1 leek, well washed and chopped
Salt and black pepper
2 cups quartered button mushrooms
1 1/2cups chicken stock
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 medium carrots, cut into coins
2 boneless chicken thighs, diced
1 cup peas, frozen or fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/2 cup buttermilk or soured milk (see note)
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the leeks, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add stock and rosemary; bring to a boil, and let bubble for a minute or two, then add carrots and chicken and reduce heat so the liquid simmers. Cook until carrots are almost tender and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are brightly colored and just tender, another minute or so; fish out rosemary stem and discard.
3. Whisk cornstarch with a few tablespoons of broth to make a slurry. Add slurry to pot and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and set aside.
4. Put flour in a food processor with baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter and process until mixture resembles small peas, no more than 30 seconds. (You can also do this by hand, using two knives, a fork, your fingers, or a pastry cutter). Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in buttermilk and egg until it just comes together; it should be sticky.
5. Drop spoonfuls of batter on top of vegetables and chicken and smooth with a knife, covering as much surface area as possible but leaving a few gaps for steam to escape. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until golden on top and bubbly underneath. Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, gently warm milk until it’s about 100 degrees; stir in a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.