Guinness Braised Chicken with Cheddar Biscuits

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By Corinne

My inspiration for this dish was – my dish. I have a beautiful Pampered Chef stoneware deep pie pan that I’ve been itching to use for a few months but hadn’t quite gotten around to it. I am hardly a pastry chef and admittedly, part of the reason I hadn’t gotten around to it is that I didn’t really want to make pie crust- whether for a sweet or savory application.

At Christmas I had a delightful tourtiere and it made me think that I that I should perhaps make that in my new pretty dish. But alas, a tourtiere requires both a bottom AND a top crust, so I just didn’t get around to it.

Time has marched on, and my dish has sat on top of my toaster oven, much admired, but still unused.

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The weather recently has been dreadfully cold, and I’ve been craving soup and biscuits when it occurred to me that there is no rule saying that I HAVE to make a pie crust to use the pie plate. I’m a grown-up, I can eat ice cream for breakfast if I want to, so certainly I can just forgo the crust and make a topping of biscuits! This is something that I’ve occasionally seen on Pinterest, but never eaten or attempted myself. Enter many a Pinterest search, but I couldn’t quite find what I wanted. This Half Baked Harvest post came close, but I’ve been really into the black velvets lately and wanted to use Guinness. As well, since the whole point of this venture was to use this pie dish, I needed a much smaller amount.

If you don’t have a fancy deep pie plate, certainly a dutch oven will work-  and you could do it start to finish in one dish. Any oven safe casserole dish should work as well.

Time: prep about 20 minutes, cook 2.5 hours

Serves: probably 4 if you do a little side salad. Or maybe 4 anyway, we ate a ridiculous amount as we kept going back for more, so it’s a little hard to say.

You will need:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 andouille sausage
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 small/medium carrot
  • 1 small/medium parsnip
  • 1 small red pepper, or half of a large one
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika (preferably smoked)
  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of chicken or veggie broth or water
  • 1/2 cup 18% cream (or half and half 10%)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste

For biscuits:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • pinch of salt

Oven 300F

Dice onion, celery, pepper, carrot and parsnip. Add diced vegetables to a pan over medium heat until veg is starting to soften and gets some colour- about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F. Slice the andouille sausage in half lengthwise and then slice into thin half moons. Add this to the vegetables. If you happen to be using a different kind of sausage that requires cooking, add it to the vegetable mix when you first put it on.

When vegetables have browned slightly, use a garlic press and add your two cloves of garlic. Stir around for another minute or so, then add the can of Guinness. Add the 1/2 cup of broth and the 1/4 cup of tomato paste, 2 tsp paprika and 2 tsp thyme. Give it all a stir.

Allow to come up to a simmer, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Mine probably simmered closer to 10 since I ended up talking on the phone 🙂

Place chicken breasts whole in the bottom of whatever dish you are using.

Pour the delightful brothy mixture into your dish with the chicken. Cover with foil and place in 300F oven for 1.5 hours.

At 1.5 hours, remove from oven. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the pan. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed.

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Mix 2 tsp cornstarch into the 1/2 cup of cream. Pour the cream/cornstarch mixture into the pan and give it a little stir. Cover and return to oven for another 1/2 hour. Depending on how long your oven takes to preheat, you may want to turn up the oven to 400F for this last half hour so it will be up to temp when you want to cook the biscuits.

Prep biscuits. In a medium bowl, measure 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tbsp baking powder and pinch of salt. Using a cheese grater, grate 1/4 cup frozen butter into flour and give a little stir. Grate about 1 cup of cheddar cheese and set aside.

In a measuring cup, measure 3/4 cup cream or milk and two tbsp honey. Whisk honey into cream. Pour liquid into flour mixture and give a few stirs with a spoon until just combined. Fold in cheese.

Remove braised chicken from oven and uncover. If you haven’t already turned up oven to 400F, do so now.

Grab a piece of dough, if you need to you can shape it a bit, but avoid overworking the dough as much as possible. Work relatively quickly here placing dough evenly around dish. Return to oven for 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden on top. ** if your dish is as perilously full as mine was, throw a cookie sheet underneath so any drips won’t end up on the bottom of your oven.

You could probably garnish this with a bit of fresh parsley and it would taste great and make an even prettier picture. But it smelled so good I just couldn’t wait and forgot 🙂

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