This is my favourite ‘leftovers’ meal. There’s nothing particularly new about it, being based on old family recipes. It is brilliant in its simplicity, and can easily be stretched to feed more people, since portions are determined by the biscuits and not the topping. It’s also a reasonably balanced one-dish meal if you include enough peas. You can make a larger batch, just by multiplying quantities.
As a young housewife, I once made this and an unexpected guest arrived. He was a US Navy submarine crewmate of my husband’s—and one of the chefs! My nerves turned to relief and pride when our guest announced he planned to adapt my recipe for the ‘boat’.
For the biscuits:
Ingredients for the biscuits:
|2 cups||Plain flour, sifted|
|3 teaspoons||Baking powder|
|1/3 cup||Butter and/or margarine, cold|
- Pre-heat oven to 450F/230C/Gas mark 8.
- Sift dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Cut in butter or margarine.
- Add all milk at once, stirring just enough to incorporate. Mixture will be lumpy.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet, or into muffin tins.
- Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Makes about a dozen large biscuits.
Make the topping while the biscuits are baking.
For the topping:
Ingredients for the topping:
|1 tablespoon||Butter or margarine|
|1 tablespoon||Plain flour|
|1 cup||Leftover cooked chicken meat|
|Handful||Frozen peas (optional)|
- Roughly chop or shred the chicken; set aside.
- Melt butter over low heat in medium saucepan.
- Stir in flour with a whisk. Add a dash of salt and pepper, or other seasonings as desired now. The dry ingredients should absorb all the fat, and clump together.
- Pour in some of the milk, and whisk to a smooth paste. Gradually add all the milk, whisking constantly to maintain a consistent texture.
- Increase heat to bring to a boil. Boil and stir for a minute or so, until thickened.
- Reduce heat again; add chicken (and peas). Cover and leave to heat through, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Crumble one or two biscuits in a bowl for each person, according to appetite. Ladle hot topping over. Serve!
Consider keeping back one biscuit per person to use with jam or fresh fruit for dessert. Alternatively, extra biscuits will keep for a day or so, stored loosely in a paper sack at room temperature, if the atmosphere is not too humid. (The paper will absorb some fat.) Refresh them in a warm oven, if necessary.