Snowy evenings are best enjoyed by a roaring fire with a big dish of something steamy and comforting — like the chicken pot pie from Iron Rooster in Annapolis. Executive Chef Aaron Musinski’s traditional take on the wintertime favorite is chock-full of vegetables and chicken, soaked in just a bit of cream and topped with golden brown biscuits.
Baking enthusiasts can get messy in the kitchen, creating the biscuit dough from scratch, but Musinski notes that for less ambitious home chefs, store-bought biscuit dough works as a time-saving substitute. Either way, the combination of gooey filling and flaky biscuit crust will make even the chilliest winter evening feel warm and bright.
Chicken Pot Pie
Yields 6 pot pies
For the filling:
1 3 ½-to-4-pound chicken
1 gallon chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups all purpose flour
1 pound celery, diced
1 pound carrots, diced
1 pound onions, diced
1 cup turnip, diced
1 cup parsnip, diced
2 cups potato, diced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup peas
¾ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon pepper (or more to taste)
1. Rinse chicken well. Place the chicken and chicken stock in a stockpot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the chicken just starts to fall off the bone. Pull the chicken from the stock and let cool.
3. Ladle chicken fat off the top of the stock and reserve. Strain the stock.
4. Remove the skin and pull the meat off the bones of the chicken.
5. In a separate large pot over medium heat, combine the oil and reserved chicken fat.
6. Add the garlic, shallot, bay leaves and thyme, and sauté until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Whisk in the flour and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Slowly add the chicken stock to the pot, whisking, and bring to a simmer.
9. Add the celery, carrot, onion, turnip, parsnip and potato, and cook, monitoring closely, until the potato is fork-tender.
10. Add the chicken, cream, peas, parsley, basil and salt and pepper, adjusting the levels of salt and pepper to taste.
For the biscuit dough:
10 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
2 tablespoons iodized salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pound butter, frozen
5 cups buttermilk, very cold
1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
2. With a cheese grater, grate frozen butter into the flour mix.
3. Mix for a few seconds until the butter is coated with the flour.
4. Add the buttermilk and mix just until incorporated — do not overmix.
5. Spread out dough on a heavily floured surface and cut into desired shapes and sizes.
For the pot pies:
Biscuit dough (recipe above, or use store-bought dough to make six 4-ounce biscuits)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Ladle the filling into six oven-safe containers.
3. Roll out the biscuit dough, and place about 4 ounces of it on top of each container.
4. Bake pies on a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan in the oven until the dough is cooked all the way through and is golden brown on top, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.