I decided to do the opposite of what all those “semi-homemade” shows and cookbooks do – I wanted to make it from scratch.I figured I could make whole-wheat biscuits and fill them with a less-soupy version of homemade chicken soup. I would've used whole-wheat noodles in the filling, but didn't have the right kind. I decided to try it using brown rice instead.
They turned out wonderfully – what my sister called a “winner, winner chicken dinner.”
Here's how I did it. And of course, you can always make the original recipe, which is linked above. It would probably definitely be faster, and still tasty.
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner Mini Pot Pies
(This whole wheat biscuit recipe is from “Joy of Cooking”)
7/8 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Add and mix well:
1 cup whole wheat flour
Cut into the flour with a pastry blender (in my kitchen, a pastry blender is also known as a fork):
1/3 cup butter or shortening
When the mixture has a fine-crumb consistency, stir in with a fork:
1 cup cultured sour cream or buttermilk (I used 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt – it's healthier and I can eat it, even though I'm lactose intolerant)
My filling recipe is:
one medium onion
two celery ribs, chopped
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 10-ounce can of chicken (I know, I know, but it makes soup so quickly!)
2 rice-cooker cups of cooked brown rice (I always cook the rice separately first)
chicken broth to moisten
Other pot pie ingredients:
4 tablespoons (more or less to taste) of shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon (or less) Italian spices
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Chop onions, celery, garlic and slice carrots. Saute in olive oil on stovetop. Add chicken and rice, and enough chicken broth to moisten.
Grease a muffin tin. Roll out your biscuit dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out your biscuits – you need 16, but they can be pretty thin. Take eight and squish them into the muffin tin, covering the bottom and the sides. Add a spoonful of filling, then squish the other eight biscuits over the top.
Dust each pot pie with Italian spices, and add about half a tablespoon of shredded cheese on top.
Bake 15 to 18 minutes at 375 degrees, or until biscuits are golden brown. Run a knife around pies to remove. Makes eight mini pot pies.
Here are some other notes on the pot pies:
I made the filling and biscuit dough in the morning, to be baked after work.
However, if I ever make the filling with rice again, I will make it right before I cook the pot pies. During the day, the rice absorbed the chicken broth. I was worried the pot pies would be dry, but it wasn't a problem. Still, I think it might've worked better to use the filling right away. Or, using whole-wheat noodles instead would take care of this problem, too.
Next time I make this recipe, I will also replace some or all of the butter in the biscuit recipe with ground flaxmeal. The trick is to substite enough flax to equal three times the original fat content.
(Edit: I made it again, this time with all whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of flaxmeal. It worked, but it definitely tasted healthier. However, I've also noticed that it's more filling, as well.)
Even though these pot pies are made with whole wheat flour and brown rice, they still felt heavy on the carbs. They're definitely not the healthiest, but they turned out so deliciously that they may become a special treat of a dinner, to be served with a large helping of vegetables.
Photo is from the original recipe.