Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie Stew with Drop Biscuits

Just before we got the Blizzard here in Massachusetts earlier this week, I started craving warm comfort food. I also want to make something delicious for E, because isn't the way to every man's heart through his stomach? Sure, I know I have his heart, but I like to spoil him - especially when he's traveling. I saw America's Test Kitchen over the weekend - one of my favorite cooking shows ever - and they did a segment on "the perfect" chicken pot pie. The key, they said, was to cook the ingredients separately before joining them together, to allow each one to develop its own personality and flavor. Makes sense to me.

I didn't want to "spend" a lot of calories on the crust, and I also wanted to save a little time on preparation, so decided to try this as a stew with quick drop biscuits.

The stew recipe is inspired by ATK and Martha. The biscuit recipe is from Cooking Light.

Chicken Pot Pie Stew (Serves 4)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • Chicken broth (enough to just cover chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 c. Dry white wine
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • Low fat milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Poach the chicken breasts in the broth - cover the breasts in broth, and bring to a boil. Cook about 10 minutes, until breasts are fully cooked through. Remove breasts from poaching liquid and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Strain the poaching liquid into a 4-cup measuring cup, ensuring you add no more than 1 cup of poaching broth. Add the wine to the measuring cup. Add enough milk to bring the total amount of the liquid to 2 1/2 cups.
- When it is cool enough to handle, shred the chicken using two forks.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil with the thyme until the carrots are tender; add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the flour to the onion / carrot mixture and stir for about 1 minute.
- Add the liquid to the pan gradually, stirring as you add it, and cook it, stirring, until it thickens.
- When the sauce has thickened, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the peas and the chicken. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until it bubbles around the edges.

Per Serving: 272 calories, 20g carbohydrates, 6g fat, 30g protein, 3g fiber

Drop Biscuits
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450ยบ.
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives** until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk; stir just until moist.
- Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from pan immediately, and place on a wire rack.

**after trying to use two knives, I tried an apple corer / slicer and found that it works as well as a pastry blender!

Per biscuit: 119 calories, 17g carbohydrates, 4g fat, 3g protein, .5g fiber

Bring it all together
Use pasta dishes or plates with rims to serve. Slice one biscuit (or two!) in half and spoon one fourth of the stew over it. Enjoy!

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