As long as I can remember, home has always smelled of celery, onions, and carrots simmering on the stove for a dinner. My mom always seemed to pull it all together effortlessly. Circa 2004, as my sister, brother, and I would shuffle down the snow-filled driveway after school, it was already dark as heck but you could always count on seeing my mom through the farmhouse window, cooking a warm cozy soup for us to gobble up. With north Idaho winters, you’re lucky to get a flicker of sunlight after 3pm.
We would scurry from the yellow bus and down the steep ice-y hill, un-peel ourselves from layers of jackets full of melted-and-then-refrozen snow, and run and slide in our socks into the kitchen. Yes, my family had dinner by 4pm my entire upbringing. That’s healthy for you right? Just don’t mention the chocolate muffins we’d down around 7pm as a post-dinner, pre-Friends marathon snack.
Soups and carbs are my love language, so this butternut chicken pot pie with buttered sage biscuits is the love of my life. Armed with a chicken pot pie-esque inside mixed with the best parts of a butternut squash soup and topped with crispy flaky biscuits, there is a warm and coziness that brings back memories of those freezing cold, yet soupy-warm Idaho tundra-like winters. Snow as high as the roof line, igloo forts in the front yard, checking to make sure the pigs were still toasty warm in the barn after a -20 degree night.
This meal is an ode to the cold nights and warm meals, always ready for my family to welcome and devour.
Butternut Chicken Pot Pie with Sage Biscuits
Turn to medium heat and add olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pot. Add chicken thighs and sauté for 5 minutes, flip, and continue for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot, shred with a fork, and set aside.
Using the same pot on medium low heat, add chopped celery, carrots, and yellow onion. Add more olive oil and salt if needed, stir occasionally. Cook until the onions are slightly transparent (7-8 minutes).
Add the shredded chicken to the sautéed vegetables, stir, and add in the butternut squash soup. Cover, simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add and mix in arugula before removing from heat.
*While the soup mixture is simmering, make the sage biscuits (adapted from Molly Yeh’s recipe).
Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter using a pastry cutter or your hands, incorporating the butter until the mixture is the consistency of oatmeal and the butter is the size of peas. Mix in the milk and chopped sage until the mixture comes together to form a dough. I usually use my hands at this point to make sure its combined. On a floured surface, pat the dough to 3/4” thick and then cut out round biscuits, re-rolling scraps as needed.
Add the biscuits to top of butternut chicken and vegetables if using an oven safe pot. If not, transfer chicken and vegetable mixture to an oven safe casserole dish or pan and then top with biscuits.
Brush the biscuits with the beaten egg and top with salt. Bake on 425 until the biscuits are golden brown, 25 - 30 minutes. Enjoy!
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 chicken thighs
1 head of celery
8 medium carrots
1 yellow onion
16 oz. butternut squash soup*
1 tsp salt
1 cup arugula
For the biscuits:
2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt or pink salt
14 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 c whole milk
¾ oz chopped sage (1 clamshell at grocery)
1 large egg
*note: I love using the Imagine Organic brand for my soup, or you can make it from scratch if you’re really feeling excited.