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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Biscuit Pot Pie

With colder weather on our doorstep here in Maine, I was craving something warm, something that would fill the house with wonderful odors, and would warm our bones around the dinner table. I did a quick perusal of the fridge and veggie baskets, and noticed it was all root veggies. Yum! That could only mean one thing in this house - Pot Pie. I owe a great deal of gratitude to a special little girl that I could call my step-daughter for 3 years. Her favorite meal was Pot Pie, and every Thanksgiving and Birthday, she requested one from me. I had never made pie crust before that, but not one to back down from a challenge, I persevered. My pie crust improved each time, until she even commented that it was pretty darn good. However, tonight I didn't feel like making pie crust - I was craving something different.

Recently I've been trying my hand at biscuits - another item I'm not too good at. The first batch was a failure. The second batch was quite decent. Tonight I decided that I would whip up a double batch and make a unique Pot Pie AND master my biscuits. I'm proud to say that it was a success. The biscuits were delicious, and added a definite uniqueness to the Pot Pie experience. I still like a good pie crust on there, but this will most certainly get made again - probably as a Thanksgiving re-do.

Biscuit Pot Pie
(serves 4-6)

4 C flour (mix it up with Pastry, Whole Wheat, or White)
8 t baking powder
2 t salt
4 t sugar
1 t Cream of Tartar
1 C lard (or vegetable shortening)
1 1/3 C milk
2 T sage, fresh and minced
1/2 C cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl sift flour, stir in baking powder, salt, sugar and cream of tartar. Using a pastry tool, cut in lard until the mixture resembles a coarse cornmeal like texture. Stir in milk and split into 2 equal parts. In one half, mix in sage. In other half mix in cheese. Take the sage biscuits and press into an oiled deep dish pie plate or large cast iron skillet, pressing up onto the side. Bake in oven for 10 minutes and remove to cool a bit. Meanwhile, put a little flour down on the counter and press the cheddar biscuits to about an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, or any other round form, press out about a dozen biscuits. Seet aside on a plate while cooking the filling. Lower heat in oven to 350 degrees and open door for a few minutes to help drop the temperature for the cooking of the pot pie.

T olive oil
1 C potato, cubed
1 C cooked chicken
1/4 C carrot, sliced
1/2 C onion, chopped
1/2 C mushrooms, chopped
1/2 C arugula, chopped
1/3 C chopped fresh herbs (I used sage, parsley and oregano)
2 T flour
1/2 C broth/stock/water
salt & pepper
1 T butter

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and add in onion, potatoes, and carrot. Saute about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add in mushrooms, arugula and fresh herb and stir thoroughly. Cook until 3-5 minutes, until mushrooms have released their juices. Add in chicken and flour, and stir to combine and coat everything with flour. Pour in broth/stock/water, adding more if necessary - you want the veggies mostly submerged in liquid. Cover and cook about 5 to 10 minutes, until liquid has depleted by half. Stir in salt and pepper and cook another 2 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat and pour into biscuit lined pan. Top with cheddar biscuits and dab with butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until biscuits have browned on top. Remove and let sit about 10 minutes before serving. If you desire, serve with a nice onion gravy.

Bon Appetit!

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