Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lighter Chicken and Biscuits

Although this recipe isn't for the Thanksgiving table, it might be more related to the post-Thanksgiving leftovers. Personally, I've never had too much of a problem with leftovers.  I love them, but if you're wondering how to use up any extra turkey, this seems like it would be an excellent way to do so.  Simply substitute the cooked turkey for the chicken (and skip the steps related to cooking the chicken -- always a bonus to shorten the steps!) and you'd have a great turkey and biscuits recipe.  However, this recipe is great as it is (you know, for the 364 days when you're NOT looking for ways to use up turkey leftovers).  I've made this twice in the last few weeks and was scraping the bottom of the dish at the end of dinner.

I actually don't love pie crust (even though I'm not one to turn down pie), so chicken and biscuits is so much better than chicken pot pie in my book.  And this one is full of vegetables so it makes an excellent one-dish meal, although we've served it with a green salad on the side, too.

Lighter Chicken and Biscuits
Taken from: Ellie Krieger
Serves 4-5
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 cup milk (I used whole milk; I prefer 1/2 cup but use 1 cup if you would like a creamier dish)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or use 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • For the biscuit crust:
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I add a generous squeeze of lemon to 1/2 cup milk and let it sit for a few minutes to make a good buttermilk substitute)
  1. To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes per side, stirring occasionally. Transfer the chicken with its juices to a bowl.When cool enough to handle, shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Deglaze the skillet by adding 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to it and scraping the bottom browned bits (they add lots of flavor).  Pour chicken broth into a second bowl.  Add the flour to the bowl with the chicken broth and stir until combined
  4. Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the same pan and heat it over a medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Stir the broth-flour mixture into the pan.  Add the milk and let the mixture come to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes more. Return the chicken with its juices back to the pan. Add the peas and thyme and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. (If not using an oven-proof skillet, you'll need to spoon the mixture into a large baking dish).
  5. To make the crust: Whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add the butter and cut with 2 knives or a pastry knife until the mixture feels like sand. pulse about 12 times. Add the buttermilk and stir until just moistened. Do not over mix. Drop the batter in 6 mounds on top of the chicken mixturespreading the batter out slightly. 
  6. Bake until filling is bubbling and the biscuit topping is golden brown, about 20-23 minutes.


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