Delicious, comforting and a total throwback to what I ate growing up, my mom sent me this recipe a few months ago with an email stating: “Remember this recipe? I used to make it all the time when you were at home but like the good mom I am, I’ve since changed it so it doesn’t use that cream of chicken stuff you hate. And just so you know, you ate it every week with the cream of chicken soup and it didn’t seem to do you any harm.”
See why I love my mom? She loves to get the last word.
And she’s right. I loved this meal growing up but I love it even more now, especially because it is still an extremely simple meal to throw together even with the subtle changes to the secret sauce. Perfect dinner fare for the chilly winter months (if you live somewhere that isn’t absolutely freezing and blizzardly right this second, we need to unfriend each other immediately), the hearty goodness of all the flavors will stick to your ribs. Uh, in a good way, I promise. Despite the looks of it, this meal is surprisingly healthful. Not calorie-free and skinny, but definitely on the lighter end of comfort food.
Throw in whatever vegetables make you happy. It’s called “confetti” for Pete’s sake, so let the colors shine! Of course, my brood fought tooth and nail over the cheddar biscuit topping, but hey, I didn’t intervene because I knew they were bound to get a couple peas in there, too.
Note: The veggies in this dish are so easily adaptable. I usually add in chopped carrots, too (but didn't have them when I snapped the photos for this post). Think: celery, green peppers, carrots, etc. Also, if you have cooked chicken (or turkey) you need to use up, just skip the first step of cooking the chicken and use your already cooked chicken later in the recipe. Even easier!
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts), cubed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow or white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 cup diced red pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add them to the hot skillet. Cook the chicken, stirring every so often, until browned and cooked through, 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Add the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and red pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are crisp tender but not cooked through all the way (they'll cook longer in the oven). Stir in the flour and whisk the mixture together, cooking over medium heat until the flour starts to turn golden, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, whisking vigorously to eliminate any lumps of flour on the vegetables. Continue adding the chicken broth and whisking and then do the same with the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper (plus more to taste, if needed) and stir in the frozen peas and cooked chicken. Immediately transfer the mixture to a 9X13-inch baking dish.
- To make the biscuit mixture, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the eggs, milk and cheese, mixing just until evenly moistened. Scoop tablespoon-size portions of dough onto the top of the chicken/vegetable mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately.