The tender flaky buttermilk biscuit crust adds a grand dimension to this exceptional Chicken Pot Pie, from Colonial New England. With roots in the pot pies of Olde England, it is full of flavor and history. This recipe celebrates the labors of women who worked in the kitchen, on the farm, in the home to make America a great nation, feeding such dishes as this to their families.
- 3 1/2 Cups flour; plus
- 1 Tablespoon flour; plus more
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter; cut small pieces
- 1 1/2 Cups buttermilk
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter; plus
- 1/4 Cup unsalted butter; divided
- 2 shallots; finely chopped
- 1 pound chicken backs and/or wings
- 2 large carrots; cut in half
- 1 onion; cut in half
- 1 stalk celery; cut in half
- 1 leek, white part only; sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 Quarts chicken stock (or canned low-sodium chicken broth)
- 6 bone-in chicken breasts (about 4 pounds)
- 3 Cups whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- salt to taste
- freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ounce dried morels and/or other wild mushrooms (porcini, black trumpet, chanterelles)
- 1 bunch slender asparagus cut 1/2" pieces
- salt to taste
- 1 pound green beans
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 ears corn
- 10 ounces pearl onions
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
- Filling (see above)
- 1 bunch chives minced
- Sauce (see above)
- Biscuit Crust (see above)
- flour as needed
- 1/4 Cup shredded cheese (Cheddar), optional
- For the Biscuit Crust: Place the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and butter in the bowl of a mixer and mix on low speed until it reaches a sand-like texture. Add the buttermilk slowly while mixing. Do not overwork. Form into 2 disks and refrigerate for 1 hour. Flour a flat surface and roll out each disk 1/2-inch thick. Trim the dough about 1/2 inch larger than each of 2 (2-quart) casserole dishes that are 2 inches deep. Place each piece of dough on a baking sheet or floured board and poke holes across the top using a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- For the Sauce: Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes without browning before adding the chicken backs or wings, carrots, onion, celery, leek, thyme, bay leaf and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes before removing the carrots. Set the carrots aside, covered. Cook the stock for 30 more minutes.
- When the carrots have cooled slightly, cut them into small uniform pieces and set aside. Add the chicken breasts to the pot and cook at a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the breasts, cover and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and bones and set the meat aside.
- Meanwhile, strain the stock into another pot and discard all of the solid ingredients. Boil the stock at high heat until it is reduced to a syrupy glaze, about 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the cream and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Melt the remaining 1/4 Cup of butter and mix in the flour. Whisk the roux into the cream mixture with a whisk and continue stirring while cooking over medium heat, 10 minutes. Strain the sauce into a blender container. Blend the sauce until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to come to room temperature
- For the Filling: Soak the dried mushrooms in cold water for 2 to 3 hours, then rinse several times, changing the water each time until the water remains clear.
- While the mushrooms soak, plunge the asparagus into boiling salted water and cook at a full boil until bright green and crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Remove the asparagus, saving the water, and shock in ice water until cold, 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
- Trim the stem side of the beans, leaving the curly pointed tip intact. Cut the beans in half and cook them in the same boiling water used for asparagus until bright green and crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and plunge the beans into ice water for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
- Bring another large pot of water to a boil. Add the sugar then the corn. Boil the corn until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. You can pull an ear out of the water, cut off a kernel or two, and taste for tenderness. Remove the corn, saving the water, and set aside until the corn is cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels off the cob and set aside, covered.
- Plunge the onions into the same boiling water and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and let cool. Cut away the knob and slide the outside skin off the onion. Set aside.
- For Assembly: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut mushrooms into wedge-shaped quarters. Combine the Filling, mushrooms, chives and the Sauce and divide between the baking dishes. Lay the Biscuit Crust on top of the filling and sprinkle lightly with flour (this gives the crust a more rustic look). Optionally, spread shredded cheese over the biscuit topping.
- Bake until the crust is golden brown and the pies are cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. If you're serving a smaller group, this recipe can be cut in half.
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