Hot Dish Series: Chicken and Biscuits

26 Jul

I just got back from a trip to Minneapolis and White Bear Lake, Minnesota for my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary party.  It was a lovely time and reminded me of all the Minnesota traditions that make me love the Scandinavian Midwest- people saying “oofta,” fresh walleye, and my favorite, hotdish.  For those of you who don’t know, “hotdish” is Midwestern for “casserole.”  It’s easy to point out the differences between Southerners and Northers, but one constant between my Midwestern roots and current Southern existence is this multifaceted creamy baked concoction.  No, it’s not seasonally appropriate, but it’s never to hot for hotdish in my book.

Chicken and Biscuits (via Epicurious)

Ingredients

For biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • All-purpose flour for dusting

For chicken

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (from a 3- to 3 1/2-lb rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Make biscuits:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Blend together flour and butter in a bowl with a pastry blender or your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Stir in milk with a fork just until a sticky dough forms.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead 7 or 8 times. (Do not overwork, or biscuits will be tough.) Pat dough into a 9- by 6-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface, then cut into 6 (3-inch) squares. Arrange squares 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until almost, about 12 minutes. Cool to warm on baking sheet on a rack.

Make chicken dish while biscuits bake:
Cool oven to 350. Cook onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper in butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in broth and thyme and bring to a boil, stirring, then boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.

Add half-and-half and chicken to gravy and gently simmer until chicken is heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

Assemble and bake:
Place chicken mixture in 8×8 baking dish.  Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired. Halve biscuits horizontally and place over biscuits.  Bake for ten minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

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