It’s always nice to have a few recipes on hand that can be made ahead and frozen, or split into more than one meal to either save for a rainy day or to share with someone else. The other night, I brought dinner to some friends of ours, and this was what I chose to bring. I’m hoping they liked it as much as our family did! It’s one of our favorite comfort food meals, and works for us because it’s grown up enough for the “sophisticated” taste buds in the house, but still friendly enough for the kids.
You won’t find the usual carrots and peas in this pie. Instead, it’s full of beautifully sautéed leeks, green apples, and rotisserie chicken, mixed with a rich, creamy sauce that’s been spiked with just a bit of sherry. It’s then topped with savory little cheddar drop biscuits that come together in the blink of an eye.
Trust me, it’s really yummy.
Also, you can make this recipe into one giant potpie in a 9×13 inch pan or you can split it between two 8×8 inch pans, as I did. If you don’t need the second 8×8 pan, you can freeze it before baking and save it for another day.
I started by slicing up two leeks and cleaning them well. Leeks look like overgrown green onions, but are deliciously sweet and mild when cooked. They are grown in sand, however, and a lot of sand gets trapped in those leeky layers. To remedy that, I chopped up my leeks and put the pieces in a large bowl filled with cold water.
Swish them around in the water a bit and all of that sand falls to the bottom of the bowl.
Once I’d rinsed the leeks, I removed them from the water and dried them off with some paper towels.
Next, I melted a little bit of butter in a large saute pan and then added my chopped leeks and some sliced Granny Smith apples.
I cooked them down for about 8 minutes, until they had softened up a bit. Then, I removed them from the pan and set them aside.
A little more butter went into the empty pan, and once it was melted, I stirred in some flour and dried sage. To that, I whisked in a can of fat-free evaporated milk and some chicken broth that I’d heated up in the microwave together.
The flour helped thicken the sauce after a few minutes, and once it was thick enough, I removed it from the heat and added a bit of Cream Sherry, salt and pepper.
Once the sauce was done, I stirred it into my leeks and apples and added the meat from a rotisserie chicken that I’d cut up earlier, as well as just a bit of chopped parsley.
I then split the mixture between my two dishes and got working on the biscuits!
The first time I made this recipe, I was struck by the pure genius of the biscuit recipe. (I’m kind of food nerdy that way.) If you’ve ever made biscuits, or even a pie crust, you know that keeping the butter cold as it’s mixed into the flour is KEY. The cold butter helps create those little flaky pockets we love so much in biscuits and crusts.
Why I’d never thought of this, is beyond me, because it’s so simple. After stirring together my dry ingredients and cheese for my biscuits, I took a stick of frozen butter and grated it with a box grater into my bowl!
Once the butter was in, I stirred it together with a fork and then quickly added some cold buttermilk. A few more stirs with the fork, and I had my biscuit dough.
I used my cookie scoop, but you could use your fingers to scoop out small rounds of dough, and I placed the biscuits all over the tops of the two pies.
(If you’re making one of these to freeze, you could cover it at this point and pop it in the freezer.)
After about 30 minutes in the oven, the pot pies were perfectly bubbly and golden. The biscuits were light and fluffy and that apple studded filling was deliciously savory. It was a delightful, comforting way to end, yet another, busy day.
CHICKEN POTPIE WITH GREEN APPLES AND CHEDDAR BISCUITS
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 (12 oz.) can fat-free evaporated milk
- 6 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 2 large leeks, dark green leaves trimmed off, washed well to remove sand, and light green and white parts chopped
- 2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, peeled and sliced
- 1 large rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped (about 5-6 cups)
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. dried, rubbed sage
- 1/4 cup Cream Sherry
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- For the biscuits:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 stick of butter, frozen solid
- 1 cup cold buttermilk, low fat is OK, plus a few more teaspoons if necessary
- Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position in the oven and preheat the oven to 400*.
- Pour the evaporated milk and chicken broth into a bowl and microwave until steamy, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a large saute pan. Add the chopped leeks and apples and saute, until softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat 4 Tbsp. of butter in the same pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, whisk in the 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. of flour, and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk mixture and whisk until smooth and simmering. The sauce will thicken up after 1 or 2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sherry. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken to the bowl with the leeks and apples.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken, leeks, and apples and stir to combine. Season to taste.
- Either pour the entire amount into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish, or divide between two 8×8 pans or pie plates.
- Make the biscuits: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cheddar cheese in a medium bowl.
- Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter into the bowl. Stir the butter into the flour mixture using a fork.
- Pour the buttermilk into the biscuit mix and stir with a fork until just combined.
- Pinch dough with your fingers into small biscuit rounds and place evenly over the top of the filling.
- Bake until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.
- **If freezing for later, stop before baking, cover the dish and freeze. To bake from frozen state, bake at 400 until golden and bubbly, about 1 hour.**