That is, March 14, or 3/14. Of course, in the UK, the date is 14/3, so it doesn’t quite work, but I wanted to enter Serious Eats and Science Blogs’ Pi Day Bakeoff, so I’m stretching the concept a bit. But the filling of this pi(e), or cobbler, is pretty English, mixing chicken, leeks, and mushrooms; it even has a bit of sherry in it. It’s mostly the crust that’s been lightened up – i.e., there’s less of it. I served it alongside a nice mash that Andrew made, though I appreciate that that approach sort of defeats the purpose of having less crust.
Chicken, leek, and mushroom cobbler
1 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock
10 oz dry cider (yes, the alcoholic kind)
2 lbs chicken thighs and drumsticks
3 medium leeks, cleaned and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 T dried tarragon
1 batch biscuit dough
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
6 oz fresh oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped, tough stems removed
6 oz cremini or chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup dry sherry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1 T cornstarch
In a large saucepan, heat stock to a simmer and add chicken pieces, leeks, carrots, and tarragon. Pour in cider and add water to cover the chicken completely. Return to boil and then simmer until chicken is tender enough to pull away from the bone, about 25 min. Remove chicken and vegetables from pot, along with a bit of the liquid, and refrigerate about 20 min, then remove the bones and skin and discard them.
While chicken and vegetables are cooling, make biscuit dough for the cobbler topping.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a heavy saucepan or dutch oven that go from stovetop to oven, melt butter, add olive oil, and sauté mushrooms over medium heat until most of their liquid boils off. (If you don’t have such a pan, have a medium-sized casserole dish – about 8 inches in diameter – at the ready.) Add sherry to mushrooms, and then return chicken meat, carrots, and leeks to the pot, heating slowly until it is heated through and bubbling slightly. Stir cornstarch into milk, and pour into the pan with the filling. In whichever pot or dish you’re using to bake the cobbler, drop the biscuit dough on top by the spoonful.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serves 4.