Monday, October 14, 2013

Chicken and biscuit casserole

Chicken and biscuits: is there really any more perfect comfort food?

OK, well, yes, a boatload of salted oatmeal cookies would be even more perfect in my book, so I should have clarified:

Is there any more perfect dinnertime comfort food?

I'm excited to share this particular version of chicken and biscuits with you for several reasons:

1) It's the result of a little Ninja-like recipe fusion
2) It's the perfect vehicle for Thanksgiving leftovers (because clearly you realize "Chicken and Biscuits" can easily become "Turkey and Biscuits")

And, since today is Thanksgiving for my Canadian friends (have a happy one, peeps!) and our own version is rapidly approaching, it's also very timely.

Fusion-wise, here's the story. Despite my love of bacon, I'm always trying to work more healthy, veggie-packed dishes into our dinner routine. Unfortunately, as regular readers will recall, Mr. Ninj is not a fan of most vegetables: he has texture issues. Tops on the texture issue list is squash. Even yummy squash like acorn or butternut -- even bathed in maple syrup and butter -- get a big thumbs-down.

Sniff: more foods to add to my ever-growing "recipes to make only when Mr. Ninj is out of town" list.

Therefore,  I came across a "turkey pot pie" recipe that included a sweet potato topping, I figured I'd be OK. I mean, sweet potatoes are just potatoes, right?

Wrong. Apparently they are too closely aligned with squash, both in color and texture.

(I know, right? WTF?)

I, on the other hand, loved the recipe and wasn't quite willing to let it go. Since it billed itself as "pot pie" (the only pot pie-ish thing was the filling, though), I realized I could probably substitute a bready or crusty topping and still be able to keep it in the recipe rotation.

So I pulled out my secret weapon: easy-peasy drop biscuits. I made the "pot pie" filling and topped it with some blobs of biscuit dough and baked that bad boy into a rich, comforting casserole.

Folks, we have a winner.

Since the recipe calls for leftover chicken or turkey as well as the usual Thanksgiving supplies of celery, carrots, onion and stock, consider adding this to your turkey day leftovers lineup.

Do you have a picky eater with texture issues? How do you work around that? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Chicken (or Turkey) and Biscuit Casserole

-- For the filling --
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey (shredded or chopped)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (a combination of parsley, sage and thyme is nice, but feel free to use your favorites)

-- For the biscuit topping --
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Melt the oil and butter in a large pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium to low heat until tender (about 10 minutes). Stir in the flour until the veg is coated, then add the stock. Simmer until thickened (just a minute or two) and add the half and half (or milk). Return to a simmer and add the chicken (or turkey) and herbs. Cook a minute or two then pour the mixture into a prepared 2-quart casserole dish.

In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, baking powder and salt. Pulse until the mixture is combined and butter is well-distributed. Add the milk and pulse again until the mixtures comes together into a sticky dough. Drop the dough into six large mounds on top of the chicken filling (the mounds won't completely cover all the filling). Bake for 25 minutes or until the biscuits are beginning to brown and the chicken mixture is bubbly.


  1. This is my idea of comfort food too!

  2. My mom didn't make chicken and biscuits when I was a kid, but as an adult I have grown to love it. I think you can't give up on the sweet potato thing. That may be a deal breaker for me. Maybe try slipping some to him in small quantities, like an allergy shot:)

    1. I'm going with the allergy shot training program. :-)

  3. Okay....I'm still kind of stuck in WT* and interested in the other (both) versions ;-)

  4. I actually found a chicken pot pie recipe with sweet potato CRUST in an old Southern Living cookbook that is absolutely fabulous!! You get the yummy goodness of sweet potato, with the texture of pie crust= win-win