Fall is my favorite season. The temperatures begin to cool off, holidays inch tantalizingly closer and new ingredients fill the stores. Winter squashes, apples, pears, sweet potatoes. Comfort food. The best kind of food.
This weekend it was storming out. Granted we’re in Miami so it was more like a Tropical Storm, but it just seemed like the perfect day for a casserole. So I made a big pot pie, but instead of using traditional carrots and celery, I sauteed the chicken with bacon, lots of portabello and crimini mushrooms and onions. Then I swapped the heavy bechamel for a smoked paprika-spiked butternut squash puree.
The mushrooms and the butternut squash melded into the most delicious gravy and the buttermilk biscuit top was just the thing to mop it all up. Not as heavy as your typical pot pie, but just as substantial and delicious. A new fall favorite around here!
Butternut Squash & Mushroom Chicken Pot Pie
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
3/4 cup milk (I used Skim)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 slices center-cut bacon
3 portabello mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (about 3 cups)
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup diced onions
2 lb. chicken breasts and thighs, diced
salt to taste
1 can or bag of buttermilk biscuits (even better if you make your own, but I didn’t have the time)
Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the butternut squash, milk, chicken broth and garlic in a small pot and set over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender, blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the smoked paprika and set aside.
While the squash cooks, set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil and the bacon and the onions. Saute until the bacon begins to crisp and the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and cook through, about 10 more minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Grease a casserole dish (I used an oval one that holds about 4 quarts). Place the contents of the skillet in the baking dish, then ladle the butternut squash puree evenly over the top. Halve the biscuits and place them in an even layer over the top.
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the biscuits are cooked through and golden. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before servings.
Makes 6 servings.