Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken and Biscuits

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. And having just returned from vacation, being sick, and dealing with several feet of snow, I had a craving for some comfort food yesterday.

Of course, I also wanted something easy as I hadn't yet had time to thaw an entire chicken nor did I have the inclination to stew and shred it, etc. but I didn't want to use canned condensed soup or packaged baking mix. So I looked over several recipes and came up with this one:

For the chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb., or, about 3 c. shredded chicken, cooked any way you like to)
1 pint of chicken stock, perhaps a little more if needed
3 Tbsp butter, salted
3 Tbsp flour
1 stalk celery, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
1 large carrot, diced small
Poultry seasoning, thyme, sage, etc.
salt, pepper
cream (optional)
Mixed vegetables, thawed

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Poach the chicken breasts in the stock until cooked through. Or, you can of course use any cooked chicken or even turkey and skip this step. I saved the stock to use a little later. You can use your favorite broth but if you're not going with homemade I really like Pacific Foods organic free range chicken broth. Set the chicken and broth aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add the onion, carrot and celery (mirepoix). Cook on medium until the vegetables soften, about 10-15 minutes. Starting your soup or stew with a mirepoix gives it a wonderfully rich flavor so here's where you don't want to skimp on cooking time.

Meanwhile, shred or cube your cooked chicken and make your biscuits. Use your favorite recipe, or here's the one I used:

2 1/4 c. flour
1 stick butter, grated or diced and kept very cold
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. buttermilk

Combine flour, powder, soda and salt. Cut in butter until it resembles cornmeal. I generally just use my fingertips. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add buttermilk, all at once, stirring only until it's just combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 10 times by patting it out and then folding it in half. Pat out into a flat circle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a floured biscuit cutter and cut out your biscuits, place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12-14 min or until golden brown. If you want, you can brush the tops with beaten eggs or butter before baking, or add a little thyme to the dry ingredients before adding the buttermilk.

Sprinkle seasonings over the veggies, add flour and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 2 c. broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in the cream, chicken and veggies, and cook just until it's all heated through. Turn off heat and let it sit and thicken for a few minutes, then serve over halved biscuits.

Have a couple of extra biscuits fresh out of the oven with butter, too.


Jayce Tohline said...

You're really a southern boy at heart, aren't you?

This sounds great. I've tried my hand at chicken soup (from scratch) recently, and I think I picked up a couple of pointers here that would have made the soup outstanding.


Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your comment was so funny about your daughter, I laughed out loud!! Isn't parenting a funny thing?