Chicken (or turkey) biscuit pot pie

We survived Thanksgiving. Did you?

I should rephrase actually. I had the best Thanksgiving I can remember. We hosted. Nathan made me a table that seats 12 comfortably and our very first meal on that table was Thanksgiving dinner. That’s right- I said he made me a TABLE. Be jealous.

Thanksgiving dinner

All the food we prepared was perfect. Look at that spread! The recipe for the turkey and the gravy will follow later this week. Today I present a recipe that helps with more pressing matters- what to do with all that leftover turkey.

After all the cooking on Thursday we ate leftovers for two whole days. Making dinner last night was the first time I cooked for nearly 72 hours. I feel like this is some kind of record for me.

Chicken (or turkey) biscuit pot pie

This recipe is really quite simple- saute some veggies, make a roux, add stock and milk, reduce, mix, top with biscuits, bake. If done right you only dirty one pan and one bowl.

Chicken (or turkey) biscuit pot pie

Chicken (or turkey) biscuit pot pie (serves 6)
wildly adapted from Joy the Baker

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups shredded chicken or turkey meat
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cup thinly diced carrots
1 cup diced zucchini
1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 recipe for biscuits (I used these cheddar scallion biscuits)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Dice onion, garlic, carrots, zucchini, and thaw the frozen peas. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter (or olive oil, if using).  Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add minced garlic and saute for one minute more.  Add carrots, zucchini, and peas.  Cook for  about 3 minutes.  The vegetables will not be entirely cooked through.  Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl (or the 9×13 pan you will be cooking it all in).

In the same pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Whisk in the flour.  Mixture will be very thick.  Heat for 1 minute.  Turn flame to low and add the chicken stock.  Whisk until no flour bits remain.  Whisk in the milk.  Heat over medium low heat, stirring often, until the mixture is the consistency of warm, thick pudding.  Add chicken (or turkey).  Stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Mix the turkey cream mixture with the veggies (I did it right in the pan). Roll out biscuit dough and use a round, 1 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut biscuits.  Gather the dough scraps, knead for a few turns, and cut out more biscuits until no dough remains. Place the biscuits atop the filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until biscuits are done.

Chicken (or turkey) biscuit pot pie

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Soup never seems quite right without bread. I’m not a cracker and soup person. I prefer a good crusty bread to go alongside my soup. Something with a crunchy chewy crust that leaves crumbs all over the table.

When I made the saffron chicken veggie soup last week I had all the ingredients on hand and wasn’t about to make a run to the store just for bread. We will be fine with just soup, I thought. And yet as the soup got closer and closer to being finished I came to the sudden panicking realization that I needed bread. It had been a quiet lovely family day and the thought of sprinting out of the house didn’t appeal to me. Neither did the thought of eating the soup alone. In a moment of brilliance (or so it felt at the time) it occurred to me to ask Nathan to whip up some biscuits. He happily obliged.

Cheddar scallion drop drop biscuits

Biscuits are a husband job at my house. Do you have division of labor in your kitchen? Anything that involves yeast is his realm. The wok is his territory as well. And biscuits. All him. And, until my recent foray in to blueberry pancakes, pancakes were firmly on his to do list. As is french toast. I am sure I am forgetting some things but those are recipes I happily hand over and reap the benefits. He is GOOD at all of them.

So while I am posting this recipe, and I took the pictures, this is truly his.

Thank you Nathan for indulging me and solving our lack of bread crisis last week.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits (makes 1 doz)
Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450°. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt thoroughly into a large bowl. Drop in the cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces. Cut in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender, tossing the pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate them as you work. Add the cheddar cheese and chives and toss to coat. Add the milk all at once and mix with a rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or fork just until most of the dry ingredients are moistened. Drop about 1/3 cup of the batter in mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet. No need to shape or anything. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on the top and a deeper golden brown on the bottom, 10-12 minutes. Serve hot. Best eaten the same day.

Cheddar scallion drop biscuits

Apple crumb bread

This past week we have gone from scorching hot (by Oregon standards) to sweaters and jeans. The first cool-ish day we had I made treats to take to my sister and brother in law. They finished their first triathalon and I promised them muffins. The next cool-ish day that I had a spare moment I whipped up this bread. As you might recall I posted this recipe in my favorites last week. I had some apples on the counter I intended to feed to Little but never got around to it. They were getting questionable so I happily chopped them up and put them in this simple recipe.

Between the cooler weather and my house smelling almost like Christmas I started to get that summer-is-almost-over panic. What? That doesn’t happen to you? It is this sinking feeling in my stomach and I just know we are in for rain, tasteless middle of winter tomatoes, and one too many meal of winter squash for the lack of other tasty veggies to eat. It feels like doomsday.

Apple crumb bread

So to remedy that feeling for dinner yesterday I had fresh locally grown sliced peaches smothered in full fat yogurt and granola.

Embrace summer friends. It is almost over. And when it is make this bread. But not before because it might send you in to a similar panic.

Apple Crumb Bread (makes 1 loaf)

1/2  cup butter, softened
1/2  cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
2  teaspoons baking powder
2  eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2  cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled apples, diced

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3  tablespoons flour
2  tablespoons butter, softened
1/3  cup walnuts chopped

Apple crumb bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. If using a glass loaf pan bake 25 degrees lower. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until combined. Add the buttermilk and baking powder; and beat until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; and beat until combined. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; beat until combined.

