Tag Archives: dinner

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI’ve been meaning to put a Chicken Pot Pie on here for years, but inevitably I’d forget about it until the day before Thanksgiving (things to do with turkey leftovers!) or winter would slip away from me too quickly, and then it was summer, and who wants to make—let alone eat—a Chicken Pot Pie in July?Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustImagine my delight when the right timing and opportunity finally presented themselves a few weeks ago, when it seemed like every big-time food person in the world was making Tomato & Corn Pie with Biscuit Crust. The tomatoes and corn are wonderful and all, but nobody will be surprised to learn that I went to look at that recipe *specifically* to see the biscuit crust. I learned quickly that it was basically just buttermilk biscuit dough, and then I wondered if I could use my own buttermilk biscuit dough with the same results…and here we are. Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust, y’all. This is comfort food on steroids and it’s happening right here, right now.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI started making pot pies one thousand years ago in 2008, when I was more inclined to use condensed cream-of-whatever soup as the gravy and crescent dough for the topper. My style and taste have evolved a lot (!) since then, and while I have made many Chicken Pot Pies in the ensuing twelve years, I don’t think any of them have been exactly alike. The filling is always based on what I’m in the mood for and what’s at the market.

Today’s pie has both mushrooms and potatoes in addition to the usual carrot, celery, onion combo, but I’ve been known to swap in corn or a diced turnip when the mood strikes—there’s no wrong way to chicken pot pie. This is entirely about volume—3 cups of cooked chicken, 1 cup peas, 1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup each celery and onion, 1-1 1/2 cups whatever else (i.e. mushrooms, diced potato, corn, other root vegetables)—you just want it to add up to about 7 cups of “stuff” maximum so it all fits in your pan. I use a 2-inch deep pie plate for most things, but if yours is shallower, you may want to lean more toward 6 cups of stuff in your filling.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustI won’t lie to you, a from-scratch Chicken Pot Pie can take a bit of time to prepare. All of the filling ingredients have to be cooked before they can be put together. This includes the chicken; I made a roast chicken the day before and used some of that, but you can use any cooked chicken you have on hand. This is a great way to repurpose leftovers!Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustOnce the various vegetables are cooked in butter until fork-tender, they all go in a big skillet together, and then you build the gravy on top of them. Stir in some flour (creating a sort of roux), then chicken stock, cream, dijon mustard, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer it all for ten minutes before removing the saucy, bubbling mix from the heat. Stir in your chicken and some frozen peas, then set your filling aside so you can roll out the buttermilk biscuit crust.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustOh yes, back to the buttermilk biscuit crust! It’s tender and flaky, and you’re going to freaking flip over how easy it is to make. The dough comes together exactly as it does when you’re making traditional biscuits, except after all the folds and turns it’s split in half and chilled while you make the filling. At this point, when the filling is cooling a bit, the dough is rolled out and fitted to the pan just like any other pie crust. As biscuit dough is softer and contains half the butter of most pie doughs, I found this remarkably easy with which to work.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustTo finish off your Chicken Pot Pie, fill the bottom crust with your filling, then drape on the top crust, cut a few vents, paint the whole thing with egg wash, and bake it for about 30 minutes. Once your pie is burnished and bubbling, it’s time for dinner.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustAnd oh, what a dinner it is. The filling is creamy and chickeny and rich, but never as heavy as I think it will be. The buttermilk biscuit crust is slightly puffed and perfectly browned, and retains distinct layers, just like it would in its traditional form.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustThis is the best sort of Sunday dinner…or Monday through Thursday dinner if you, like me, have the enviable job of eating the whole thing yourself. Food blogger life isn’t always as glamorous as it seems, but I was happy to take this one for the team.Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
makes one 9-inch pie

Buttermilk Biscuit Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup buttermilk, very cold

Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
8 ounces cremini mushrooms (or other mushrooms), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 cup diced carrot (about 2 medium), 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced celery, (about 1/2-2 stalks), 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced white onion, 1/2-inch pieces
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Yukon gold potato, peeled, 1/2-inch diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons (1/2 tablespoon) minced fresh rosemary, optional
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
2 1/4 cups chicken stock (I use Better than Bouillon)
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (or turkey), about 1 pound
1 cup frozen peas

Egg Wash:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

Cut your stick of butter into small cubes. Place all pieces into the bowl with the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour mixture until it is roughly the size of peas. Pour in cold buttermilk. Stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Turn dough (and any unincorporated flour bits) out onto a floured surface. Flour your fingertips and pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold dough in half, and turn one quarter turn. Pat out until it is 1/2-inch thick again. Repeat folding/quarter-turning/patting out until you have done it four times total. Re-flour your surface as necessary.

