A while ago, Crafty Cakewagon presented a recipe for vegan chicken and dumplings. My mother-in-law used to make chicken and dumplings, and I loved them. I decided to make Crafty’s vegan version myself, but got sidetracked by images of chicken pot pie, which my own mother made, and which I used to make in my young bride days – the days when a chicken made three meals, the third, either something like this, or perhaps chicken noodle soup. This vegetarian version turned out to be quite tasty. It is not for the faint of heart, as it has a lot of butter, and hence, is not very heart healthy. But that makes it all the better!
No-Chicken Pot Pie
For the (not-chicken) innards:
1 large onion, chopped,
4 cloves garlic sliced,
1 cup celery, chopped,
4 medium carrots, diced,
2 cups sliced mushrooms,
1 cup frozen peas,
small jar pimentos, drained
For the sauce:
6 T butter,
6 T flour,
½ t salt and some pepper,
1 3/4 C broth, (I used kosher chicken broth powder in 1 cup water and ¾ cup wine,)
2/3 C milk,
For the crust:
1 cup self-rising (raising?) flour,
Walnut sized glob of butter (a large walnut,)
Enough milk to get it all moist – start with ¼ cup.
Set the oven for 400°
Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and give it a few more stirs. Add the celery and carrots, and sauté until the carrots are softened a bit. Stir in the mushrooms and stir till the mushrooms are cooked and the mushroom juice has mostly evaporated. Drop in the pimento, and set the whole thing aside.
In another pan, cook the butter until it is bubbling. Stir in the flour and whisk until the mixture is very smooth. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the liquids, and continue whisking until you have a very thick sauce. Cook at least a minute, stirring all the while. Gently fold in the vegetables. Transfer the mixture to the oiled dish in which you plan to bake it.
Prepare the biscuit crust. Cut the butter into the self-raising flour until it has the consistency of coarse meal. Dump the whole thing on one end of a clean work surface. With the palm of your hand, squoosh the flour mixture, about 1/5 cup at time, across the work surface (frissage.) This incorporates the butter nicely. Put this mixture back in its bowl and slowly add the milk, tossing the flour gently to mix it in. When the dough is barely moist throughout, gather it into a ball, and, on a floured surface, pat it into the shape to fit the top of your baking dish.
Lay the biscuit dough on the vegetable mixture, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is a bit golden.