I couldn’t decide whether to call this post “chicken pot pie” or “buttermilk biscuit crust” since both are essential halves of tonight’s supper.
Yesterday, I went to Market Basket (the supermarket chain whose employees went on strike en masse this summer for over two months to reinstate their fired CEO, Arthur T. DeMoulas). I came home with a freshly roasted whole chicken for $4.69! You can’t even buy an uncooked whole bird for that. For supper, G. and I ate the dark meat of the bird along with some corn muffins cut in half, browned in a skillet and a large green salad.
This afternoon, we had chicken sandwiches for lunch from the wings and the rest of the dark meat. Since we’re not white meat eaters (could you tell?) I decided to cook onions, carrots, and cubed chicken breast in a bath of chicken broth until heated through. Then added frozen petite peas. I tasted the stock and it was savory, thickened with a little flour/broth combo that I stirred into the casserole. On the side, I browned half a dozen large button mushrooms in butter, cutting them into large chunks to add at the last minute before putting on the crust and baking the pot pie in the oven.
Even though I had a Pillsbury pie crust in the freezer, I had a hankering for fresh buttermilk biscuit topping to put on top of the fresh ingredients in the pot pie. Since there was a fresh bottle of buttermilk in the fridge, I mixed some flour with very cold butter cut into tiny droplets. I used my trusty Wusthof serrated paring knife, cutting a half stick of butter into thin slices, turning it over, cutting more thin slices and then cutting crosswise letting tiny drops of cold butter fall into the flour with a small pinch of Maldon salt into the bowl.
I mixed the dry flour/butter mixture with my fingers, rubbing the butter bits into the flour until well mixed. Fluffing it with a fork, I added 2 teaspoons of fresh baking powder. Poured a half cup of cold buttermilk into the flour mixture with some leftover in a glass for me to drink (yum!)
After mixing gently with a rubber spatula, I lightly kneaded the dough a few times. Patting it together, I wrapped it in plastic and placed the dough in the fridge until ready to roll out for the top crust of the chicken pot pie.
Another important part of the recipe (learned the hard way) is to heat the chicken filling very gently to make sure it’s bubbling when put into the oven AND that there’s enough broth/gravy for the biscuit crust will absorb. So just to be sure, I made some more stock, added it and allowed it to cook down in the chicken casserole just barely simmering on top of the stove.
About forty-five minutes before supper, I heated the oven to 400 degrees, brought the pot pie in its copper au gratin pot to a bare simmer and rolled out the crust, using the cold dough from the fridge. I added the chunks of mushrooms to the chicken mixture and gently fitted the crust onto the top of the pan. Into the oven it went for about half an hour plus or until the top of the crust became golden brown and the biscuit top cooked through. I made slits in the buttermilk crust to allow steam to escape and put a baking sheet lined in aluminum foil underneath just in case the gravy dripped into the oven.
It took a bit of preparation this afternoon, but we can now feel good about eating a piping hot savory chicken pot pie and finishing all of the roasted bird from yesterday. There’s probably enough leftover for our lunch tomorrow!