word....

I have had several people ask if I had a good recipe for leftover chicken.  This is my absolute favorite recipe for leftover chicken.  And now I will share it with you.  How lucky you are.

I usually will make a chicken soup and reserve half of the cooked chicken, tear it to bits with my hands which is really very therapeutic, and make this.  I love it because you can use whatever veg you have on hand.  If you have leftover chicken, the whole thing comes together so quickly it always surprises me.  But even if you don't have leftover chicken, it doesn't change the timing. You can sauté the chicken while the gravy thickens.  Sauté the chicken while the gravy thickens.  Say that ten times fast and you've got yourself a song!  Or does that only happen in my head?

Chicken and biscuits

4 tbs butter
1/4 c. flour
4 c. chicken stock, plus more if it looks too thick
3 c. chopped, cubed, or torn to bits chicken 
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
peas, corn, and parsnip also are wonderful in here
1 leek (white part only) or onion or 2 shallots or a few green onions...  chopped


2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs herbs- flat leaf parsley, chives, dill chopped
6 tbs chilled, cubed earth balance butter
3/4 c. soy milk, almond milk....  whatever milk you like

The first thing I do when I make this is cube the butter for the biscuits and pop them into the freezer.  You want them to be cold cold cold.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

If you do not have leftover chicken, just use about a pound of chicken, boneless and skinless, cut into chunks, and sauté with some olive oil in a heavy pan over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes.

In a dutch oven or other large saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat.  Add the flour, and whisk until smooth.  Pour in the stock, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil.  Cook, whisking every couple of minutes, until the mixture smooths out and thickens a bit, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken and vegetables.  Reduce heat to medium, and keep at an active simmer.

In a medium bowl, add the first biscuit ingredients: the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well, and then add the herbs if using and then the butter.  Using a pastry blender or your hands, mix to combine, leaving it crumbly.  If you use your hands, don't handle it too much- you don't want the butter to soften.   Pour the milk in all at once and stir it together with a fork.  

Knead the dough against the bowl several times until the bowl is clean.  On a floured surface, dump the dough out, pat it down to about 1/2" thick, and using a biscuit cutter (if you're well stocked or organized or fancy or all of the above) or a plain ol' drinking glass (if you're not well stocked or organized or fancy or all of the above, i.e. me), cut out circles and gently place them on top of the stew.  Pop the whole thing into the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the biscuits are all puffed up and nicely browned on top.  I will sometimes put it on broil to get the tops really toasty.  

Voila!  C'est tout!  Bon appétit!