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Chicken Pot Pie with Scallion Biscuit Crust

Sunday night's leftover chicken and gravy never tasted so good. The tender biscuit crust is like one big dumpling sopping up the creamy sauce. It's easier to make and handle than a traditional flaky crust.

3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (reserve 1/4 cup sliced greens for crust)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup leftover homemade chicken gravy (or canned gravy)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups large chunks leftover roast chicken meat (about 1 pound)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup thinly sliced carrots, cooked until crisp-tender and drained

Scallion Biscuit Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens (see above)
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
About 6 tablespoons milk

For filling: In Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in scallions and cook 2 minutes, until wilted. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add milk, broth and gravy and whisk well.

Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper.

Stir in chicken, peas and carrots; return to boil and taste for seasoning. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.

For crust: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set out 8-by-11-by-1/2-inch glass baking dish.

In large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in scallion greens. With fingertips or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. With fork, briefly stir in oil. Stir in enough milk to form a soft dough.

Turn out onto floured board and knead 4 to 5 times. With floured rolling pin, roll to an 8-by-11-inch rectangle.

Transfer chicken filling to baking dish (dish won't look full). Put crust on top. Slash crust in center 3 times and brush with a little milk.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until crust is well browned and filling is bubbly.

Makes 4 to 5 main-dish servings or 8 servings as part of a larger spread.

-- Miriam Rubin

Sunday, February 25, 2001

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