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Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet-Potato Biscuits

Make a wintertime version of chicken pot pie featuring root vegetables.
By Andrea Chesman
December 2010 Web
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"Recipes from the Root Cellar" features more than 250 designed for winter vegetables, from soups and salads to main dishes and desserts.
Photo Courtesy Storey Publishing


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The following is an excerpt from Recipes from the Root Cellar: 270 Ways to Enjoy Winter Vegetables by Andrea Chesman (Storey, 2010). The excerpt is from Chapter 8: Main Dishes with Poultry.  

Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet-Potato Biscuits  
Serves 6  

Chicken pot pie is a dish I make year-round, varying the vegetables as the seasons suggest. This is my fall/winter version, filled with yummy root vegetables. If you prefer, different root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots, can be used, though I do think this is one of the best uses for celery root. The sweet potato biscuit topping is a colorful variation on the traditional white-flour biscuit topping.

Filling 

3 pounds chicken pieces (dark meat preferred)
8–10 cups water
2 onions, quartered
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 medium rutabaga or turnip, peeled and diced
1 large celery root, peeled and diced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Topping 

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes, chilled
1/4 cup buttermilk

1. Combine the chicken and water in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, dill seeds, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is tender, 1 to 2 hours. Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool in the cooking liquid.

2. Cover the rutabaga and celery root with salted water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain.

3. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the broth. Discard the skin and bones. Chop the meat into bite-size pieces.

4. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Skim off any fat that rises to the top. Reserve 3 cups broth for the pot pie and refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use in soups, stews, or pilafs.

5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until absorbed into the oil. Whisk in the 3 cups reserved broth and the wine and stir until thickened and smooth. Stir in the chicken, rutabagas, celery root, and thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Keep hot while you prepare the biscuits.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out a 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

7. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the sweet potatoes and buttermilk and process to make a soft dough.

8. Pour the hot chicken mixture into the baking pan. Spoon the dough on top of the chicken mixture in 12 mounds. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the biscuits are golden and the chicken mixture is bubbling. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Variation: Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Topping

To make a regular biscuit topping, omit the sweet potato and brown sugar. Increase the flour to 3 cups and the buttermilk to 1 cup. This dough will be stiff enough to roll out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut into twelve 3-inch biscuits. Arrange the dough circles on the chicken mixture and bake at 425°F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Read the original article, "Recipes for Winter Vegetables: 3 Recipes from the Root Cellar."


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