One of the greatest things I’ve discovered regarding food is how memories can be so closely tied to it. I don’t have many memories of growing up in the kitchen, but I hope Clara will have them one day. The kitchen memories I do have were created in more recent years, and one of my favorites involves cooking when my blogging friends came to visit. That day was the epitome of a perfect day for me, and I will never forget how I felt at that moment. Even seven months later, I still get teary-eyed when I think about it.
Since it was a cold and snowy day, we decided (after too much time spent browsing through cookbooks) to make this pot pie. I think we ended up eating dinner sometime around 10pm, and we stayed up way too late that night talking and laughing. A couple weeks ago, I made this recipe again and was immediately taken back to that perfect evening – the cameras snapping, all of us seamlessly working together in the kitchen, the chilly weather, Lonely Island videos and the feeling of pure joy. Eric and I couldn’t help but laugh thinking about how we all were wondering what the heck the recipe was referring to when it mentioned “fond” (it’s browned bits, by the way). I think I will always remember them and that night anytime I make this recipe. Food is powerful like that. When I made this, I was using food in another powerful way – to bring comfort to someone. It’s amazing to me what a home cooked meal can do to lift someone’s spirits.
If telling you four food bloggers went crazy over this isn’t enough to convince you to make it, I don’t know what is. This recipe begins with chicken thighs that are poached in broth, and then the broth is combined with a roux to make a rich and flavorful sauce. In order to keep the vegetables from becoming overcooked, they’re sautéed separately and added to the sauce prior to baking. The biscuit topping is the real surprise of this recipe and deserves mentioning. Essentially, a biscuit dough is made, crumbled into pieces and then baked before being used to top the pot pie. I’ll be honest with you and say that I’ve had a hard time resisting these tasty little biscuit bites both times I’ve had this. Eric is convinced that we should start making biscuits this way to have for weekday breakfasts.
The recipe calls for a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, but I successfully made it in two smaller dishes (one to keep and one to give). You can also turn this into a make ahead meal by by making the filling and refrigerating it in the baking dish. If making the topping a day early, as well, store it in an airtight container. Bake the filling for about 30-35 minutes (assuming it’s straight out of the refrigerator), then top it with the biscuit crumble and continue baking until the filling is heated through and the crumble is lightly browned, about 15 additional minutes.