Monday, December 7, 2009

Chicken & Biscuits

Talk about comfort food. Chicken and Biscuits is the quintessential America comfort food. I had never made it or even tried it before I took the plunge with this recipe yesterday. When I read the recipe to start cooking the Chicken and Biscuits it was already around 5:30 pm so I did not have two hours and 20 minutes to spend cooking a whole chicken. Instead, I used chicken breasts. I not only had some on hand but I knew it would take a whole lot less than an hour to cook them. I left out the mushrooms because I don't like them. My boys would have probably loved it if I had used them. Sorry guys. I also reduced the amount of salt and I used dried tarragon because that is what I had. The broth for the chicken and biscuits is so delicious. I was skeptical about using cayenne pepper but it turned out well. The recipe comes from and it was posted there by John Mitzewich. Good job, John!

As John says, don't let the ingredient list fool you, this chicken and biscuits recipe is very simple to make and almost impossible to mess up!

Makes 8 portions of Chicken and Biscuits
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

1 large chicken (about 4 pounds)
2 quarts water or broth
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 whole clove
3 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 ribs celery, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
6 mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 package (8 portions) buttermilk biscuits, baked according to the package directions.

Rinse the chicken and place it in a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid. Add the water, bay leaf, garlic, and clove. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Skim foam from the surface, cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Carefully remove the chicken to a bowl to cool. Strain the broth into another bowl and reserve. Discard bay leaf, garlic, and clove.

Place the pot back on medium heat, and add the butter, carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms. Saute the vegetables in the butter for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the flour, and cook stirring for about 5 minutes, or until the flour begins to smell like cooked pie crust.

Add the reserved broth and whisk into the flour and vegetable mixture. Add the salt, pepper, herbs and spices. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

In the meantime, remove all the cooled chicken from the bones, and tear into large chunks. When the vegetables are done, stir in the cream, and the chicken. Bring back to simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through. More liquid can be added in this step if the gravy is too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve hot in bowls, topped with a buttermilk biscuit.


The Creative Cook