Chicken Pot Pie:
1⁄4 c extra virgin olive oil
3 T freshly ground black pepper
1 T kosher salt
1 T minced garlic
2 t dried tarragon
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes Vegetable oil spray
2 c trimmed and quartered brussels sprouts or chopped broccoli flowerets
2 c diced, skin-on, small red potatoes, such as Red Bliss
1 c sliced carrots in 1⁄4-inch rounds
1 c sliced celery in 1⁄4-inch rounds
1 c frozen green peas
3⁄4 c (11⁄2 sticks) salted butter
1 c chopped yellow onions
1⁄2 c all-purpose flour
1 qt low-sodium chicken broth
2 c heavy cream
2 t chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 recipe Regina’s Bacon-Thyme Biscuit Dough
1. Combine the olive oil, black pepper, salt, garlic and tarragon in a large bowl. Add the diced chicken to the olive oil mixture and stir to coat completely.
2. Spray a large skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cubes and cook them just until browned, about three minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, fill a large bowl with ice and water. Cook the vegetables separately until they are just tender, for three to five minutes each. The potatoes take the most time at five to six minutes, carrots and celery four to five minutes and brussels sprouts three to four minutes. I don’t blanch the peas.
4. As each vegetable is cooked, using a mesh strainer, transfer it to a colander and drain. Immediately put the vegetable in the cold water to stop the cooking, replenishing the ice as needed to keep the water cold. Drain all of the vegetables in a colander.
5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven
over low heat. Add the onions, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about four minutes. Slowly add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux, three to four minutes. Add the chicken broth and cream
and increase the heat to medium high, stirring frequently until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the browned chicken and drained vegetables, stirring well to incorporate. Remove from heat and adjust the seasoning to taste.
6. Divide between two 12-inch cast-iron skillets. (Alternatively, it can be divided between one skillet to cook and one 2-quart baking dish to freeze for a future meal.)
7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the bacon-thyme biscuit dough into two 13-inch circles, 1⁄4 inch thick. Transfer one dough circle to each of the cast-iron skillets, leaving a 1⁄2-inch overhang around all sides and pressing down to have the dough adhere. Place the skillets in the oven and bake until the top is browned, 35 to 40 minutes.
Regina’s Bacon-Thyme Biscuit Dough:
4 c all-purpose flour, plus more for the board 1⁄4 c baking powder
1⁄4 c sugar
2 T minced fresh thyme leaves
11⁄2 c (3 sticks) cold margarine, cut into two-inch cubes 13⁄4 c cold buttermilk
8 thick slices smoked bacon, diced and cooked until crisp
1. Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and thyme in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Blend the dry ingredients on low for 15 seconds.
2. Add the margarine to the bowl. Turn the mixer on medium speed and count to ten. There should be visible chunks of margarine the size of quarters in the dough. Add the buttermilk and stir until dough is moist, but pulled together, being careful not to overmix.
3. Generously roll out the dough into a rectangle about one inch thick. Fold the dough in half, bringing the two short ends together, turn a half turn and roll it out again. Spread half of the cooked bacon over the dough and fold. Then, turn and roll out more two times. Add the remaining bacon and repeat for an additional two times, finishing with a 1⁄4-inch-thick dough. Use the dough as directed in the potpie recipe.
From Mississippi Current Cookbook A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River by Regina Charboneau.