Time honored recipes from those featured on CUpS, and from our own family treasures.
Mother’s Bistro and Bar, Portland
Light buttermilk biscuits topped with a rich creamy chicken gravy is serious comfort food. This recipe calls for Belle’s Chicken Soup as well as the chicken used to make the soup, so it’s like getting two meals for the price of one!
If you can’t make Belle’s Chicken Soup, you can use canned low-sodium chicken broth and a rotisserie chicken and still have a good meal. When you add the chicken, feel free to stir in any leftover vegetables you have lurking in the fridge, such as steamed broccoli or green beans or braised greens.
This recipe calls for a roux.
Ingredients to make Roux: Serves 6
- Roux is a mixture of equal parts butter (or other fat) and all-purpose flour. We use white or blond roux a lot in our cooking, usually to thicken soups, stews, sauces and gravies (as in this recipe). The longer the roux cooks, the less thickening power it has, but the more color and flavor it adds.
- A “white” roux is cooked over low heat for about 3 to 4 minutes until it has a sandy consistency and a beige color. A “blond” roux is cooked a minute or two longer for a light gold color.
- You only need a small amount of roux to thicken sauces or soups, usually 2 tablespoons for every cup of liquid.
- A “brown” roux is often made with oil or lard instead of butter and cooked for nearly an hour over low heat until it achieves the consistency of clay and a specific shade of brown, from peanut butter to light coffee or even a dark mahogany color. This roux is used to add depth of flavor and color to gumbo and étouffées, but will hardly thicken the soup or sauce at all. That’s why recipes requiring a brown roux call for a lot more of it – at least a cup.
- Roux should always be cooked over even, moderate heat so it doesn’t burn. If it’s going to be used as a thickener, as it is here, use a heavy-bottomed pan and medium heat, making sure to stir it frequently to keep it from scorching.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 7 cups chicken broth from Belle’s Chicken Soup
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups diced carrots (about 2 large)
- 2 cups diced celery (about 5 stalks)
- Meat from 1 (3-pound) cooked chicken (about 5 cups; you can use the ones from making Belle’s Chicken Soup. Remove the skin, and pick the meat off the bones, keeping the meat in large chunks)
- ¾ cup peas, fresh or frozen
- ¾ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
12 buttermilk biscuits, warmed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, for garnish
- In a heavy-bottomed large (8- to 10-quart) saucepan or soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour and mix well with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles fine, wet sand, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk the soup into the roux a little at a time, allowing the roux to absorb the liquid before adding more. (This will help avoid lumps.) Add the salt, pepper, carrots and celery. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally and skim any scum that rises to the surface and stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- Gently stir the cooked chicken (try not to break it up too much), peas, and corn into the gravy, return the liquid to a simmer, and cook five more minutes to heat the chicken and vegetables thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cut the biscuits in half widthwise (so there is a top and bottom). Lay cut biscuits on a plate (two per person, four half biscuits) and ladle a generous cup of gravy over the biscuits making sure to cover them completely. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
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