Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The original recipe is from Barefoot Contessa Family Style. I'll admit right off the bat that I did not follow the recipe in the book to the letter, I simply didn't have time. I took some shortcuts, and I'm sure they didn't affect the outcome one bit because this is GOOD. I'll tell you how I made it, if you want to know exactly how Ina did it, I guess you can buy the book!
This is exactly what it sounds like, chicken stew, topped with beautifully golden, parsley-flecked biscuits. Delicious, attractive, comfort food that's not too difficult (if you do it my way!). The fresh parsley is a must, it really adds flavor to both the stew and the biscuits. I'm sure the only reason that H-Bomb "didn't like it" was that he has a cold. But I told him chicken makes you better...I hope that's true, because I think all of us are coming down with the same darn cold.
Chicken Stew with Biscuits
"...This is essentially the filling for a chicken pot pie topped with homemade biscuits; you can substitute any pot pie filling..." (Hmmm. Or maybe I'll make a pot pie with this filling!)
For the Stew:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn (Ina calls for whole pearl onions, but I think it would have been too oniony. I'm happy I used corn instead)
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
For the Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium frying pan over medium heat. Saute chicken until cooked through. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions and carrots over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the heavy cream. Add the diced chicken, peas, onions or corn, and parsley. Mix well.
Place the stew in a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or waxed paper. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half and half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley.
Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8 inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. (Number One made the biscuits for me; he ended up with 13).
Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.
*To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.