Weather: 45 degrees, sunshine and glorious fall colors What I’m listening to: Autumn, George Winston
When Pastor Alaska is out of town, I like to cook things that I enjoy that he doesn’t particularly like. For example, he has something against savory pies. The man doesn’t like pot pie, people. What kind of Alaskan are you, anyway, Pastor Alaska?! That’s downright wrong. And quiche, well apparently, that’s even worse than pot pie. Quiche, of any variety, is completely out of the question where my husband is concerned.
Now, I know I’m giving him a hard time, but I’m actually very blessed to have a tremendously un-particular spouse when it comes to food. He’s willing to try just about anything… at least once. The fine folks at our church are well aware of his adventurous spirit and will often bring in some traditional Alaska eats to sample on Sunday mornings – like muktuk – the frozen skin and blubber of a bowhead whale (I’ve also eaten muktuk; it’s a rite of passage – chewy, oily, and very oceany). Once, in Haiti, Pastor Alaska ate the eyeball of a goat that was given to him, as a special delicacy, in his stew. The man could probably join the likes of Tony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern on their global extreme-eating tours and hold his own.
This of course begs the question: What’s the problem with chicken pot pie? I just don’t get it. So, when he left for Haiti a couple weeks ago, I was quick to make one. And she was a beauty, this pot pie. Oh yes. Delightful. That creamy chicken and vegetable filling and those golden, fluffy cheddar buttermilk biscuits all steaming together in a cast iron skillet. Next time Pastor Alaska is out of town, I’m planning to make this again. It’s exactly the hot, homemade comfort food you want as temperatures drop and the seasons change.
Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, stirring and sautéing until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes more, allowing the flour to cook a bit (this helps eliminate a "floury" taste in your filling, so don't skip this step).
Pour in the chicken broth and the milk, stirring until combined. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a low and let simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as the mixture thickens. Add the chicken, peas & carrots, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 425.
To Make the Biscuits:
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese, followed by the buttermilk, until it all just comes together and forms a thick, sticky dough (be careful not to overwork the dough - this is the key to a fluffy biscuit).
To Assemble your pot pie:
Drop the biscuit dough in 1/4 cup sized dollops onto the top of the pot pie filling. Sprinkle the biscuits with black pepper. Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Serve promptly.
*I added some of the chicken juices from the rotisserie chicken to the chicken broth to add depth of flavor. If using a rotisserie chicken or leftover homemade roast chicken and have juices on hand, I recommend this.
I wish I had cast iron out here at the lodge this fall, because I would be making this tomorrow! Gotta try it soon. PS your rocky road cookies are fantastic! Loved them- perfectly chewy and chocolatey :)
Do you have a dutch oven? That would work well, just leave the lid off when baking. Otherwise, you could make the filling on the stove in a standard large skillet, then transfer it into an oven-safe casserole dish before adding the biscuits on top.
Welcome! I’m Maya – a food blogger and food columnist based on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. ~ Read More