Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman's "Minimalist" column in the New York Times, which will appear in the Wed Mar 10 paper (but is on the website today http://nyti.ms/9ZFEID ) A simple chicken stew, heavier on the vegetables than most chicken pot pies, is thickened with cornstarch and topped with biscuit dough.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 leek, washed well and chopped
- ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick coins
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas or 1 cup fresh peas
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoons flour (optional)
- 1 cup flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
- 3⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 -3 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk (1/2 c warm milk combined with 2 tsp vinegar then let stand 5 minutes) or 1⁄2 cup soured milk (1/2 c warm milk combined with 2 tsp vinegar then let stand 5 minutes)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or small Dutch oven until shimmering. Add leek, season with salt and pepper, and saute until limp, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and cook until soft and most of their water has been expelled and evaporated, 8-10 minutes.
- Add stock, rosemary and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Add carrots and chicken, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are nearly tender, 8-10 minutes. Add peas and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove and discard rosemary and bay leaf.
- Stir cornstarch into cold water until smooth, then drizzle into stew and stir until thickened. (If, as I do, you prefer the more traditional taste and thickness of a veloute, leave out the cornstarch and water. Instead, melt the optional butter in a small saucepan, add the flour and stir until the pasty flavor cooks out, 2-3 minutes. Ladle most of the stock into the roux, whisking constantly, until roux is dissolved and sauce is thick; scrape the sauce back into the stew and stir well.) Transfer the stew to an oven-safe baking dish.
- In a food processor, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until it resembles small peas. Add egg and buttermilk and pulse until just combined; it will be sticky, so do not overprocess. Spread the dough over the top of the stew as evenly as possible; do not spread all the way to the edge of the dish (leave a gap for steam to escape). Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for 35-45 minutes until biscuit is golden brown.