The next best thing for comfort, besides chicken noodle soup, juice or green monster smoothies, has to be chicken stew.
The last week has been a hard lesson of – too much comfort and rest makes Erin crazy, but is necessary to fully recover from sickness. Notice the influx of cooking posts.
I boldly proclaim myself fully recovered from the germs that invaded my immune system. I’d like to think this stew contributed to the restoration of my health and well-being.
Feel Good Chicken Stew
Note: This recipe is heavily adapted from Chicken Stew with Biscuits by Ina Garten, from the “Barefoot Contessa Family Style” cookbook.
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, chopped
4-5 potatoes, cubed
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. chicken stock (I used a combination of homemade and store bought)
1/2 c. half and half
meat from 4 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 t. thyme
1 c. green peas, can be frozen
couple dashes of Tabasco
salt and pepper
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. granulated sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3/4 c. half and half or milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degree and spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with non-stick spray. Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet (for overflow).
In a large stock pot, melt the butter and saute the onion. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes; cook until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Stir in the half and half, chicken, and thyme. Let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Season the stew liberally with salt and pepper, and stir in the frozen peas (throw in a couple of dashes of hot sauce if you so choose).
Pour the stew into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. While the stew is baking, make the biscuits for the top.
Combine the dry biscuit ingredients and blend in the butter with a pastry cutter. You can also use a mixer or two knives. When the dough starts to come together in a ball, dump it onto a well-floured counter. Gently form the dough into a ball, fold it over once, rotate it 90 degrees, and fold it over again. Pat the dough out to a 3/8″ thickness. Cut out twelve biscuits with a round biscuit cutter.
Take the stew out of the oven and top it with the twelve biscuits (3 x 4 rows). If you want, brush the biscuit tops with water, milk or an egg wash for shine. Bake the stew for another 25-30 minutes.
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