Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creamed Chicken with Cornmeal Biscuits

  This is a fine example of Southern comfort food.  Simple milk gravy and chicken are plenty fine, but the cornmeal cheddar biscuits really make this one a keeper.  The slightly sweet biscuit has a wholesome tooth from a bit of cornmeal, and the cheddar rounds it all out.

Creamed Chicken with Cornmeal Biscuits

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed or shredded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or cooking spray
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups milk (I use whole for this part)
3 cups baking mix (like Bisquick or Pioneer Brand)
3/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar (2 ounces by weight)
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup low-fat milk (I use skim)
flour for dusting

  Preheat your oven to 400°.  I like to start this recipe off by making the biscuits first, so I can keep my attention when we start making the gravy.  In a large mixing bowl, add the baking mix, cornmeal, cheddar, and sugar.  Give it a good mix and pour in the 1 cup of low-fat milk.  Stir the biscuit dough, just until moistened.  The dough will come together when you knead, which is our next step.

  Sprinkle some flour out on the surface you are going to use to knead the dough.  Turn the dough out of the bowl on to the floured surface and knead the dough about 8-10 times.  Pat or roll out the dough so that it's about 1/2 inch thick.  Find a 2 1/2 inch round cutter and dip it into some flour and begin cutting out the biscuits.  I find 8 biscuits are a perfect fit for my 10 inch pan.

  Now we can turn our attention to the chicken.  In a small mixing bowl, put the chicken, flour, salt and pepper.  Toss until all the chicken is coated.  Take a oven-proof skillet, like cast iron, and heat the pan with oil (or spray with the cooking spray, if you prefer.)  Dump the floured chicken into the pan and start stirring.  The flour will be difficult to see as it cooks into the oil. Just allow this to cook for short time only - maybe 30 seconds, when you are sure the flour is in the oil.  Pour in the 2 cups of milk.  Stir constantly and bring the milk to a boil.  At this point, you should have a thickened gravy on your hands.  Move the pan to a cool spot on the stove and lay the cut biscuits on top of the chicken and gravy.  Put the pan in the heated oven to bake for 15 to 18 minutes, just until the biscuits take on a nice, golden color.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

  I like mine served up with a simple salad.  I hope you like this as much as we do at home!

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