Thursday, April 2, 2015

Destroying Titans is hard and hungry work
We all have games we like to play. Games that allow us to enjoy the entertainment, the excitement, the suspense, the thrill of victory.

When a new games comes out, there is the moment of trepidation mixed with the wonder of a fresh experience. However, there are also games that we play over and over again, because they are familiar, yet inspire us to strive for the next level or bring out a tinge of nostalgia.

For me, “Civilization,” “Diablo,” and, more recently, “Titanfall” fit into that category. They are like home base, a place to retreat and feel comfort when the rest of the gaming world has gone sideways.

Comfort also extends to our food choices. A meal that evokes memories, sustains the soul, and still manages to surprise us sometimes by how good it really is.

The Hellspawn were probably just
looking for a good meal.
I recently prepared such a meal, because I just wanted to get back to something hearty. Chicken pot pie used to be one of the staple dishes in many homes, but in today’s world, it has seemed to lose it luster.

So I made it a bit differently. Getting rid of the pie shell, I used biscuits to top the savory filling and cooked it all in a cast-iron skillet (how retro!).

The result was something of a mix of two classics: the chicken pot pie I was aiming for and chicken and dumplings that my family had when I was younger.

Satisfying, yet doesn’t make a mess while eating it. Perfect for those times when I’m in a “Halo” match… and waiting to respawn. L

Chicken-n-biscuits potpie


For the filling:

·        4 boneless chicken breasts

·        At least 4 c. chicken broth

·        4 T unsalted butter

·        3 medium carrots, shredded (you can cut them into slices, if you like)

·        5 button mushrooms, quartered, tops only

·        1 rib celery, cut into ¼ inch slices

·        1 T kosher salt

·        1 c. frozen pearl onions, thawed, drained

·        ½ c. flour

·        1 t dried parsley

·        1 t dried dill weed

For the dough:

·        2 c. flour, plus additional for dusting

·        1 T baking powder

·        1 t sugar

·        8 T cold unsalted butter, cubed

·        1 t grated lemon zest, dried

·        ¾ c milk, plus additional for brushing

The finished product. Wow, it was good.

1.      FILLING: Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubed and place in a medium saucepan. Add the broth so it just covers the chicken and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat very low, and poach chicken until just firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken and reserve the broth.

2.      Melt the better in a 9-inch cast iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add carrots, mushrooms, celery, and salt and cook until vegetables are light brown, about 4 minutes.

3.      Add the onions and cook about 1 minute more. Stir flour into the vegetables and cook an additional minute. Pour in the reserved chicken broth and whisk until it comes to a boil.

4.      Reduce the heat slightly and simmer, uncovered, until thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in chicken and remove skillet from heat. Stir in parsley, dill, and pepper.

5.      DOUGH: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub 3 tablespoons of the butter into the flour until the mixture is sandy. Work in the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter until it forms pea-size pieces.

6.      Stir lemon zest into the milk, let it sit for 2 minutes, and then stir milk into the flour mixture to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a ½ inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds as you would a business letter, then pat into a 10 inch wide disk. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.

7.      Bring the chicken filling to a simmer. Place the biscuit pieces on top of the hot filling. Brush the biscuits lightly with milk. Put the skillet on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the potpie rest for 5 minutes before serving.



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