Slice dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Chill while you prepare the filling.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and dramatically smaller. Set aside.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and swirl to coat. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, diced potato and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Add water and cover pan with a lid (or a sheet of foil) for another 5 minutes. Vegetables are done when you can easily stab a piece of celery with a fork.

Add mushrooms back to the pan. Sprinkle on flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir for about 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low. Add mustard, thyme, rosemary, parsley, chicken stock and cream. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in chicken and peas. Set filling aside while you roll out the crust.

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a pie plate.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unwrap one half of the biscuit dough. Use rolling pin to roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness (about 14 inches in diameter for a 9-inch pie plate). For easiest rolling, roll dough in one direction, turning it one quarter-turn after each roll. Re-flour surface and rolling pin as needed.

To transfer to a pie plate, carefully fold dough into quarters. Place point in the center of the pie plate and carefully unfold. Fit it to the pan and trim any excess overhang (I didn’t have any). Fill with filling.

Repeat rolling process with the second half of the dough. Drape it over the filling, trim any excess overhang, and twist or crimp the edges as desired. Use a small knife to cut a few vents in a decorative pattern.

Make the egg wash. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork. Brush over all exposed crust.

Bake chicken pot pie for 30-32 minutes, until crust is deeply browned and filling is bubbling. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Chicken pot pie will not slice cleanly.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. Leftovers will slice cleanly, as sauce thickens during cooling.

Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit CrustChicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & OlivesUnsurprisingly, the way to my heart is through my stomach. I mean, I’m a food blogger–of course it is.

To get specific though, it’s through salty, briny, acidic foods. Dessert is a wonderful thing, but I will happily destroy a jar of pickles or smear dijon mustard on everything or give you a tour of my salt collection (nerd alert!) any day of the week. And then I will make you a batch of cookies, because of course I will. But that’s a post for another day.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesToday, we’re talking about Chicken with Lemon & Olives, which is a dream dinner for someone like me. It’s got crispy-skinned chicken thighs, briny roasted olives and a garlicky, herby, dijon-spiked lemon sauce, so…yeah, um, hi. Sign me up.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesThis dish, y’all. It’s so delicious. The sauce is tangy and acidic from the lemon and mustard, and rich (but not overly so) from the chicken and olive oil. And the olives—ohhhh, the olives. They’re cracked open before cooking so that all that tangy, schmaltzy sauce gets in there and gets a little briny and…well, it’s very good.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesSpeaking of olives, I prefer to make this with castelveltranos because they’re my favorite. More of a kalamata person? Want to try a mix? Do what makes you happy. I used olives that still have their pits because, frankly, they always taste better. If you want to use pitted olives though, I won’t stop you. Just make sure to skip the step when you give them a thwack with the bottom of a cast iron skillet—nobody wants to clean that mess.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesI should note that the sauce stays on the thin side. If you’d like it to be thicker, you can reduce the amount of stock a bit when you pour it in, or remove the chicken, etc., and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry after roasting. Truly, the consistency of the sauce was the only thing I had reservations about during testing, but I like it as written. It nestles perfectly into a pile of polenta or mashed potatoes. Next time I’m going to try serving it with slices of toasted baguette.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesCan we discuss how absurdly beautiful this is? I love the golden chicken in contrast with the vibrant olives and roasted lemon wedges. This is definitely one of those mains that works as well for a dinner party as it does for a weeknight. And on that note, if you’re having a dinner party and making this, please invite me.Chicken with Lemon & Olives

Chicken with Lemon & Olives
makes 6-8 servings

2 cups olives (with pits), brine discarded (I used castelveltrano)
8 chicken thighs
1/2-3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2-3 lemons, divided
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (based on preference)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup chicken stock
polenta or mashed potatoes, for serving
chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease a large casserole dish or 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.

Crack olives. On a sturdy surface, sandwich olives between two pieces of parchment. Use a heavy object (bottom of a cast iron skillet, meat tenderizer, large can) to give them a few whacks to crack the skin open a bit. You may also use a sharp knife to lightly score each olive.

