The final recipe in the Savory Tarts and Pies section of The Modern Baker is not one that I normally think of as a pie, even a savory one. Growing up, we simply called this dish Chicken and Biscuits, and given its lack of crust, it just doesn’t seem like a pie to me. Semantics aside, this is a dish I grew up loving but have never really made as an adult, so I was looking forward to trying Nick’s recipe.
Although the recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, I live in a household of white meat eaters (where did I go wrong?), so I used boneless, skinless breasts. These were poached in water with salt, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, onion, and carrots until the chicken was tender and cooked through.
I drained the chicken and vegetables, then put them in an oval gratin with some frozen peas.
Returning the broth to the pan, I brought it to a boil and reduced it before adding cream and seasoning with salt and pepper. That’s where the trouble began. Even though I continued cooking down the broth for some time, it still seemed too liquidy. However, I’ve learned to trust Nick’s methods — not to mention the fact that I usually follow new recipes pretty closely the first time I make them — so I added the sauce to the gratin.
The biscuit dough came together quickly in the food processor, and rather than cutting the biscuits with a cutter, the recipe calls for patting out the dough, cutting it into 12 pieces, and patting each one into a disk. I liked the ease and rustic look of the biscuits prepared this way.
When I put the biscuits on top of the dish, they sank down into the broth. I was afraid I might end up with a pie after all, with the biscuit “crust” baking under the filling. Nonetheless, I put the dish in the oven and baked it at 375°F for about 25 minutes, until the sauce was bubbly and the biscuits baked through.
Despite my fears, the biscuits baked up on the top of the dish and looked like what I remember as chicken and biscuits. The sauce underneath was still very soupy, so I served it with a slotted spoon.
The flavor was really good, but like Renee, I couldn’t get past how liquidy it was. I enjoyed baking and eating this chicken pie, and it made a nice weekday meal, but as far as this being “the” chicken and biscuit recipe for me, not so much.