Today’s recipe is inspired by the book A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White. This book was chosen for this month’s Cook the Books Club hosted by Debra from Eliot’s Eats.
I have to admit, I was incredibly skeptical as I started reading this book. I really do not agree with the lifestyle choices of some of the characters in the book. And yet, it was well written and I found myself surprisingly interested in Bobby and his outcome (however, I do not think he was ostracized from his family. He shut them out as much as they shut him out.)
Up until the last quarter of the book, I would have rated it 4 stars. Then the book abruptly switched point of view characters to a completely unlikeable character (Amelia) with an implausible storyline and I had to knock it down to 3. I can take solace in the fact the most of the book was pretty good. I only wish that the book would have continued on following Bobby & Alice and completely cut out Amelia. Alas. You can see my GoodReads review here.
Anyway, Bobby is a budding chef in New York City in the late 1980’s. His specialty is bringing classic southern dishes (inspired by his MeeMaw) to NYC with a classy twist. For instance, he added puff pastry to the top if his very popular chicken pot pie and often served herby cheddar biscuits.
I was inspired.
Instead of the puff pastry (for some reason I can’t bring myself to buy the frozen stuff and I’m not convinced that I want to tackle a homemade version), I decided to top my pot pie with a homemade cheddar biscuit (I adapted by favorite homemade flaky biscuit recipe for this purpose). And the pot pie filling? That’s inspired by the original 1950’ version of the Betty Crocker cookbook! I am so thrilled to have a reprint copy of the classic!
Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping
Pot Pie Filling
1 qt chicken stock
2 large chicken breasts, cut in cubes
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 small onion, diced
¾ cup peas
½ cup flour
1 cup cold milk
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 cups all purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
5 tbsp cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp honey
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bring the chicken stock to boil in a large saucepan. Add the chicken, carrots, and onion. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the carrots are mostly tender.
Whisk together the flour and cold milk. Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the chicken mixture and simmer until thickened. Stir in the peas and seasonings and cook for a minute longer. Pour the pot pie mixture into a pie plate.
While the chicken cooks, make the biscuit topping.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter cubes and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (or I just use my perpetually cold hands), until the butter is mostly mixed in with some small pea sized crumbles.
Stir in the buttermilk and honey until combined (the mixture will be quite sticky). Gently stir in the cheese and garlic powder.
Carefully place the biscuit mixture, bit by bit, over the top of the pot pie mixture. The pie plate will be very full. Place the pot pie in the oven (I place mine on top of a large cookie sheet to catch drips). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscuit topping the deeply browned and cooked through.