Blot chicken thighs with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Use your hands to lightly and quickly massage oil and salt into the meat for even distribution.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches (unless your pan is giant), place chicken thighs in the pan skin-side-down and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Meanwhile, juice 1-2 lemons, until you have 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Slice remaining lemon into 8 wedges. Set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of rendered fat. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary, and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in red pepper flakes and mustard, followed by stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Pour sauce into prepared dish. Place chicken in a single layer over the top. Arrange olives around chicken and tuck lemon wedges in between. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Bake 45-50 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Let cool a few minutes until bubbling stops. Serve over polenta or mashed potatoes with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.Chicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & OlivesChicken with Lemon & Olives

Everyday Cassoulet

Updated 12/28/2018: This post was edited to add (much) better photos.Everyday CassouletLiving far away from home means that when I get a call from friends or family, I “play the hits,” if you will. I tell them all about the big things going on in my life–a new apartment, the awesome kid I take care of, the brown and white spotted schnauzer I saw yesterday (I really love a schnauzer). But in all the fuss of sharing my life and hearing about theirs, I can let amazing things go by the wayside because they might seem mundane if the person on the other end of the phone call is not directly involved.Everyday CassouletTake for example this Everyday Cassoulet. It’s rich and delicious and one of my favorite meals to make at home, but at the end of the day it’s *just* dinner. Everybody eats dinner. It’s not really a “call your mom down in Texas to tell her about it” kind of thing.Everyday CassouletWe all have our go-to meals though. My best friend, Emily, asked me a few months ago what I had been making for dinner lately, and this was the first thing I told her about. Mind you, I’ve been making this for five years. When I found the original recipe, I still lived in Manhattan! I was still working office jobs! The only thing I had ever baked from scratch were Ina Garten’s brownies! And while all of those things have changed, my go-to dinner has not.Everyday CassouletEveryday CassouletSome of you may be wondering: what is cassoulet? It’s a slow-cooked meat and white bean stew from the south of France. Cassoulet is traditionally baked in a dish called a cassole. The fanciest versions contain things like goose, lamb, and duck confit. But this is a weeknight version of the classic French dish, so it’s been pared down. Don’t worry though, it’s still every bit as good and comforting as the real deal!Everyday CassouletEveryday CassouletThis Everyday Cassoulet is made with Italian sausages in place of any specialty meats. Traditional white beans are baked with grape or cherry tomatoes, pearl onions, crushed garlic, and fresh herbs. Nothing has to be sliced or diced–you only need a knife to crush the garlic! Everything is drizzled with a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and Dijon mustard, and baked for an hour in a regular casserole pan–no need for specialty dishes here!Everyday CassouletAnd oh my, is it delicious. The sausages get super crispy, and the tomatoes burst and create the most wonderful sauce with the balsamic mixture. The beans soak in all the flavors and get super tender. This is fantastic served with crusty bread. I forgot it when I took these photos, but trust me, you’ll need it.Everyday CassouletPut this Everyday Cassoulet on your list of weeknight dinners! It’s easy as can be, but sure doesn’t taste like it! Your family and friends will definitely ask for the recipe 🙂 Everyday Cassoulet

Everyday Cassoulet
adapted from Quick Cassoulet by Julie van Rosendaal
makes four servings*

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed
1 cup peeled pearl onions (fresh or frozen)*
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lb. raw Italian Sausages*
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a small casserole dish, combine garlic cloves, tomatoes, and pearl onions. Top with rosemary and thyme sprigs, followed by sausages. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove sausages to a plate. Stir cannellini beans into tomato mixture. Place sausages back on top of vegetables with the less-browned sides up . Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove dish from oven. Let cool a few minutes before serving in shallow bowls.

Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Notes:

1. This recipe doubles easily in a 9×13″ pan. The bake time is the same.
2. If you don’t care for onions or simply don’t want to use them, they may be omitted.
3. I used pork sausages, but I think chicken or turkey would work well here.
Everyday CassouletEveryday Cassoulet

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

  Well, I know I just vowed to make some healthier recipes this month, but things have changed. Namely, the temperature. November and December were positively spring-like. It was 71 degrees on Christmas Eve! But now, winter has reared its ugly head, and it’s a frigid 18 degrees. It’s supposed to get up to a balmy 30 this afternoon though😁 There is a time and place for super healthy dinners, but my kitchen on a day when the temperature never creeps above freezing is. not. it. Weather like this calls for Baked Macaroni & Cheese: al dente macaroni covered in a velvety cheese sauce, then topped with crispy panko bread crumbs and baked ’til bubbly. With a salad or some roasted vegetables, it’s a perfect meal for these frigid days.

