February 26, 2013 by productoverprocessed
In a much-needed push to be more economical with our grocery shopping, many of our recent Sunday meals have revolved around what we can do with a quart of chicken stock. Every week we roast a chicken, save the leftover meat, and make stock from the carcass for use the following week. This week, we had a particularly large bird (4.5 lbs), so we had almost 2 quarts of stock and 3 cups of leftover chicken. We did chicken noodle soup last week, and this week, we were feeling something a little more substantial. Once I realized that I also had a quart of buttermilk from a local dairy in the fridge, it was a foregone conclusion: we were having chicken and biscuits.
Michael Ruhlman has a great recipe for chicken and dumplings in his book Ratio (which he has also posted on his blog), and though we’ve tried and enjoyed it, the pate a choux dumplings are sometimes a little too messy for me, and they don’t really satisfy on that comfort food level food. Biscuits, on the other hand, are one degree removed from nirvana, as far as I’m concerned. So, I decided to use Ruhlman’s technique for chicken stew, omit the dumplings, and pour the result over some southern biscuits, adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe (but made a gazillion times better with the addition of some local white cheddar). My adaptations of those recipes (and pictures from my wife!) follow.
Chicken Stew (adapted from Ruhlman’s Ratio)
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2-3 cups leftover chicken
1 quart homemade chicken stock (recipe will follow in a later post)
1 bay leaf
Heat butter in Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, add onion and a three-fingered pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add flour, stirring so it doesn’t burn. Cook until a toasted aroma wafts out of the pot, about 5 minutes more.
Add stock, chicken, carrot, celery, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Add salt to taste (it will probably need more). Finish with some freshly ground black pepper.
Pour over a cheddar biscuit (recipe below) and enjoy!
Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits (adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe)
8.5 oz all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold (Kerrygold is my favorite)
1 cup cold buttermilk, plus a little extra for brushing
1 cup high-quality white cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and a four-fingered pinch kosher salt in a large mixing bowl. Rub butter into dry ingredients until it looks like crumbs (do this fast so fats won’t melt). Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk, then add 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until just combined.
Turn dough out onto floured surface. Fold it over itself a few times. Press into 1-inch thick rectangle. Cut into 9-12 biscuits, depending on how large you want them.
Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk, then sprinkle on remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake biscuits until golden brown on top, 15-20 minutes.