Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust | The Rising Spoon

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust

Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust | www,

After making my original cast-iron chicken pot pie recipe at least a half a dozen times the past three months, I figured I needed to switch it up. 

While searching for recipes online (specifically pinterest), I noticed an alarming trend (okay, maybe that's slightly exaggerated): families topping their pot pies with canned biscuits. 

You're probably thinking, what's wrong with biscuits

Well, nothing in particular. 

Only that regular, old biscuits are boring, especially the canned variety. 

I'm a purveyor of strong flavors. I like my spices and a lot of them. 

However, I'd never made homemade biscuits before. So I reflected on some of the best biscuits I'd ever eaten and concluded that Red Lobster's cheesy biscuits were indeed my favorite. 

Why? They're so flavorful! I could have looked for a copy-cat recipe, but chose to google cheesy biscuits and pot pies together. 

That's how I landed on the recipe for cheddar biscuits. I combined that with my own chicken pot pie filling and voila--comfort food gold!

I must confess that nearly every time I've eaten a pot pie throughout my life, I've always preferred the creamy filling to the topping. 

On this occasion, the cheesy biscuit crust outshone the rest of the dish! 

This is what happens when you properly season food, folks.

And even better than the taste is the clean up. The dandiest part of using a cast iron skillet for this recipe is transferring it directly from the stove top to the oven. 

That's one less pan to wash, which makes me a giddy lady! 

Don't have a cast iron skillet yet? Hurry and get one here

They're non-toxic, affordable and literally last a lifetime or two if cared for properly. 

Side note: I wish I could have taken a less grainy picture, but like most nights, I quickly snapped a shot with my cell phone camera in my very yellow-lit kitchen. One of my goals for 2013 is to take extra time to work on my photography. My biggest issues are my impatience and poor lighting. 

I'm certainly not going to fix dinner during the day so I can get natural lighting (that seems impractical), and I have very little natural light in my apartment in the first place. I need to read through the food photography tutorials I have, buy a few props to help reflect and increase white lightning in my shots and save up for a decent camera. 

Phew. That feels good to get off my chest. I'm not touting myself as a food photographer by any means, but it's important to properly capture your foods in a beautiful way. 

Since this is primarily a food blog, I feel I owe that to my readers and myself. 

All in good time. 

Until then, you'll have to make do with a mixture of cell phone shots and half-decent pics from my other camera when I have the patience to use it. :) 

Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust
The ultimate comfort food is simplified (and jazzed up) by using a homemade cheesy garlic biscuit crust. The pillowy, buttery and cheesy garlic biscuits perfectly compliment the savory, creamy filling and only take minutes to form. Ditch the canned biscuits and make your own! Hidden beneath the crust are tender chicken pieces, carrots, celery, and potatoes in a sauce comprised of homemade chicken stock, white wine, milk and butter. A touch of thyme and garlic powder brings everything together. 
Chicken Pot-Pie Filling Adapted from Real Simple's Chicken and Vegetable PotPie and the Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Crust Adapted from Alison Needham's recipe, Turkey Pot Pie with Cheesy Biscuit Topping
Serves: 4-6 (less if you're eating large portions and second helpings, like I did)


Pie Filling:
1 lb of cooked chicken meat*, cubed or shredded (I used 3 whole chicken legs)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil (like genuine extra virgin olive oil or quality coconut oil)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons of flour (I used unbleached white whole wheat)
3 tablespoons of salted pastured butter
1/2 cup of dry white wine (I used a chardonnay)
1 cup+ 2-3 tablespoons of low-sodium chicken stock (get my homemade recipe)
1 cup of organic milk 
2 tsp dried thyme (add more if you like thyme…it makes the dish!)
1 tsp granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
Sea Salt, to taste (I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic or Utah sourced salt)
Cracked Black Pepper, to taste

Cheesy Garlic Biscuit Dough: 
2 cups of flour (I used unbleached all-purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons of granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt 
1 cup of coarsely grated cheese (cheddar is amazing!)
1/4 cup of shredded Italian cheese mix (or Parmesan cheese)
3/4 stick of salted butter, very cold (straight from the fridge), cut into thin slices
3/4 cup-1 1/4 cup of buttermilk, shaken (add enough to get the right consistency)

*You can use leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for less cook time. However, I've included directions for cooking the chicken. Use whatever cut you like, but bone-in will yield more flavor & you can make chicken stock out of the water while your pot pie is cooking. 