Macaroni & Cheese needs no introduction, of course. It’s everyone’s favorite comfort food. It’s super simple to make, taking less than an hour from putting the water on to boil to taking the final product out of the oven. It’s nearly as fast as the boxed stuff (and way more delicious). Also, this recipe makes enough for an army, so it’s perfect for freezing. It also halves easily. If you’ve never taken the time to make macaroni & cheese from scratch, this is a great recipe to start with–it may just keep you from ever buying the box again!

Baked Macaroni & Cheese starts with boiling water for pasta. Cook the macaroni for 4.5-5 minutes, until it’s just barely al dente. If it is fully cooked, it might be too soft after baking in the cheese sauce. The last thing we want is gummy mac & cheese. Drain the pasta and put it back in its cooking pot while you make the sauce.
  The sauce is the key to making really spectacular mac & cheese. It’s very simple to put together, but requires your full attention while it’s cooking. Start by heating 3 cups of whole milk, just until it’s warm to the touch. Make a roux by melting butter in a large saucepan and then adding an equal amount of flour. Stir with a whisk or wooden spoon for a couple of minutes, until it’s a golden yellow paste. Stir in one teaspoon of prepared Dijon mustard. This will offset the richness of all the dairy–I promise it will not make your mac & cheese taste like Grey Poupon! Slowly whisk the warm milk into the roux. Do not stop whisking until it thickens a bit. You want to be able to see faint whisk “tracks” before you start adding the cheese. Whisk in cheese by the handful, making sure that everything melts completely. Once the sauce has a smooth, even consistency, stir in salt and pepper. This will seem like a ton of sauce for the amount of macaroni, but as baked mac & cheese tends to dry out a bit in the oven, we need a lot of sauce to keep everything nice and creamy. 

Pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked pasta and fold it all together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Transfer the coated pasta into a buttered pan (I used two pie plates, but this also fits in a 9×13″ casserole dish). Top with panko breadcrumbs and dot with butter before baking for 15 minutes at 400F. Once the breadcrumbs are starting to turn brown, it’s ready! Let the full pan(s) cool for a few minutes before serving.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese involves a lot of steps, but none of them are difficult. The most tasking part is making the sauce, and that really isn’t hard at all! So, now that it’s cold out, ditch the box and make something way, way better. Your family and friends will thank you for it.
 Baked Macaroni & Cheese
makes one 9×13″ pan or two 9″ pie plates
serves 10-12

1 pound (16 ounces) dried macaroni*
3 cups whole milk*
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard*
2 1/2 cups grated melting cheese, like extra-sharp cheddar*
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs*

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter one 9×13″ pan or two 9″ pie plates. Set aside.

Bring 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add dried macaroni and cook until barely al dente, about 4.5-5 minutes. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot it cooked in.

Warm whole milk over low heat* until it’s just warm to the touch. Remove from heat.

Put a large saucepan over medium heat. Melt six tablespoons of butter. Add flour and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the roux is a golden yellow color, about two minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard. Slowly add warmed milk to the pan, whisking constantly. Once the mixture has started to thicken,* add grated cheese by the handful, making sure it all melts before adding more. Once the sauce has an even consistency, whisk in the salt and black pepper before removing the pan from the heat.

Pour the sauce into the pot with the drained pasta. Fold pasta and sauce together with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Pour mixture into prepared pan(s).* Top with panko and dot with two tablespoons of butter. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Let cool five minutes before serving.

Notes:

1. Use any small pasta you like. Shells or cavatappi are good choices here.
2. You may use 1% or 2% milk, but I do not recommend using skim or fat free.
3. This may be substituted with 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder, or left out entirely.
4. I prefer Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar in my mac & cheese, but any combination of melting cheeses will work.
5. Regular plain breadcrumbs may be substituted.
6. Milk may also be heated in the microwave.
7. If sauce gets too thick, add milk until it has thinned to your liking.
8. At this point, macaroni & cheese may be frozen in a pan for up to two months. Bake from frozen for one hour, adding panko topping at the 45 minute mark.