Chicken biscuit pot pie

  • For the chicken stew
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 celery stalk (with leaves), cut into 1cm pieces
  • 5 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 18g salt
  • 115g frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 45g plain flour
  • 950ml chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4g minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 4g minced fresh chives
  • 4g minced fresh dill
  • 560g diced Poached Chicken, recipe follows, or other cooked chicken
  • For the biscuit dough
  • 280g plain flour, plus more for dusting
  • 14g baking powder
  • 4g granulated sugar
  • 6g salt
  • 105g cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 175ml milk, plus for brushing the top
  • 5g finely grated lemon zest
To make the stew:
1) Heat the butter in a 25cm cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, mushrooms, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 mins. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until browned, about 1 min more. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Pour in the chicken broth, bring the stew to a boil, stirring constantly. Simmer until the mixture is very thick, about 3 mins. Add the chicken and return to a boil. Remove from the heat. Season with pepper to taste and stir in the parsley, chives, and dill. Set aside while you make the biscuit topping.

To make the biscuit dough:
1) In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt until evenly combined. Rub 30g of the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until it is completely absorbed. Work the remaining butter into the flour until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Add the lemon zest to the milk. Gently stir the milk into the flour mixture to make a loose dough.

2) Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Pat the dough by hand into a 1cm thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. After folding the biscuit dough into thirds, pat into a 25cm wide disc.

For the pot pie:
1) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 8.

2) Bring the chicken and vegetable mixture to a boil and place the biscuit dough on top. Using a paring knife, make a small hole in the center of the dough. Using a pastry brush, brush the biscuit top lightly with milk. Transfer the skillet to a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 20 mins. Let the pie rest at room temperature for 5 mins before serving.

For the Poached Chicken:
10 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small onion, halved
1 small carrot, halved
1 stalk celery, halved
1360g chicken breasts halves, on the bone and fat trimmed
About 1L chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned

1) Put the parsley, thyme, onion, carrot, celery, and chicken breasts in a medium saucepan. Cover with the broth, and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and cover. Poach the chicken for 20 mins or until firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover, and cool the chicken in the liquid for 30 mins.

2) Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Bone and skin the chicken and cut the meat into 2cm cubes. Discard the bones and skin.

3) Strain the broth and store, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for later use. Remove any fat from the surface of the broth before using.

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