If you want to deliver a seriously comforting casserole, there’s nothing like chicken and dumplings. Dark leafy greens work in extra nutrients. While bittersweet chard is beautiful and a great complement to the sweet notes of the chicken, you can use whatever greens you have on hand, are on sale, or in season. You could also go vegetarian and add root veggies or mushrooms in place of the chicken. But no matter how you spin it, drop off the casserole in the same pan you cooked it in, so it can be popped straight in the oven.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 and 1/2 lb (750 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 small yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup (2 oz/60 g) all-purpose flour
5 cups (40 fl oz/1.25 l) low-sodium chicken stock
1 bunch (about 8 large leaves) Swiss chard
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 package refrigerated ready-to-bake biscuits (6 biscuits)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Brown the meat on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Do not wipe the pan clean.
Add the butter to the pan along with the onion, potatoes, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables soften a bit, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes (the mixture will be gloppy). Add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse the chard and pat dry with paper towels or spin dry in a salad spinner. Remove and discard any tough stems and cut the leaves into 1-inch (2.5-cm) ribbons (you should have about 3 cups/3 oz/90 g).
Stir the heavy cream and chard into the chicken stew and then transfer the contents of the pan to a 2-qt (2-l) baking dish.
When ready to serve, top the casserole with the biscuits and transfer to the oven. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, or according to package instructions. Let cool slightly before serving.
To pack: The biscuits will be best if baked fresh. Assemble the dish up to the point of finishing in the oven. Let the stew cool and cover the baking dish tightly. Bring the biscuits in their package and include baking instructions. The stew will keep, tightly covered, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
To reheat: Top the stew with the unbaked biscuits. Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven until the filling is bubbly and the biscuits are golden, about 15 minutes. If the stew is frozen, bake for an hour, adding the unbaked biscuits during the last 15 minutes.
Makes 4 to 6 servings