For the stew:
- 6 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
- 5 cups of chicken stock--homemade if you have it
- 8 tbsp of butter (1 stick)
- 1 large yellow onion or 2 medium
- 3/4 cup of flour
- 1/4 cup of half and half
- 2 cups of medium-diced carrots, blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
- 1 10oz package of frozen peas (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup of minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp of thyme
- optional: 1 diced red bell pepper, 2 cups of chopped green beans (blanched, as well), or any other veggie you want to throw in....
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of wholewheat flour
- 1TBSP baking powder
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 stick of cold butter, diced
- 3/4 cup of half and half or milk
- optional: 1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, chives, or thyme
Then, in a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock to boiling, while meanwhile you dissolve 1 stick of butter in a large pot and saute the onions over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until transluscent. Add 3/4 cup of flour and stir that around in the onions over LOW HEAT for about 2 minutes--and do not stop stirring it the whole time under penalty of burnt flour/onion mixture. Add the hot chicken stock (it should be boiling by now) and simmer for about 1 more minute, or until thick. Add 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, the half and half and the thyme. Mix that all up so it looks all good and gravy-ish--then toss in the chicken, carrots, peas, parsley and any other veggies you chose to add. Mix it up, baby. Now pour it into a a big rectangular baking dish (I like to bake this in two batches--one smaller rectangular dish and a smaller round baking dish--then I freeze the smaller for later consumption when I am lazy and cannot bear the thought of cooking anything) and bake for 15 minutes or so.
Now, onto making those biscuits. Combine the two kinds of flour, baking powder, salt and sugar with a whisk in a somewhat large bowl. Add the stick of diced butter and cut the butter (using a pastry cutter or two forks) into the flour mixture until it is crumbly and has some butter chunks about the size of peas. Add the half and half (or milk) and herbs and mix that in until just mixed--you really want to mix as little as possible so your biscuits will be tender. Then, dump the dough on a well floured service, roll it out to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut out your biscuits. Now, if you are making this for Valentine's dinner, go ahead and use a heart cookie cutter, like I did (and everyone will think you are super Martha-Stewart-y and feel extra loved)--or you can use a plain old biscuit cutter, or even the top of a glass. The main thing is, just use all the dough up in whatever shape you cut these into--then arrange on top of your stew that is baking in the oven. Once all situated on the stew, bake the whole shebang for about another 20-30 minutes or until your biscuits are browned and the stew is all bubbly. And serve.
I actually made this today but am not even serving it to my family because Mr Beeper and I will be in Guatemala next weekend over Valentine's Day (and our anniversary) and Beeper will be staying with dear friends--so I baked this and am freezing it to give to them before we leave so they can enjoy it on Valentine's Day with Beeper and their own families. Let the chicken and biscuit love begin...