Chicken Stew with Biscuits

It’s official – SP is now in charge of Sunday dinner at my parent’s house. Weekends are really the only chance he has to cook since he’s got such a long commute, so it’s a win-win. As much as I love cooking, it’s nice to get a break every once in awhile.

He’s been on the hunt for new recipes and came across Ina’s Chicken Stew with Biscuits. This is a dish I’ve had my eye on for years but, and this may be sacrilege, I’m not really a chicken pot pie fan. I know, I know. And since this is basically chicken pot pie filling topped with biscuits, I wasn’t sold on the idea. But everyone else loves chicken pot pie so I took one for the team.

This was incredible. And that’s saying a lot coming from me. The chicken was moist and tender, the veggies were perfectly cooked. Everything was perfectly proportioned. The biscuits were just OK, not very flaky or fluffy, but SP has plans to make different biscuits next time. My parents also loved it, so it’s a good thing the recipe makes enough to feed an army. SP, my mom and my stepdad all had seconds and we still had 6 servings leftover. Sheesh!

This does take quite a bit of prep work and time, so it’s not a weeknight meal, but you can make it on a weekend and bake it during the week. And the leftovers reheated quite well.

Chicken Stew with Biscuits
From Ina Garten

6 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup half and half
2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For the biscuits:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 375.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the half and half. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Mix well.

Put the stew in a lasagna pan or 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. This will NOT fit in a standard 9 x 13 dish – you need something deeper. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the half-and-half and combine on low speed. Mix in the parsley. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and, with a rolling pin, roll out to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out twelve circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter.

Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the biscuits on top of the filling. Brush them with egg wash, and return the dish to the oven. Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the biscuits are brown and the stew is bubbly.

Note: To make in advance, refrigerate the chicken stew and biscuits separately. Bake the stew for 25 minutes, then place the biscuits on top, and bake for another 30 minutes, until done.