Saturday, November 21, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Biscuit Bake

Prep Time: 20 min + Bake Time: 20 min
America's Test Kitchen 30 minute meals
This hearty, comforting dish comes together quickly with shredded chicken, frozen peas and carrots, and a surprise ingredient—Boursin cheese.

Creamy Chicken and Biscuit Bake
Why this recipe works: Dropping cheesy biscuit dough over a hot chicken filling ensures that the biscuits will cook through quickly and that the bottoms of the baked biscuits won't be doughy.

1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)
2 (5.2 ounce) packages Boursin cheese (Garlic and Fine Herbs variety works best)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (1/4 c. with chicken + 1 c. in biscuit mix)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (3/4 c. with chicken + 1/2 c. in biscuit mix)
Salt and Pepper
4 scallions, sliced thin
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat chicken, Boursin, 1/4 cup cream, 3/4 cup broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, scallions, and vegetables in large pot over medium heat, stirring often, until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to greased 13x9 inch baking dish.

2. Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, cheddar, 1 cup cream, 1/2 cup broth, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Space heaping tablespoons of batter about 1/2 inch apart over chicken mixture (you will have about 16 small biscuits). Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Test Kitchen Discoveries
1. Boursin cheese forms the flavor base for a very simple sauce. This cheese comes in different flavors, but we prefer the Garlic & Fine Herbs variety in this recipe.
2. Store-bought rotisserie chicken works perfectly. Discard the skin and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.
3. When making the biscuit topping, it’s important to work the dough as little as possible; the more it’s mixed, the more protein develops in the flour, which leads to toughness.

Megan's Notes
1. Costco has $4.99 rotisserie chickens and 3-pack Boursin cheese, making this a really affordable meal.
2. Definitely use "Sharp" cheddar cheese. I tried it with "mild" that was on sale, and blech, it loses its edge. Punny.
3. The biscuits don't spread very much, I use an OXO 1 1/2 T cookie scoop and place a little closer together.
4. I use 2 cups of frozen peas and carrots.
5. I am not very fast at pulling chicken off the bone. I have yet to make this in under 40 minutes. But if you prepare the chicken ahead of time you can throw this together really quickly.
6. For a lighter version you can use Boursin Light, and substitute milk for the cream in the sauce, but the biscuits fall flat without the cream, so I wouldn't substitute anything in the biscuits.

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