There is something about eating your dinner out of an individual ramekin that makes me happy. Maybe it’s because I don’t like to share, or because it is perfect portion control, but whatever it is, I love it. Last year I had a chicken pot pie recipe challenge – this is when I decide to try a bunch of different recipes of basically the same thing – and decide which is best to put in my special notebook. Fortunately I have some friends that happen to love chicken pot pies, maybe even more than me. Over the course of a few weeks, I made a handful of recipes – some with a biscuit topping, some with a pie crust on top, and even one with filo dough. All were acceptable, but this one rose to the top. The cheddar biscuit had a perfect amount of flavor and tenderness to soak up the chicken gravy – and the top crusted perfectly to give a little crunch. This time around I had a lot of root vegetables in the refrigerator so I went that route – but really anything would be great. You could also easily substitute turkey to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers (which the original recipe called for).
I found this recipe in Gourmet, and only modified it slightly for the root vegetables and protein. I used 10 10-12 oz. ramekins, but you can easily make this in one dish and just put mounds of biscuits on top of the filling.
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 celery rib, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup celery root, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large parsnip (peeled), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 4 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
For biscuit crust:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
Cook onion, carrots, celery, celery root, parsnip, fennel and thyme in butter with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 12-inch-wide shallow pot (3- to 4-quart), covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, uncovered, stirring, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in stock (3 1/2 cups), scraping up any brown bits, and bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat over low heat just before topping with biscuit crust.
Make biscuit crust and bake pie:
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms.
Spoon filling into 10 10-12 oz ramekins. Drop biscuit dough onto filling.
Bake until biscuits are puffed and golden brown and filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
For a printer-friendly recipe, click here: Chicken Pot Pies with Root Vegetable and Cheddar Biscuit Crust