You have heard me say it before: “Cooking needs soul, not science,” and there is nothing more soulful than a cast iron skillet. From fried chicken to cornbread, you can sauté, fry and bake with this cooking staple that is also a great family heirloom. But it’s not just for your grandma's kitchen. Chefs everywhere are bringing back this nostalgic piece of equipment to cook some of the trendiest food around such as spanakopita, crepes and bruschetta.

So, why am I writing an article for the Sam’s Club corporate blog about skillets?! To celebrate the launch of my Emeril Lagasse Cast Iron Skillet, of course! I have enjoyed collaborating with the Sam’s Club team to develop this skillet exclusively for the club.

Here’s what makes this skillet so special:

  • 12 inch cast iron construction is safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Safe for a glass stovetop, oven, bbq and campfire
  • Removable silicone grips
  • Pre-seasoned (no, that doesn’t mean it has salt and pepper, it means it won’t stick to what you’re cooking)
  • Wide handles for balanced grip

You know me; it isn’t a celebration without sharing something tasty. Below you will find my favorite recipe for Chicken Pot Pie with a Biscuit Top, and yes, you guessed it, you can make it in my new skillet.

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus time to make the biscuit dough)
Total Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients:

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons melted
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced onion
  • 3/4 cup small-diced carrot
  • 3/4 cup small-diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup all- purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 recipe Tarragon Biscuits (see below)

Tarragon Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Directions:

Chicken Pot Pie

  • Set a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs with 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and the olive oil. Place half the chicken in the pan and sear, stirring occasionally, until the chicken begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside in a separate bowl while you cook the remaining chicken. Place that cooked chicken in the bowl as well.
  • Add the unmelted butter to the pan and, when melted, add the mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are well caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, browned chicken, potatoes, and thyme.
  • Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken and potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Gently stir in the peas and then remove the pan from the heat. Place the biscuits on top of the chicken and gravy, with 8 biscuits around the edge of the pan and the remaining 4 biscuits in the center. Be sure the biscuits do not touch. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter and bake until the biscuits are golden brown and flaky, 14 to 15 minutes. Allow the pot pie to cool briefly before serving.

Tarragon Biscuits

  • Sift the all- purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt into a large bowl.
  • Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the cold butter into the flour until the pieces of butter are pea sized. Add the tarragon and buttermilk and, with your hands or a rubber spatula, stir just until the milk and flour come together to form a dough.
  • Sprinkle some of the extra all-purpose flour on a work surface and place the dough on top of the flour. Use your hands to press the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick disk about 9 inches in diameter. Using a 2-inch round cutter dusted with flour, cut out 12 dough rounds. Be sure to press straight down when cutting the dough—a twisting motion will prevent the dough from rising.
  • Place the biscuits on top of the pot pie and bake as directed

Your mouth is watering now isn’t it? So stop by your local club and pick up my skillet and give it a try.

Already grabbed one? Here is the best way to keep it clean after the first use:
1. Preheat oven to 325 ºF.
2. Wash with warm soapy water and promptly towel dry.
3. Generously oil cookware with vegetable oil.
4. Bake in oven for 1 hour.
5. Remove skillet from oven and rub again to redistribute oil.
6. Place in the oven and bake again for 1 hour.
7. Remove from oven and wipe excess oil off with paper towels, then allow to cool before storing.
8. Store in a cool, dry place, with paper towels below and on top of skillet to protect shelves and skillet.

I can’t wait to hear your feedback on my new skillet and learn about your favorite cast iron skillet recipes. Share with us on Facebook @SamsClub and @Emeril.

And there ya have it!

- Emeril