January 26, 2010

The most versatile meal....

This is a meal I grew up on.  We call it Potted Chicken.  It is so homey and true comfort food. It is also very healthy.  It can be many meals!  Usually, I make it and serve it over rice.  If I have time, I make the rice with some vermicelli. If I am feeling really domesticated I make some biscuits for the side(my boys love this part).  Once in a blue moon, I get really ambitious and turn it into chicken pot pie.  Tonight I decided to use Ina Garten's idea of chicken stew.  I made my Potted Chicken and then put it into a casserole dish:

Then I made some biscuits and put them on top.  (I did this early in the day). 20 Minutes before we wanted to eat, I popped the whole thing in the oven.  It came out great and I only had one dish to clean up!

It was a big hit in my house.   This is also a great dish to make ahead and throw in the crockpot for later or if you're going to be eating in shifts.  This is a meal you can't ruin! Change the amounts, add different vegetables, do whatever you want! :)  This is one recipe you'll go to time and time again!

Potted Chicken(serves 4-5)

4 split chicken breasts on bone (with skin or without)
5-6 carrots, sliced thick
4 stalks celery sliced thick
1 medium onion chopped
chicken stock or broth(I use Swanson Chicken Stock)
1 heaping Tablespoon Flour
2 tblsp Olive Oil

In dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add chicken breast and cook until browned, then flip and brown other side.  Add chicken broth - there should be about  1 1/2 inches in pan.  Add carrots and celery, cover and cook on low until  chicken is cooked through and tender(approximately 1 hour).  Uncover, remove chicken and cut off bone.  Cut chicken into small pieces.  Before adding chicken back to pot, thicken sauce.  Add a little more chicken broth, bring to a boil. In cup, mix flour and water until smooth, add to chicken broth.  Stir over high heat until thickened.  Add chicken back in and Voila!  Dinner is served!  Serve it over rice, couscous, biscuits or put in casserole dish, place biscuits on top(see recipe below) and bake.

Biscuits for Potted Chicken(from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)

2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup half and half
1 egg mixed with 1 tblsp water, for egg wash.

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment.  Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.  Add the half and half and combine on low speed.  Dump dough on a well floured board and roll out to 1/8 inch.  Cut out 12 circles with a  2 1/2 inch round cutter. Place biscuits on top of filling.  Brush with egg wash and for 20 minutes until biscuits are brown.

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