Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler

 
I adapted this recipe from a new favorite cookbook, The Back in the Day Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day.  It’s a wonderful book full of old fashioned recipes based on their customers’ favorites from their Southern bakery in Savannah, Georgia.  It’s also packed with their baking know-how tips and gorgeous photos.  I’m currently reading it cover to cover and enjoying every page.
I’ve made many a chicken pot pie in my day and while this recipe goes by a different name, that’s what I still consider it.  It doesn’t have a bottom crust, and I’m ok with that.  It still has chicken and vegetables and gravy.  Where this recipe differs is that every single person at our dinner table loved it.  That just doesn’t happen often at our house, folks.  I will be making it often.
 Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler
                                                                                   
 
                                                                    Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler
 
Filling:
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup finely diced yellow or brown onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 celery ribs, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
5 cups store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
The Topping:
Buttermilk Bicones (recipe below)
 
 
Preheat oven to 450 ͦ Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray (I like butter flavor for this).
      Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender (about 5-8 minutes).  Add the carrots, celery, salt and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes more before adding the chicken broth.  Bring all to a simmer and lower heat to med-low, partially cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      Stir in the cream, raise the heat again to medium, and cook, uncovered, until all vegetables are tender, about another 12-15 minutes.
      Meanwhile, melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and stir the flour into it to make a smooth paste.   
    When the vegetables are tender, lower the heat and whisk the flour paste a little bit at a time into the broth until combined.  Add the roasted chicken, peas, corn, thyme, sage and cayenne.  Cover the pot and let the filling simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
    Pour into the prepared baking dish.  Arrange the unbaked biscones over the filling, leaving about ¼ inch between them.  Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
 
 
Buttermilk Biscones   
 
1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cardamom
2 sticks cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups buttermilk (more or less, as needed)
 
Preheat oven to 375 ͦ.   Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
     In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom and whisk until completely incorporated.  Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, or do this in a food processor using quick pulses. You should end up with various-sized pieces of butter, from sandy patches, to pea-sized and larger ones as well.  Gradually pour in the buttermilk and fold the ingredients until you have a soft dough and there are no bits of flour at the bottom of the bowl.  If this happens before you’ve used all of the buttermilk, don’t use the entire 1 ½ cups or it’ll end up to sticky.  If you’ve used it all up but it’s still too dry, use a little more buttermilk.
     Gently pat the dough in the bowl until it resembles a loaf of bread.  Dust the top of it lightly with flour.  Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet so that they are 1 inch apart.  Lightly tap the tops down. 
     Brush lightly with extra buttermilk before baking.
 
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Chicken Rice Casserole

 
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File this under “Comfort food” as this is one recipe my kids will ask for whenever they come home.  It’s easy to throw together, easier still if you use chicken meat from a grocery roasted chicken, and great to make in the morning and pop it in the oven in the evening.  Serve with a salad and bread and you’ve got your meal. 
 
 
Chicken Rice Casserole
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
 
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth
4  half chicken breast, roasted or boiled , then diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup butter, melted
 
 
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium sized saucepan and add rice; reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, until all the broth is absorbed.  Set aside.
 
Combine the chicken, celery, onion, cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and curry powder  in a large bowl and mix well.  Mix the rice into the chicken mixture and turn into a large baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.   Combine the Ritz cracker crumbs, almonds and butter and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
 
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes until golden brown. 

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