Thursday, February 17, 2011

Chicken & Biscuits

Today, the freezer inspired me. How often does this happen? My freezer mainly likes to store a lot of ice--in the ice bucket, on top of things, as a protective coat and mittens on the Haagen-Dazs...

But today it actually housed a few treasures that I turned into Desperation Dinner. A few months ago, we made a delicious chicken pot pie, and neither of us grew up eating this very All-American dinner staple. So I thought, why not give this a whirl again?

This Taste of Home recipe was my inspiration (great magazine--you should check it out). Originally, I got a little ahead of myself and thought, Oh, I love these little cups, and they'll be easy to make. While they clearly seem easy to make, and I'm going to try them soon, I found myself without cupcake tins tonight. (That's a whole other post--where did they run off to?) So I made a big lazy pan of chicken and biscuits rather than the pot pie cups.

Here's the recipe:

4 c. frozen leftover homemade leek and onion soup
1 c. frozen leftover homemade chicken gravy
2 huge boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 t. herbs de provence
1 t. thyme
1/2 t. sage
Sprinkle majoram
1 bay leaf
2 c. chopped carrots
1/4 c. chopped green onions (white parts)
1 c. frozen corn
2 c. frozen peas
2 c. chopped green beans
1/4 c. frozen spinach
3 T. cream cheese
5 T. cream
2 T. mayo (Are we having a heart attack yet? Use light or fat free condiments if you'd rather!)
Salt, pepper,and garlic powder to taste (Generous sprinkles!)

Put soup, gravy, 2 c. water, and chicken in stockpot to simmer. Add herbs.

(Appealing picture, isn't it?) Cook til chicken is cooked and you have a gravy consistency. Pull out chicken to shred. Add veggies and cook for 10 more minutes with lid on. (Should be boiling or close to it.)

Fish out bay leaf. Add cream, cream cheese, and mayo. Mix chicken back in. Then pour chicken mixture into greased 9 x 13 pan.

This is where the lazy part comes in. I'd love to tell you that I labored away making biscuits because Doug was going to be home after a long day of manual labor with a big appetite and because I'm that kind of person. But in reality, we have three tubes of refrigerator biscuits left from the monkey bread we never made. We're those kind of people. The "find three tubes of biscuits in the back of the fridge" type.

So what happened next was me placing individual biscuits on top in even spaces with a little garlic powder on top. Prettay, prettay good. Put into a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes. But watch the biscuits closely, like they're your children or your cat who likes to get on the neighbor's roof.

This is clearly kitchen sink pot pie, but you get the idea. If you don't have 4 c. of leftover soup from the leek experiment you did four weeks ago, you could use another homemade soup or boxed or canned. When I get little glops of leftover gravy, I put the tidbits in one container in the freezer, and over time, it builds up to a respectable gravy pile. Like money in the bank. If I didn't have it, I might make a bit on the fly or add some canned cream of chicken soup in its place. (Heck, you could go to KFC and buy their gravy--I won't tell anyone.)

The veggies are totally up to you. This is what I had. Normally, I'd add in celery. There was a brief flirtation with the artichoke hearts in the freezer, but we didn't end up dating tonight. The amount of peas is very subjective, and on and on.

Bottom line: This recipe got a lot of frozen veggies and my leftovers out of the freezer, so this is turning out to be a winner day, you know?  The real dark horse in this dish is the herbs de provence--they add a little mellow complexity that really makes you feel like you accomplished something at the end of a long day. Add a quick tossed salad (whisk balsamic, olive oil, jam, and spicy mustard in bottom of bowl; toss in greens, nuts, fruit, and cheese), and you've got a delicious meal. This not eating out business is starting to be a little more fun.

What did everyone else have for dinner? Any suggestions for pot pie or chicken and biscuits?


  1. What did we have for dinner? I sure don't know. Oh wait, my favorite quick dinner that looks hard but isn't and is on the table in literally 10 minutes. Yakisoba. Get the refrigerated packages of the noodles, a head of cabbage, green onion, bell peppers, tofu or leftover meat if desired and whatever other creative vegetable you have.

    Heat up a large skillet or wok with a Tbs or so of Olive Oil and a dash of Sesame Seed Oil (if on hand) until Med-Hot. While it's heating, cut up your veggies. Thinly shred the cabbage (or if you're Little Chick maybe you already have some bagged cabbage ready to go) and slice up your other veggies into strips of sort so they're easily chopsticked.

    Add the vegetables that take longest to cook first like onion, shredded carrot or whatnot. Alternately, you could begin with raw meat or fresh tofu and cook that up before the veggies are added (though this will add a few minutes to your total time).

    Frequently stir the veggies around, and be generous with your cabbage - it cooks down... a lot. After your veggies are all in the pan and the cabbage is looking highly edible pop your noodles, still in it's inner package with a few punctures, into the microwave for 60seconds.

    While it's heating, get a 1/2 cup or so of hot water and add the little spice packet to it and stir.

    Loosen warmed noodles and mix in with veggies and sauce you just made. Cook like 1or 2 minutes more and serve. Eat immediately and don't even think about saving any as leftovers.

  2. The instructions take longer to read than the whole thing does to prepare.

  3. And, I have to say, I adore the way you described the frosty ice cream bars.

  4. Beth,that sounds delicious! I'll try it soon. :)