April has been turning out to be a pretty crazy month. Not only are taxes due at the end of the month, but the weather which should be by all accounts spring-like and warm, is too damn chilly for my liking. On Friday evening it snowed (luckily it didn’t stick) and there’s a snow warning for tonight as well. Great. At least it’s sunny which is about the only nice thing I can muster about the weather here in the mixed up Pacific Northwest.
So while I should be eating spring salads and going for bike rides in skirts, instead, I’m holed up in front of my computer catching up on work and trying to steer clear of the cold weather that will be with us for the next week. At least we have found a dream accountant, so that’s one less April worry to have nagging at my tail. Another comfort is making a warm and hearty meal, which not only warms the kitchen but also the spirit. A pot-pie filled with chicken and vegetables and topped with flaky biscuits in April? Sign me up.
This would be really simple to make vegetarian or vegan by stripping out the chicken and cheese and using a non-dairy milk and margarine instead. Throw in some more vegetables or substitute for what you’ve got lagging about in your fridge. This is a really easy recipe to play around with and if you find that you need more liquid, add it! Not thick enough? Whisk in some more flour or make a slurry with cornstarch and dump it in. Despite it’s humble beginnings, it’s really an impressive dish. If the weather isn’t giving you any love, let this pot pie do all the work.
chicken pot pie with cheddar-biscuit topping
1 small rutabaga, peeled & diced
2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/4 t red chili flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried oregano
2 c mushrooms, halved or quartered
3 T flour
1 c mushroom broth
1/2 c milk
1 c frozen corn
2 c leftover chicken, chopped
salt & pepper
for biscuit topping:
2 c flour, plus more for work surface
2 1/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
salt & pepper
6 T cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 c yogurt
1/4 c milk
3/4 c shredded old cheddar cheese
1. In a medium sized saucepan, boil rutabaga until tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, add oil to heavy cast iron pot and saute onion, garlic and chili over medium heat until shiny. Add celery, thyme, oregano and mushrooms and saute until soft. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and stir until flour cooks, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, add corn, rutabaga and chicken and simmer until broth thickens, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
3. Preheat oven to 450°. Make topping by whisking together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Cut in butter with a pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized lumps. Add yogurt, milk and cheese and stir until just combined. With floured hands, knead dough against the side of the bowl until the mixture holds together. If it’s sticky, knead in up to 1/4 cup more flour.
4. Drop small mounds of topping over chicken mixture and bake until brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.