"Chicken Sink" Pot Pie with Light-Roux Gravy and Herbed Drop Biscuits

Over at Burwell General Store, I hosted another recipe swap, and this time 13 of us joined the fun. This time, we reinterpreted "Grandma's Pot Pie and Drop Biscuits" from "All Day Singin' And Dinner on the Ground" (Read more about the swap here). From this, we created a wide spectrum of new recipes, by bloggers LindsaySabrina, Boulder Locavore Chef Dennis Mari, Nay, Jennifer, Shari, Cindy, Monique and The Cake Duchess. You simply must take 15 minutes and visit all their pages to read these inventive and delicious recipes that we blogged about from all over the world. It is always such fun to collaborate with new and old e-friends.

The spirit of the original recipe spoke to my hardy yet latent Midwestern resourcefulness, so like Nay, (in close interpretation, not in Midwestern roots) my own recipe fell closer to the original, incorporating ingredients I had laying around in the fridge, hence the "Chicken Sink" label. I used only what I had available, which is probably not going to be what you have available in your own kitchen. As far as the filling goes, add or remove anything you like from the list below as long as you have a heavy four to five cups of filling. My "twist" is the addition of a roux-gravy, which adds complexity both in flavor and technique to the dish. I love the flavor toasted flour brings to the table.


"Chicken Sink" Pot Pie with Light-Roux Gravy and Herbed Drop Biscuits

Serves: 4



Equipment: 9" cast-iron skillet, balloon whisk

Active time: About an hour.
Total time: An hour and a half.

Ingredients
Filling:
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cup cooked cubed potatoes (mine were little buttery fingerlings)
1 large link pork sausage, removed from casing and crumbled
2 cups chicken, dark meat
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chicken stock or water

Roux:
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock

Drop Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted (I used King Arthur Organic Unbleached AP)
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt
cracked black pepper to taste
4 Tbsp cold cubed butter
1 cup milk

Method
Prep dries for the biscuits in a bowl and cube butter before you start work on the pot pie, and set aside.

Filling:
Pre-heat oven to 375F.
In a skillet, cook filling ingredients for pot pie starting with what cooks the longest. My order was potatoes, onions, sausage, frozen vegetables, garlic. Remove from skillet to a medium bowl, add chopped parsley, and set aside.
In the same skillet, saute chicken quarters on medium heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes, and set aside to cool. Shred when cool to touch and place in the bowl with the vegetables.
Using 1/4 cup chicken stock or water, pour into skillet and deglaze the pan. Let the remaining liquid reduce almost entirely and leave in the skillet.

Roux:
Keeping all the deglazed brown bits in the pan, add 2 Tbsp butter for the roux. When butter has started foaming, add flour. The mixture will seize, but keep it moving with a whisk until it is golden brown and smells toasted, about ten minutes. When you have reached this point, pour in the milk. Mixture will quickly separate, then seize, then double in volume. Continue to thin with chicken stock until it is the consistency of a lovely thick gravy. You should have about a cup of gravy. Add your vegetables and shredded chicken back to this mixture, remove from heat and quickly make biscuits, because reacting baking powder waits for no one.

Biscuits:
Add all dries and rosemary to a medium bowl.
Add cubed butter, and working quickly by hand, squish the butter into the flour until you have reached a fine sand texture.
Make a well, add milk, and mix quickly with a spatula until thoroughly combined but not overworked. This dough will be very sticky and soft. Drop in large dollops across the skillet (about 9 spatula-fulls) and put skillet into oven to bake for 15 minutes at 375 or until the biscuits are nice and browned and you see the roux bubbling up between the biscuits.


Notes: As long as you have five cups of filling and a cup of gravy, this dish will turn out, which is why I love it. The biscuits, however, are more exacting, and you can see from the photo above that a mere 1/2 cup of rye flour thrown in on a test completely changes the texture. I'd stick to the biscuit recipe above, if I were you, because the biscuits on the second test never met a table, sadly. Oh, and by "Light-Roux" I mean light in color, not in calories, if you haven't figured that out by now. Enjoy!

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