Recommended Equipment
stainless steel stock pot or enameled cast-iron dutch oven (for cooking the chicken)
cast-iron skillet


For the filling:

Fill a large stock pot with water and add 2-3 whole chicken legs (the larger cut with leg & thigh connected). Turn the heat to medium-high. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, reduce heat, cover pan with a lid and simmer for 1 hour. 

Remove cooked chicken and discard water or save it to make chicken stock. (I recommend this!) While the chicken is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and dice the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes. Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium and add a tablespoon of olive oil. When that's warmed, add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes. Stir everything, salt & pepper to taste. Add 2-3 tablespoons of chicken stock, cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium low. Let the vegetables cook about fifteen minutes or so, or until fork tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the chicken. Discard the skin, remove the meat from the bone, then shred or cube it. 

When the vegetables are cooked through, remove the lid. Slowly add the flour and stir to incorporate. Then add the butter, giving it a few stirs. Pour in the wine, cook for 2-3 minutes or until it's evaporated slightly. Then add the chicken stock and milk and cook for another few minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken. 

Stir the cooked chicken, thyme, garlic powder and additional salt & pepper into the filling. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if necessary. 

Transfer the cast-iron pan to the oven and heat the filling for about 5-7 minutes. 

For the cheesy garlic biscuit dough:
While that's heating, shred the cheeses for the biscuit dough. Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in both cheeses. Place the butter pieces into the bowl and slowly incorporate by smooshing with your hands. The butter won't completely dissolve, but will help form a coarsely textured mixture. Pour in the buttermilk and stir with a spoon. 

If you haven't already, remove the cast-iron pan from the oven and top the pot pie filling with a heaping spoonful of biscuit dough, making four large mounds with a bit of space in between each biscuit. (You can make more mounds, just use less dough for each). 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the biscuit crust is golden. 

{EDIT: If you'd like regular sized biscuits that puff up a bit more, I suggest cooking the biscuits separately, then use them to top the filling once you portion it out into bowls. I normally cook my homemade biscuits at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, but if you want to cook them at the same time as the filling (at 400 degrees) I'd check them at 18-20 minutes. Also...if you cook them separately you may want to add a tad less buttermilk.} 

Notes & Tips
I've made this pot pie filling A LOT since I first published the chicken pot pie recipe back in October, but this is the first time I've ever made it with the biscuit crust. I'm assuming the biscuits were supposed to expand and poof out, but mine flattened out instead. 

I'm not sure if this is due to the recipe or my own error, but I thought I'd let you know. Maybe it just needs more baking soda or powder? 

Either way, this did not affect the taste at all. They were INCREDIBLE. So good, that I haven't made them since then because I know I'd wolf down the whole batch! 

They are even better than Red Lobster's cheesy biscuits! 

Real Food Resources

Real Food Survival Guide For Busy Moms

"This e-book is perfect for busy folks who need help maximizing their time in the kitchen so they can fix nutritious, real food snacks and meals to eat at home and on the go. In addition to realistic advice, this book provides recipes for real food staples you can make in bulk ahead of time, which ensures you always have nutrient dense foods at hand. And it’s especially helpful if you’re interested in implementing homemade fermented foods into your diet."

From Scratch: Easy Recipes for Traditionally Prepared Whole-Food Dishes 

"If you're looking for a cookbook that is as entertaining as it is delicious, then look no further. From Scratch is a breath of fresh air when it comes to learning how to traditionally prepare and cook nutritious food. Shaye does not disappoint in her recipes and this cookbook reads like a letter from a close friend. These meals are easily prepared and yes, easily devoured."  

Question for Discussion: What's your favorite way to eat biscuits? Have a favorite topping for pot pie?

Answer in the comments section below or join the conversation on The Rising Spoon Facebook page. Prefer Twitter? And feel free to circle me on Google Plus or follow me on Pinterest.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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