Cooking Corner: Chicken Pot Pie

One of my favorite things to have in the winter time is a wholesome, filling Chicken Pot Pie. Beth from budgetbytes.com has a perfect, cheap recipe that is delicious, and can be afforded by any college student with a tight budget. The total recipe costs just over $7 and involves a preparation time of 10 minutes and 45 minutes of cooking time.

Ingredients for the filling:
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 medium onion
8 oz. mushrooms sliced
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ lb. green beans
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen corn kernels
¼ tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the biscuit dough:
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp mild vinegar or lemon juice
2.5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
4 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 egg

Begin by getting all of the vegetables together. Mince the garlic and dice the onion. Chop the celery into small pieces and peel and slice the carrot. Peeling the carrot is very important. Break the green beans into sections about the size of a thumb. Slice the mushrooms unless using pre-sliced mushrooms.

Add the vegetable oil, onion, and garlic to a large pot. Sauté over medium-low heat until the onions soften and turn golden brown. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have softened and turned dark tan in color.

Melt the butter into the pot. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Stir and cook this mixture for about three minutes. Cut up a chicken breast into small pieces, sauté it up in a separate skillet and then add it in to the large pot.

Warm the vegetable broth up in the microwave. Add the broth to the pot and stir to dissolve all of the flour off of the bottom of the pot and off of the vegetables. Warm the milk in the microwave. Slowly add the milk while stirring. It is important to use warm milk because cold milk has the tendency to curdle. This is not bad—it just means the proteins have denatured and will still taste fine.

Add the rest of the vegetables (green beans, carrots, celery, corn, peas) and the thyme. Go light on the thyme, as a little goes a long way.

Increase the heat and bring the pot up to a simmer. Once it reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and allow it to simmer for 10­-15 minutes while preparing the biscuit dough. Stir the mixture occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Now begin making the biscuit dough.

Mix the vinegar or lemon juice into one cup of milk. In a large bowl combine two cups of flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir well to make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Slice the butter into pats and add to the flour mixture. Mix the biscuit dough by hand. It will have a fine, sandy texture when it is all mixed.

Stir in the cold milk just until the mixture is completely wet. The dough will be very wet and sticky at this point.

Returning to the filling, after simmering for 10­-15 minutes, the liquid in the pot should have thickened. Add one teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken the mixture if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vegetable mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 inch casserole dish.

Turn the biscuit dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into about the same size and shape as the casserole dish. A pie pan can also work for this part. Transfer the biscuit dough to top the vegetables in the dish. Use a sharp knife to cut a few slits in the biscuit dough to allow steam to escape. For a more golden brown crust, whisk and an egg with a fork and brush it onto the crust. Bake the dish in the preheated oven for 15­-17 minutes or until the biscuit top is golden brown.

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