Nothing says comfort food quite like a healthy serving of chicken pot pie. There is just something about the creaminess of the filling, the crunch of fresh veggies and of course, that irresistible flaky crust, that makes my tummy do a happy dance. As a child, I can remember sitting at the counter of the Daily Grill with my family, enjoying their famous individual pot pies, which were always served piping hot! I loved to poke my fork into the center of the pie and watch the steam escape as I inhaled the savory aroma. In fact, it’s making me hungry just thinking about it :)
Another one of my childhood favorites was chicken and dumplings. And let’s be honest, it was all about the dumplings. Fluffy, flavorful and scrumptious little pillows of love. I’d often ditch the chicken and go straight for the dumplings…by the dozens. Unless of course I was at Knott’s Berry Farm, where a chicken and dumplings dinner only comes with “1” dumpling. Which in my opinion means that they should rename it chicken and dumpling (drop the “s”, since the “s” implies plural and well, 1 dumpling is far from plural). I obviously still have residual resentment. I’m working on it…
So you can imagine, how excited I was when I came upon this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Crumble Topping. Two of my best-loved dishes, combined into one. A match made in culinary heaven. Everything you love about chicken pot pie with enough biscuit topping to satisfy your love for dumplings (with an “s”).
For the filling:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 small celery ribs, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose-flour
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
3/4 cup frozen peas
For the topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1/2 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
Place oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
To cook the chicken, place chicken in a Dutch oven with the broth and cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Use tongs to remove chicken to a large bowl and set aside. Pour broth through a fine mesh stranger into a liquid measuring cup and reserve.
To prepare the topping, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using your fingers, work in the butter pieces until a coarse texture is achieved. Stir in the Parmesan and add in cream, stirring until just combined. Crumble dough into irregularly shaped 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until fragrant and starting to brown, 10-13 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil into the Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5-7 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Add vegetables to bowl with shredded chicken and set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add zucchini. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and tomato paste. Increase heat to medium high, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Transfer zucchini to bowl with chicken and vegetables. Set aside.
Melt butter in the Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the reserved broth and milk. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons parsley. Add the chicken mixture and peas to the pan and stir to combine. Adjust for seasoning as needed.
Pour the chicken into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the filling. Place the pot pie onto a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until filling is bubbling and top is well browned, about 12-15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve immediately.
I don’t normally tamper with recipes. Especially one from Cook’s Illustrated. But there are a few things that are non-negotiable in my kitchen: allergies and heat. The original recipe calls for mushrooms. My husband is highly allergic to mushrooms. Luckily, after adapting many a recipe to avoid mushrooms, I have learned that you can successfully swap out mushrooms for zucchini. I love the way my version turned out, but if you are a mushroom fan you might want to substitute 10 oz cremini mushrooms sliced thin for the zucchini. I also used veggie broth instead of chicken broth because well, drastic times call for drastic measures. As I was in the midst of cooking I realized that I forgot to buy chicken broth at the store. Luckily I had a ton of veggie broth stored in the pantry. But use what you have. Finally, the topping calls for 1/8 tsp cayenne. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do spicy, even in the smallest amount. So I left that out entirely. Didn’t miss a thing :)
As much as I loved the dish for what it was, in the future I might be just as happy using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. It would save a good amount of time and I don’t think it would make much difference to the overall taste. I am sure you could also use pre-made biscuits, but the crumble topping is SO delicious and SO easy to make, I would stick with the original recipe.
If you are looking for that perfect fall dish, this is it! The recipe makes enough for 6 servings, which means you can enjoy it for leftovers the next day (my favorite part of home cooked meals…). It is also super family friendly. Harper gobbled up every. single. bit. Which means, this dish will be in constant rotation around here for the remainder of the season.
Your turn: What is your favorite fall dish? Do you crave yummy comfort food when the weather gets chilly? Looking forward to reading your responses :)