I am a huge fan of Chicken Pot Pie and Chicken and Dumplings. Pretty much any hearty stew with a good starch thrown in makes my stomach start to growl. I love the way it smells on the stove, it brings me back to my childhood. I am always on the look out for new ways to make the old classics. A few weeks ago Mark Bittman posted an article about Chicken Cobbler. Isn't a cobbler meant for berries? I have to admit that I almost didn't make this one, it seemed so simple, too simple actually. I was afraid it would be bland or boring. For some reason it kept calling to me. I'm so glad it did. It was hearty, filling, tasty, and so very easy to make.
Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler
adapted every so slightly from Mark Bittman
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2cups chicken stock
1 tsp. bouquet garni*
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup buttermilk
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the leek, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add stock and bouquet garni*; bring to a boil, and let bubble for a minute or two, add carrots and chicken and reduce heat so the liquid simmers. Cook until carrots are almost tender and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are brightly colored and just tender, another minute or so.
Whisk cornstarch with a few tablespoons of broth, add to pot and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and set aside.
Put flour in a food processor with baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter and process until mixture resembles small peas, no more than 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in buttermilk and egg until it just comes together; it should be sticky.
Drop spoonfuls of batter on top of vegetables and chicken and smooth with a knife, covering as much surface area as possible but leaving a few gaps for steam to escape. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden on top and bubbly underneath. Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.
*If you do not have Bouquet Garni feel free to use a blend of your favorite spices. (savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage and tarragon)