Judging a recipe by its photo has resulted in some pretty major let-downs in the past, after my effort bears no resemblance to the supposed finished product. Going by looks alone, this casserole would have immediately drawn my attention had I been browsing through a regular cookbook or magazine. Biscuit topping? It’s love at first sight.
I knew before I started cooking that I was going to like this meal. However, actually cooking this brought on some flashbacks of self-doubt of the possibility of ruining something that could be so delectable. The past couple meals from Blue Apron had been very quick and easy, 30 minutes or under. The casserole had several more steps and ingredients, and if one step didn’t go right, it could potentially turn this into a flop.
The first step was poaching and shredding the chicken with a two-fork trick that looks simple in Blue Apron’s recipe photo, but in reality, the execution wasn’t so smooth. Perhaps my chicken cooked a bit tougher, but the pieces were tricky to cut so I ended up just using my fingers to make bite-sized portions.
The vegetables were the next things to cook on the stove. I got a little confused by the order of cooking. The mushrooms were supposed to go in before the rest for 5 minutes, with the carrots, celery, onion, turnip and potato following. My instincts would have been to start with the root vegetables, since they are firmer and I assume take longer to soften up. I didn’t want my family to be biting into this casserole and tasting un-ripe potato. Dubious, I followed the instructions and cooked the veggies for another 5 minutes, which didn’t seem all that long.
The next step was to make the béchamel sauce. Béchamel, for the record, is a terrifying word for a novice cook.
Oh my God, it’s so French, so gourmet. I’m in the big leagues now.
Know what béchamel sauce is? It’s gravy. Delicious, golden, creamy gravy.
The cooking process for this was time-sensitive which again brought back the feelings of kitchen inadequacy. I was to add flour to hot oil, whisking constantly 30-seconds to 1 minute or until golden brown. This is color change chemistry we’re talking about here. Perhaps my nerves were being tested from long-ago memories of chemistry classes, adding one drop too many at the final step to a titration AND HAVING TO START THE WHOLE LAB OVER AGAIN AHHHHH!! Would I be able to tell when it was ‘golden brown’ enough? I think I managed okay and added the demi-glace and cream at the right time. Luckily it didn’t burn or anything.
Time to combine everything and mix the biscuits. Blue Apron issues a warning not to over-mix the dough or it will toughen. K. After getting a proper consistency, it was time to ‘drop’ the batter with a spoon over the casserole in a baking dish. Easy enough. I popped this sucker in the oven and out it came 15 minutes later looking and smelling amazing.
All the things I was worried about…the potatoes and turnip being under-done? The biscuits being too crumbly? Didn’t happen. The casserole came out tasting warm and savory. Both the awesome and the picky eater gobbled theirs up. There was a serving leftover for lunch but I regret to announce it mysteriously vanished from the fridge. Seems like someone must have eaten it for a midnight snack. It totally wasn’t me.
This recipe was full-fowl with kitchen mess, prep, and clean-up. 3/3 on the pancake scale – which should be a given as biscuits are just pancakes with evening-look make-up. I’m definitely keeping this recipe card in the archives to save for a family meal in the future. This was a Blue Apron winner.