Toss the apples in a bit of flour before adding to the batter. By hand stir in the nuts and apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Prepare the streusel topping by mixing in a small bowl the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Using a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts or pecans. Sprinkle streusel over the batter. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Apple crumb bread

Zucchini Bread

How do you know someone doesn’t have any friends?

They are buying zucchini in August.

Easy zucchini bread

Oddly enough our zucchini isn’t completely out of control this year. Or at least we have been staying on top of it. Maybe we are just eating more veggies. You know, like we all should be doing. We have only found two or three zucchini that grew to baseball bat size. I like baseball bat sized zucchini. They mean one thing and one thing only- zucchini bread.

Nathan has always been the zucchini bread master in our house but this week I found myself staring a very tattered recipe trying to decipher his notes. I did pretty well if I do say so myself. One loaf was gifted and the other inhaled by my household in less than 24 hours.

Easy zucchini bread

Years ago we entered a loaf of this bread that Nathan made in the local county fair. It won a blue ribbon. By which I mean it took first place (in case there was any doubt). I was stupid proud. That was the year we also won a blue ribbon for our blueberry muffins. And second place for my carrot cake.

Seeing as the muffins and bread already have blue ribbons I am shooting for a first place for my carrot cake this year. Entries are due on Sunday. Yes the same carrot cake I made (disastrously) into cupcakes not too long ago. I think I am also going to enter my rosemary pound cake and maybe, just maybe, lemon dream bars. If I get around the bars brace yourself for the most addictive lemon bar recipe in existence. Also it is my daddy’s favorite and I love making them for him.

Easy zucchini bread

Zucchini Bread (makes 2 loaves)

So there is a secret to this recipe. Or so Nathan believes. The key is to grate the zucchini and let it drain. Grate it, put it in a colander, and let it dry out over night in the fridge if you have the time. If you are pressed for time press it in the colander to get most of the moisture out. Wrap it in a cheese cloth and squeeze all the moisture out if you really want to be thorough. We are looking for DRY zucchini.

3 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda3 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Easy zucchini bread

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, baking powder. In another bowl beat eggs. Add and mix well sugar, vanilla, and oil. Add zucchini to egg mixture. Add dry ingredients, mixing well. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour into 2 buttered and floured loaf pans (line with parchment if you are like me and paranoid of the loaves sticking). Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Easy zucchini bread

Red Fife Wheat Bread

Camas Country Mill gave us a bag of Red Fife Wheat Flour to give away, so be sure to share, like, pin and then comment on this post to get entered in the drawing. Each counts as an entry. We will be drawing the winner on Friday, so spread the word!

Guest Post by my husband Nathan.

Kimmy and I have been trying to be more conscientious about what we eat with a focus on foods that are whole and generally more natural.   We also really enjoy making things from scratch and trying to source things as locally as possible.  Like most families, one of our staples is bread.  For the last several years, we have had a decent generic lighter wheat bread that we would always throw in the cart.   Although it was a relatively healthy choice and was certainly easy, it still had some preservatives and stabilizers.  With that in mind, and the desire to get to learn more about locally available ingredients, we thought it would be fun to start baking our own sandwich bread each week.

So far baking each week has been a great experience.  One of the challenges I always run into with bread is when to start in order to give the dough the proper time to rest while not interrupting my schedule too much.  My first attempt at the recipe below was late Sunday afternoon a few weeks back and resulted in a late night. I had miss read the recipe and didn’t account for one of the rises.  The bread turned out great though and when we repeated the effort the following week, I  had my timing worked out. Starting the bread after getting home from work fit in perfectly with sitting down to eat a wonderful dinner Kimmy had made, putting Little to bed, and enjoying some down time that evening.

The following recipe was given to me last month by the folks from Camas Country Mill when Kimmy and I stopped by their booth at the Saturday Market in Eugene. The original recipe was by Christina Jessie. I have adjusted some of the timing and added a few tips to reflect my experience baking these loaves.  Enjoy and be sure to comment below letting us know what you think of the bread and how it turns out if you make it with other types of flour.

Red Fife Wheat Bread Recipe

3 cups warm water (110 deg F)
3/4 Cup Honey at room temp
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1/3 Cup melted butter
8 Cups Red Fife Wheat Flour

In large mixing bowl combine water, honey, and yeast. After about about 5 minutes, once the yeast has softened, incorporate the butter and 4 cups of the flour, one cup at a time using your bread hook mixer attachment on low speed. Continue mixing for 7 minutes on low speed. Add salt and 2 – 3 more cups of the red fife flour one cup at a time till a stiff dough forms.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the remaining flour on a clean surface knead for 8 to 10 minutes till dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a greased metal bowl, turning the dough over to grease top. Cover the bowl loosely with a damp towel or with Saran Wrap and place it in a warm (75 to 85 degree F) draft free place until it has doubled in size (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour)

Punch down dough, knead for 1 minute, cover and let rise again until double (approximately 45 minutes)

Punch down a second time and then divide the dough in half. Shaping it into 2 loaves and place each loaf in a greased loaf plan. Place loaves in a warm place and allow loaves to rise to the top of the pans. The top of the dough will crest about an inch above the edges of the pan. (approximately 45 minutes)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until they are a deep golden brown. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped.

Butter the tops with 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter and let the loaves cool for at least 15 minutes in their pans before turning them out on a rack to cool completely.