Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Thirteen: The Sunset Cookbook

Recipe: Biscuit-topped Chicken Potpies

I am only into thirteen of my 100+ books, and have acquired two more!! This being one of them. At this rate, I will never get through them all! When I was at my mother's a few months back, I was leafing through her copy and was salivating over so many of the recipes. I must have been hungry that day, for I could not stop thinking about this book. I held off for as long as I could...

I have made potpies in the past, but I think this one is the best. I also think this is a healthier version then the ones I've made before. It has a whopping 58g of protein and only about 10g fat. I also like the biscuit topping over having the whole dish covered with puff pastry or the like. (Edit: read the wrong recipe. 28g of protein and 25g of fat. Thought it tasted too good to be only 10g!!)

Success meter (1-3): 3

 Ooops..imagine the heavy cream as buttermilk....pulled out the wrong carton!

Biscuit-topped Chicken Potpies
Makes 6 or 7 individual potpies

2 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
¼ cup salted butter
1 medium onion, finely chipped
12 small cremini or button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped thyme leaves
5 Tbl. plus 2 cups flour
1 cup plus 1Tbl. milk
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp. salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken, preferably a mixture of white and dark meat
¼ cup frozen peas
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
5 Tbl. cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tsp. minced sage leaves
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
½ cup plus 2 Tbl. well-shaken buttermilk

1.       In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery. Lower heat to medium and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving broth; set aside separately.

2.       In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt salted butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add thyme and 5 Tbl. flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly add 1 cup milk, whisking constantly, until combined, then add reserved broth and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens, 8-10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Add parsley, chicken, reserved cooked vegetables, and peas and divide filling among oven-proof bowls or ramekins, leaving top ¼ inch unfilled.

3.       Preheat oven to 425°. To make biscuit topping, sift remaining 2 cups flour with baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in unsalted butter to form a coarse meal, working quickly to keep butter from warming up and melting into dough. Stir in cheddar cheese and sage. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole egg and buttermilk and add to flour mixture, stirring gently until a shaggy dough forms.

4.       Lightly flour a counter, a rolling pin, and your hands. Divide dough into two balls. Roll out first ball to a ¼-inch thickness, then use a 2½ inch biscuit cutter to cut into rounds, scraping and re-rolling dough as needed. Repeat with second ball.

5.       Place three rounds of dough on each potpie, overlapping as necessary (any unused rounds can be baked on their own as biscuits.) Whisk egg yolk with remaining 1 Tbl. milk to make an egg wash. Brush dough with egg wash, put potpies on a cookie sheet lined with foil, and bake until biscuit crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 17 to 22 minutes.

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