One-Pot Wonders

Poor Me Chicken and Biscuits

September 21, 2015
14 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

If you're sick, sad, or have a case of the Mondays, this is possibly the world's most perfect comfort food. It's warm, soothing, and carb-y and made all in one pot so there's no trashing your kitchen. 'Cause if you are sad or sick or grumpy, lots of dirty dishes can make you sadder or sicker or grumpier (that's a well-known scientific fact). The recipe is also infinitely variable so you can use it to clean out your crisper/cold cellar.

Traditionally, you would probably include celery, but my sons don't like celery so I left it out. But you can pretty much use whatever vegetables you have lying about—broccoli stems, chard, regular potatoes. If you want to make it vegetarian, you can just throw in some beans and use vegetable broth. And whatever biscuit recipe makes you happy should work just fine—just cook it per the recipe's directions. For this version, I used the Cooks' Illustrated Science of Cooking drop biscuit recipe because it takes one bowl and they come out so fluffy and buttery you'll instantly get over whatever head-cold you have.

Note 1: if you make the chicken soup/stew ahead of time, please make sure it is hot when you go to cook the biscuits. I know that sounds fairly self-evident, but speaking from sad, sad experience, you will end up with burned biscuit tops and doughy biscuit bottoms.... it defeats the whole purpose of trying to cook something to make you feel better.

Note 2: There is no shame in eating the bottom off of all the biscuits - because that's the best part. They cook in delicious broth and get dumpling-esque (totally made that word up) on the bottom while still retaining the biscuit structure on top. This will make you feel better, no matter what the problem. So snitch away! —Niknud

Test Kitchen Notes

When I cook for myself, it is ninety-five percent vegetarian (I had to Google how to poach chicken), so I picked this dish to please my meat-loving husband. The dish turned out to be perfect for the beginning of fall, rich from the chicken and gravy and just fragrant enough, thanks to the wine and fresh herbs. I will make this again, but hope you won’t fault me if I cheat and use rotisserie chicken! —CarbsForever

What You'll Need
  • For the chicken and biscuits:
  • 2 tablespoons fat (bacon fat, olive oil, butter, or schmaltz)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 cups heated chicken broth (the poaching liquid works fine here, too)
  • 3 cups poached chicken, chopped or shredded (I won't tell if you use rotisserie)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper
  • Melted butter, to top
  • For the drop biscuit dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted then cooled, plus 2 additional tablespoons for brushing on top
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  1. For the chicken and biscuits:
  2. In a heavy-bottomed, oven safe pan (high sided sauté pan or Dutch oven), melt the fat over medium heat. In it, sauté the carrots, sweet potato, and onion until just tender. Remove the vegetables and return the pan to the heat.
  3. Melt butter over the heat and then add the flour, whisking constantly until the flour darkens and takes on a nutty smell. Add a splash of white wine and whisk until most of the additional liquid has been absorbed. Then, one ladle at a time, add the warmed chicken broth and whisk until thickened. You should end up with roughly 2 cups of gravy. You can make it thicker or thinner as you prefer, but you want enough liquid to allow the biscuits to absorb some of the delicious chicken goo (technical term) as they cook.
  4. Add in the chicken, cooked vegetables, herbs, and spices and stir to combine. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Allow the filling to cook on low heat for a while to get the flavors all cozy together, about 20 minutes (or the amount of time it takes to make and drink a hot toddy) but let your conscience be your guide here. Add more broth if it starts to get too thick. If you're making this ahead you can stop here and store or freeze.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Drop the biscuit dough on top of the filling in 1/4 cup scoops. Feel free to fill in the cracks with the scraps—this is comfort food, so looks are secondary. Use up all of that biscuit-y goodness!
  6. Cook for about 14 to 17 minutes or until the tops get all golden. Remove and brush the top of the biscuits with some melted butter. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. And, if I may be so bold as to suggest, leave a pot holder or towel over the scorching hot handle so that you don't burn yourself when you return to serve. I only mention it because I burned the tar out of my hand approximately two dozen times before I finally learned to leave something over the handle as a sort of red flag.
  1. For the drop biscuit dough:
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter to the buttermilk and combine until it turns clumpy. Using a spatula, combine the wet and dry ingredients only until they just comes together, handling as little as possible.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Recipe by: Niknud

Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!

