Monday, November 10, 2014

The comfort of pie & a great French giveaway

When I first met Ann Mah in Paris, there was an immediate kinship. She had previously lived in New York and was a wonderful writer of mostly food and travel pieces—a girl after my own heart. Plus, she was understatedly cool, modest, and a great conversationalist. Over the past few years, that admiration of Ann evolved into a friendship with many parallels in our lives: we both returned to New York, published books, and are now mothers.

Ann had a beautiful baby girl, Lucy, a little over a year ago. As I approached my due date, she was full of helpful suggestions and down to earth advice (which, if you’re a mom, you know is not as common as you might think or hope). And when she actually offered to cook a chicken pot pie with parsley biscuits for us the week after Parker was born, I was all too happy and grateful to accept.

So, you think that shows Ann’s thoughtful, generous nature? Now take into consideration that she made the offer—and the beautiful pot pie—in the midst of her paperback release of her New York Times-acclaimed book, Mastering the Art of French Eating.

I thought it only appropriate to spread the generosity, and yumminess, in two ways: by sharing Ann's recipe and offering a copy of her fantastic book.

First, the recipe...

Chicken pot pie with parsley biscuits

Serves four

For the chicken stew:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cream sherry (optional)
5 cups chicken broth
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 lb white button mushrooms, diced
1 lb asparagus, ends snapped off, and cut into 1-inch segments
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups roast chicken, diced
Salt and pepper

Parsley yogurt biscuits:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 oz cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk, or yogurt (NOT Greek-style, or strained)

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

In a large pot, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the sherry (if using) and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add the chicken broth and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thick.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion and sauté until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, peas, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir the vegetables into the sauce, along with the chicken. Taste and adjust seasonings. 

Place the stew in a 9″ x 13″ ceramic baking dish.

Make the biscuits. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and parsley. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yogurt and stir with a fork until the dough comes together—it will be sticky, with bits of flour on the side of the bowl. I like to knead the dough a couple of times in the bowl to bring everything together.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using gentle, floured fingertips, pat the dough into an 8-inch x 10-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 2 to 3-inch squares (or use the rim of a 2-inch juice glass). 

Arrange the biscuits on top of the stew. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the biscuits are golden and the stew is bubbly around the sides.

Now, that you're appropriately hungry, get ready for a delicious giveaway...

What's your favorite memory associated with French food? 

Answer in the comment box below by November 20 for a chance to receive a copy of Ann's wonderful Mastering the Art of French Eating!


  1. That dish looks amazing!
    My favorite French food memory is from living in Nice for 3 weeks. I was staying with a host and providing my own meals. Since I was on the tail end of a semester-long trip and funds were running short, I was pretty cheap...walking everywhere included. On the mile-ish walk home, I'd often stop at this one boulangerie to get a baguette. Then maybe grab some vegetables somewhere else to keep dinner from being solely carbs. But as I walked home, I'd much on the baguette...perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I've since had other more noteworthy French meals, but that was the first thing that came to mind :)

  2. I will definitely make this recipe. My husband's favorite.
    My favorite French food memory is having my first macaron in Paris at Laduree. I tried many, many other macarons at other locations and when I returned to the US went to Whole Foods and enrolled in a course to learn how to make macarons.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. Favorite memory related to french food? It would have to be a late dinner I had with a cousin at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Drugstore Publicis. She always wanted to try foie gras and determined that this was the night. The look on her face when she tasted her first bite of foie gras was priceless; like she was going to die. Once she realized it goes down better with champagne, it was smooth sailing and the dinner was a success.

  4. My favorite memory is the amazing smells in the kitchen each time my mother would prepare a ratatouille, it would take her a few hours, because she sauted separately every group of veggie before putting them in the pot together, and that made for amazing smells in the whole apartment. thanks for this great recipe and giveaway!

  5. The memory that comes to mind (among many!) is the warm and oozy fabulous Nutella crepe that I bought from a crepe stand my first night in Paris. It was February, and I was visiting my daughter, who was studying abroad. We'd had an awesome day of sightseeing and catching up with each other, and were heading back to the hotel. Paris at night was spectacular...and that crepe stands out in my memory as a very sweet and perfect end to our day together.

  6. I just won this book in a giveaway. I can't wait to read it. :-) Cheers from Boston.

  7. I celebrated my 40th birthday in Paris and had escargot many nights in a row at a cafe near our hotel - it was served in a sauce pot and it was incredible! The book and recipe pictured above look divine :-)

  8. That dish looks and sounds amazing. My best French food memory is the first time I learned of the cheese course. Seriously? An entire course dedicated to the best food ever? Oui, s'il vous plait!

    1. Felicitations, Laura! The copy of Mastering the Art of French Eating is yours. Can you email me your mailing address at

      Thanks to everyone for your delicious responses! xo

  9. My first time having crepes. I fell in love and never looked back!

  10. I loved my daily evenings with hard cider, cheese, fresh baguette, mache...followed by a few bits of various cakes! Mmmmm!

  11. My most favorite associated with French food is from my trip this past summer with my husband and in-laws. We had such a wonderful time wandering Paris. The meal the stands out the most is a creamy pasta with salmon from the Latin quarter.
    Thanks for the chance to win this!

  12. Having a picnic of fresh veggies, goat cheese, tapenade on French bread, with melon for dessert, while hiking in Provence!!!

  13. I love the baguettes from Eric Kayser...nothing says Parisian like a good crusty & chewy baguettes...I miss them and can't wait to go back for more!

  14. you had me at the comfort of pie! : )

  15. That looks incredible! When I visited paris for the first time a year ago, my husband and I found a creperie near the University where we had the most incredible crepes of our lives: buckwheat crepe, ham, gruyere, cream, egg and topped with mixed greens. I still dream of it and that leisurely lunch on the cafe's patio!

  16. What's my favorite memory associated with French food? Well, there was a macaron tasting in a certain person's apartment once upon a time, and many a nice meal with friends. One memory that stands out was when a kind and good friend took me out for lunch at his favorite restaurant just before I was set to leave France. Maybe it's because it was the last French meal in Paris that it was so memorable.

    Ann Mah is a delightful person. I'm glad her book is so successful!

  17. just blogwalking.. Nice post and have a nice day :)

  18. Is it a french recipe. I am doing Musculation will it give me some strength.