Long about Saturday or Sunday, those Thanksgiving leftovers are starting to get on my nerves. Anything from Thanksgiving left at this point, if it hasn’t been transformed into soup or sandwiches or stuffing casserole or such, will mostly likely go to the chickens. This is when the chickens can be seen tucking their napkins around their neck and doing their Thanksgiving happy dance. They especially dislike the turkeys that wander too close to their pen, so it’s an extra special dinner for them when I include bits of turkey in there.
I’ve mentioned before how much I hate wasting food, but somehow sharing it with the chickens doesn’t seem quite as tragic. Still, throwing away turkey, unless it’s gone bad, is really hard for me, so I’m usually hell bent to find ways to use it up. And this year I’m thinking our turkey leftovers (and probably some of the veggies too) will find their way into this scrumptiously delicious chicken pie. Yeah, I know, it’s technically now going to be a turkey pie, but for all intents and purposes here in the Circle B Kitchen, it’s a chicken pie. With turkey.
Whatever you call it, it’s amazingly good, owing to the cheese-y biscuit topping that is the perfect complement to the creamy interior, and while I’m not big into the whole “comfort food” genre, this, indeed is seriously warming, soothing and a bit indulgent .
Just to explain that last sentence, I’m starting to get a bit annoyed by the over-use of the phrase “comfort food”. It’s just waaaaay over-done, in my opinion, and if you think about it, why isn’t all food comfort food? I’m just sayin’….
I’ve been making these parmesan sesame biscuits for like ever, but the last time I went to make a chicken pie, it dawned on me that a biscuit topping might be fun and then of course, my parmesan biscuits would be even funner. And then to up the fun quotient even more, we’re going to sub out a little of that parmesan cheese for some cheddar, making our topping even cheesier and holy cow, this is now one heckuva chicken pie!
Now, I’m not gonna lie to you, there might be a little effort and prep work involved in making a chicken pie from scratch. And after all of the holiday cooking, maybe you’re kinda burnt out and not ready pick up those knives and graters just yet. But oh, my dears, is it ever so worth it. You see, while chicken pie may be just a bit of work to make, it’s the only thing required for a hearty, delicious meal.
It is a meal unto itself so you can focus all of your attention and energies on just this one thing. Dinner can be just chicken pie, which in my humble opinion, is an awesome meal any time of the year, but a particularly magnificent way to end your Thanksgiving weekend… along with those last slices of pumpkin pie. Here’s the recipe…
Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheese-y Biscuit Topping
This is one of the tastiest chicken pies ever. The filling is creamy and luscious and the topping is made from a cheese-y biscuit dough that makes this incredibly fun and delicious. Instead of making this in a pie pan or skillet, you can easily make individual chicken pies in ramekins and use a biscuit cutter to cut the dough to fit each one. You can also cut individual biscuits to place over the top of the skillet if you prefer. Oh, and don't worry if your filling seems a little loose, the biscuit topping absorbs some of that liquid while the pie bakes.
2 ½ cups cubed, cooked chicken or turkey
2 carrots, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup flour
¼ cup sherry
2 cups chicken stock
¾ cup half and half
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook and cube about ¾ lb boneless chicken or enough to equal about 2 ½ cups
2. Wash, peel and dice the carrots
3. Wash, dry and dice the celery
4. Peel and dice the onion
5. If using mushrooms, wipe them with a paper towel and chop
6. Chop the parsley
7. Measure out the chicken stock, half and half and sherry
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the olive oil and butter in a large-ish sauté pan or heavy skillet over medium high heat. When the butter is melted, add in the dried thyme and veggies and sauté until softened, about 7-10 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir to coat the veggies and heat the flour. Add the sherry and cook briefly, about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and stir until the flour is completely incorporated and the mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the salt, pepper, and half and half. Simmer for a couple of minutes before stirring in the chicken and fresh parsley.
Pour the chicken and veggie mixture into a 10-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet or similar sized baking dish.
Make the biscuit topping (recipe below) and place it over the filling.
Place the baking dish or skillet on a baking sheet and then place it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the biscuit topping is golden brown and puffy.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or sharp cheddar) cheese (I like to do half parm and half cheddar)
1 tablespoon lightly toasted sesame seeds
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and the cayenne (if using).
Cut in the butter until it creates little pebbles in the flour (a food processor works great for this).
Add the parmesan, cheddar cheese (if using) and sesame seeds and then add in the buttermilk.
Stir until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Knead 6 times on a floured board.
Generously flour the counter top and roll the dough out to about ¼ to 1/3 inch thick. Place your pie plate, skillet or baking dish on top of the dough and trace the outside edge. Using a sharp knife, cut the topping out along the traced edge and remove the excess dough. (Alternately, you can use a biscuit cutter to cut out biscuit rounds to place on top of the filling.) Gently pick up the dough and place it over the top of the pie filling. Make some slits in the top for steam to escape.