spinach and artichoke chicken and biscuits

My quest to fill every inch of all of our freezers continues this week with a mashup of two great things: chicken and biscuits and spinach and artichoke dip. The chicken and biscuits part is inspired by one of the first dinner recipes (after mac and cheese) that I remember making with my mom, the chicken and biscuits from Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures. We used that book all the time growing up! And I remember that in the process of learning to make their chicken and biscuits, I learned that a roux can be used to thicken milk for purposes other than making mac and cheese. This was mind blowing to me! So rather than adding a bunch of cheese and noodles to the sauce, we added chicken, herbs, and veggies, and then topped it with biscuits and baked it all so that the tops of the biscuits got golden and the bottoms soaked up all of the delicious creamy sauce. It was the best. Especially during long dark homework-saturated Chicago suburban winters. A marked up version of this recipe is in the homemade cookbook that my mom made me awhile ago for Valentine’s day, and it is one of my favorite nostalgic things to make.

When it comes to meal prep for Poppy Seed’s arrival, I was advised early on to bring on the comfort foods, so chicken and biscuits jumped to the top of my list. But I also wanted to sneak in vegetables, which is where the spinach and artichokes come in. Spinach and artichoke dip is the best form of balance, no? You get vegetables but they’re blanketed with creaminess and cheese, so yes, I’m all about this. I typically don’t love chicken and cheese together but cream cheese is different, it’s milder and adds its signature subtle tang, so I’m letting it be a part of this. The result is really reeeeeeally good. It’s heavy on the comfort, carbs, and veggies, three things I plan to load up on during Poppy Seed’s first days, and dairy milk adds to the nutrition factor. 

The hardest part about this recipe is opening the can of store-bought biscuits, which remains the scariest kitchen task of all time. It’s so loud! And unpredictable! But I’ve opted to go this route in the interest of convenience since I still have a bazillion things to do before my due date. You can, of course, use homemade biscuits.

I’m so pleased to have partnered with Milk Life on this recipe! Dairy milk has always played a starring role in my kitchen and also in my most cherished memories with family and friends. I can’t wait to make new memories with Poppy Seed and these chicken and biscuits!!


Spinach and Artichoke Chicken and Biscuits

Makes 8 individual servings

Ingredients

3 tb unsalted butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c (33g) all-purpose flour

2 c (472g) 2% or whole milk

2 tsp chicken soup bouillon (just the bouillon itself, not diluted in water)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast, chopped into 1/2”-3/4” pieces

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Black pepper

1 (8 oz) block light cream cheese

1 (10 oz) block frozen spinach, thawed and drained

1 (14 oz) can artichokes, drained and chopped

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Hot sauce

8 store-bought flaky buttermilk biscuits (or homemade biscuits)

Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a splash of water

Flaky salt, for sprinkling

Clues

If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 400ºf. If planning to freeze, see freezer directions below.

In a large skillet or pot set over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour so that it gets evenly distributed and cook for an additional minute (it’s ok if the pan looks dry at this point). Add half the milk, stirring continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon until thickened, and then repeat with the other half of the milk. You’ll know it’s thick enough if it coats the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the chicken soup bouillon and then add the chicken, thyme, and a few turns of pepper and simmer, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Add the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, parsley, a few good shakes of hot sauce, and a few turns of black pepper. Stir until the cream cheese is melted. Taste and adjust as desired.

If baking immediately: divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Place on a baking sheet (in case any of the mixture overflows) and bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and enjoy!

To freeze: let the mixture cool slightly. Divide into eight 8-oz oven-safe freezer-safe ramekins or foil containers and top each with a biscuit (squish the biscuits a little bit so that they’re wide enough to cover the whole top). Brush the tops of the biscuits with egg wash and sprinkle with black pepper and flaky salt. Cover with foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, place it on a baking sheet, and bake at 400ºf covered for 30 minutes, remove the foil and continue to bake for about another 15 minutes, until the biscuits are browned and the whole thing is heated through. Let cool slightly and enjoy!


-Yeh!

Thank you, Milk Life, for sponsoring this post!

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen.

pistachio latte

A few months ago, Jessica posted a preview of her new book, The Pretty Dish, and I caught a glimpse of two of the most beautiful words strung together, pistachio latte. You can have your golden milk lattes and oat milk lattes, this pistachio latte was made for me!! Jessica and I share a deep love for pistachios-- remember this pistachio cake from her first book?? So insanely good. And green, the best color! It comes as no surprise to me that her new book is filled with so many things that i want to eat immediately, including but not limited to miniature margarita pizzas that are built on deep fried disks of dough, yes, basically pizza donuts. I screamed. There are also beauty product recipes for things like macaroon lip balm and birthday cake body scrub (!!!), I just generally feel understood by this book.

Admittedly, with this whole new one cup of coffee limit in my life, I didn't go through the pistachio milk and syrup as quickly as I thought I would until I made a really kickass discovery: oatmeal cooked in pistachio milk and sweetened with pistachio syrup is insane. 12/10 would recommend. But of course the latte is insane too, it's pistachio-y, almond-y, creamy, and perfect.


Pistachio Latte

from Jessica Merchant's The Pretty Dish

makes 1 serving (easily multiplied)

ingredients

for the pistachio syrup

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c water

1/3 c chopped pistachios

1/4 tsp almond extract

 

for the latte

2 shots espresso

2-3 tb pistachio syrup

6 oz steamed milk (cow's or pistachio)

chopped pistachios (optional)

 

clues

to make the pistachio syrup

in a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar, water, and pistachios. whisk until the sugar dissolves. bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside until the mixture has cooled completely. strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the pistachios. stir in the almond extract. you can keep the syrup in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week. the recipe with make 1/2 cup of syrup.

to make the latte

in a mug, combine the espresso and syrup and stir together. pour in the steamed milk. sprinkle with chopped pistachios, if desired. serve immediately! 


Pistachio Milk

from Jessica Merchant's The Pretty Dish

ingredients

1 c shelled, roasted pistachios (or raw if you can find them!)

4 1/2 c filtred water

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 tb honey (optional)

clues

place the pistachios in a bowl and cover them with water. soak overnight or for at least 6 hours. drain.

in a blender, combine the soaked pistachios, filtered water, and almond extract. blend until smooth and creamy. taste the milk and, if desired, add the honey and blend again. store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


-yeh!