27 Reviews

SarahRD April 7, 2024
I can’t stop thinking about this dish. I made it exactly as written (and did add 3 stalks of celery as the author mentioned she generally omits). Its amazing! And I think this will be my go-to meal to bring to someone (new baby, surgery/sickness, grieving family, etc). Sooooooo good!!!
Scott B. October 14, 2019
This is really great! The only changes I would make is to brush the biscuits with the melted butter PRIOR to cooking. The after method really makes them soggy. I also added some frozen peas. Delicious!
Blackbird F. October 2, 2018
My 3 boys and I wolfed this down this evening. So easy to make (I bought a roasted chicken) and when dinner time was nearing, I whipped up the super simple bisquit mix. Popped it in the oven and we were eating within 20 minutes. A perfect cold-weather weekday dinner!
Tin September 26, 2018
I just made this for dinner. I followed the directions exactly, but added more veggies to balance the mom guilt. It turned out great! The only complaint was that it needed more biscuits. They weren't getting more biscuits.
I will definitely add it to the rotation.
Melissa February 16, 2018
This is one of my go-to recipes and a huge crowd-pleaser. My roommates and I all trade off making it and have collectively cooked it up dozens of times. Always cheers us up after a long day of work. Thank you, Niknud!
Niknud July 12, 2018
Just saw this comment and I'm so happy you like it. It is what my kiddos always ask for when they get sick. Or whenever we do a roast chicken.
Annaperenna September 15, 2017
This recipe makes me happy. I honestly make it whenever I am feeling sorry for myself. And I have had many friends and family (who have had the misfortune to have to bear with me when I am in such a mood) ask me for the recipe.
Niknud September 17, 2017
That's one of the best compliments a person could receive. I'm sorry you were feeling down but so happy I could provide a recipe to help you through it!
vashti January 23, 2017
"Poor Celiac Me":
Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free works great for this! I add peas or whatever other greens...Thanks for this recipe!
Niknud January 24, 2017
Glad you liked it and that the gluten-removal process worked well!
Brooke December 3, 2015
In step 2, how many cups of gravy should I be aiming for? The number is omitted.
Niknud December 4, 2015
You should be looking for about 2-3 cups gravy but it sort of depends on your preferences. If you like more liquid to soak into the bottom of the biscuits the more, if you like a more structurally solid biscuit, then less. Good luck!
Rose W. December 1, 2015
I made this tonight and it was so good! I skipped the wine because I didn't have it, added two chopped celery stalks and a small parsnip. I used five chicken thighs, steamed in the pressure cooker, and the poaching liquid as broth. The stew was rich and tasty and the biscuits light and fluffy!
Niknud December 4, 2015
Oh I'm so glad you liked it!
Emily November 8, 2015
My first attempt at chicken and biscuits, and it was divine! It was my intention to have it as a weekend dinner, with leftovers for Monday. Needless to say, that won't be happening! I used the poaching liquid rather than broth, to which I had added a sprig each of thyme and rosemary, and a fat peeled and halved clove of garlic (removed all before using for gravy). I cooked my veggies a bit less than to "just tender", and was glad I did that. Depending on how small you cut them, I could see them getting mushy during the remainder of cooking.
Niknud November 12, 2015
Avoid the dreaded mushy vegetables at all costs! Happy to hear it was a hit.
ktr October 29, 2015
This recipe is awesome! I used a very small acorn squash in place of the sweet potato because I realized I was out of potatoes. I also added another cup of stock. I did wish it had a little more stew to balance out the amount of biscuits so I think next time I'll double the stew part. This recipe is a keeper for sure!
Niknud November 12, 2015
So glad you enjoyed it! It's one of my favorite ways to use of leftover bits and bobs from the fridge.
Brooke October 17, 2015
I am now totally confused about the baking powder and baking soda amounts. Would you please just state how much of each should be in the biscuit recipe for those of us who are baking impaired? Many thanks!
Niknud October 17, 2015
Hahaha - sorry! The recipe as written above is now correct. I just couldn't edit it during the contest period.
Angela B. October 12, 2015
Just finished washing up from this! What a great dish- I added fennel seeds and a handful of yum
Niknud October 12, 2015
Oh yah, so glad you liked it. Bet it was great with the mushrooms- it's infinitely flexible.
Niknud September 29, 2015
So the awesome editors helped me 'fix' my typo. Except we fixed it too much. So I'll give this one more try. Baking soda should be 1/2 teaspon, baking powder should be 2 teaspoons. Clear as mud, I'm sure. Good luck and godspeed with the biscuits, friends!
Niknud September 25, 2015
Sigh. And by baking powder, I meant baking soda. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
Niknud September 25, 2015
TYPO WARNING! I fat fingered the baking powder amount - it should read 1/2 teaspoon! I can't edit since the contest has closed, but if you're making this during the testing period, please adjust your measurements. Thanks!
inpatskitchen September 21, 2015
LOVE chicken and biscuits!
Niknud September 21, 2015
This was my favorite meal when I was a girl - thanks!