Today we’re going on a journey of the imagination. Look at the photo above. Now close your eyes and imagine quick and easy drop biscuits topping that bowl of appley, chickeny goodness. That, my friends, is some simply delicious pot pie.
Now, you may have mixed feeling about pot pie. Those frozen hockey pucks with cardboard crusts and thin, bland filling. Dear friends, make no mistake, that is not potpie. If the prepackaged variety is all you’ve ever known, this recipe may change your mind, and your life.
Before you start saying “I can’t make potpie, it takes too much time” or “I love potpie but I have an irrational fear of making dough”, take a moment. Imagine a potpie that doesn’t require a rolled crust or an all day commitment. Does that sound too good to be true? Believe me when I say that it’s for real.
If one recipe could justify the purchase of a cookbook, this is it. Because if you never made anything else from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One Dish Dinners, her Chicken Pot Pie alone is worth the list price. With a minimal number of ingredients and the tiniest amount of effort, you too can enjoy potpie as it should be. Rich and creamy, hearty and filling, in no time flat. Just imagine the possibilities.
Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Perfect One Dish Dinners
BAH Note: I halved the amount of chicken Pam calls for in her recipe because I prefer a high ratio of sauce to chicken in my potpies. But that’s just me. I also reduced the amount of flour in the sauce by half because I kept ending up with lumps. That could have just been me also. Please don’t be tempted to substitute onions for the leeks. It just won’t be a good trade off. I was quite wary of the leek for the longest time…until I used them in this recipe. What I learned is that the leeks provide a subtle flavor and are the perfect complement to the apple and sage. I also learned that when you don’t have the ingredients on hand to make the quick drop biscuit topping, you leave it off and call it Chicken Stew. I made this in a 5.5 quart dutch oven. You could also bake it up in a 9×13 baking dish or two 9 inch pie plates, but I like keeping the number of dirty pans to a minimum.
BAH Tip: Leeks are deceptive. They may look clean on the outside while the inside is full of gritty sand. You don’t want that in your dish. To remove the sand, cut the dark green tops off the leeks and then slice the leeks in half lengthwise. If there isn’t much sand inside, place the halves under running water and separate the layers to rinse the sand away. For particularly sandy leeks, fill a large mixing bowl with water, slice the halved leeks, and place the slices into the water. Use your hands to swish the slices around so that the sand falls to the bottom of your bowl. Use a slotted spoon or your hands to carefully remove the leek slices from the water, leaving the gritty sand in the bowl.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 large leeks, washed thoroughly (see tip above), light green and white parts only, chopped
- 2 large apples, quartered, cored, and sliced thinly (Granny Smith is especially nice for this)
- 2 to 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or turkey
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 teaspoons dried sage
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 stick of butter, frozen
- 1 cup buttermilk, cold
Place oven rack in lower middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
Microwave the chicken broth and evaporated milk in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 to 4 minutes until it is just steamy.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the leeks and apples and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until they are just tender. Transfer the leek and apple mixture to a large bowl. Add the shredded chicken or turkey to the bowl and set it aside.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the now empty skillet set over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, whisk in the flour and sage and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden. Slowly add the warmed milk, whisking until smooth, and simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken mixture back to the pot and stir until it is combined. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with biscuits and bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling bubbles, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
To make the biscuit topping, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl. Using the coarse side of a box grater, carefully grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture and mix quickly with your fingertips to blend evenly. Mix the buttermilk into the dry ingredients with a fork until the dough just comes together. Use your fingers to pinch small rounds of dough and place on top of the filling.