The idea of writing a recipe for chicken pot pie is a high-risk endeavor. For many, a comfort food staple such as pot pie means that many a food memory exists for anyone who loves it. And what’s hard is that food memories are nearly impossible to live up to. Instead, the food always seems… off, not tasting like Grandma’s, a favorite restaurant, or Mom’s version.
When it comes to a classic, I find it best to stick to the basic ingredients and make each one shine. Instead of adding new flavors and fusions, it’s always best to make it the best it can be. So this one’s full of nostalgia and good techniques.
I’m always looking for ways to add more flavor whenever possible. And sometimes it’s the simplest methods that add the most flavor, such as roasting vegetables, which is pretty much my weekly go-to routine no matter what I’m making. Under high heat and coated in oil, vegetables gain so much flavor and maintain their texture.
For this recipe, carrots and sweet potatoes are roasted with the chicken. Roasting these denser vegetables before mixing everything together helps cut down on the total time and brings out their natural sweetness.
The definitive feature of a pot pie is the fillings’ thickness. This texture is what draws people in and causes them to make it time and again. The equal parts of flour to butter provide the thickness and without this duality, the ingredients wouldn’t hold together. The rest of the filling is simple: onions and celery mixed with this thickened mixture.
I’ve never been a fan of a crusted pot pie. Instead, I opt for a drop biscuit topping. I know, I know… no matter where you are on this scale, hear me out first. Using the traditional method, the crust needs to be extra sturdy to withstand the filling and it often ends up becoming soggy. I bypass any crust and go directly to biscuits.
Drop biscuits are a total time saver. Since they take away the extra time of making a crust, chilling it, and rolling it out, they end up being super quick. Plus the ingredients are pantry staples. These biscuits will create a slightly more wet and shaggy batter. Once mixed up, they’re scooped into rounds and placed on top of the prepared filling. During the baking, they become golden with a perfectly crispy crust on top. Voila!
Watch how to make this chicken pot pie:
Chicken Pot Pie
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup diced onion (about 1 onion)
- ¾ cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb chicken breast boneless & skinless (about 2-3 breasts)
- 1 ½ cups chopped carrots (about 3 carrots)
- 1 cup diced sweet potato
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ⅓ cup flour
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 ¾ cups chicken stock
- 1 cup pearl onions
- 1 cup peas
For the biscuits
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ cup butter diced and kept cold
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- salt on top of biscuits
For the filling
- Preheat oven to 425°F. In a 6-quart stockpot, melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery with 1 tsp salt over medium-low heat. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent but not browned, 6-8 minutes.
- While the onion and celery are sautéing, prepare the roasted vegetables. Place the carrots, sweet potatoes, and chicken breast on a large sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in preheated oven until the chicken registers 160°F and the vegetables are tender when inserted with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Once the onion and celery are soft and translucent, add the flour. Stir and cook the flour until it is slightly toasted and just starting to stick to the bottom of the stockpot, 3-4 minutes. Pour in the white wine, Dijon mustard, and thyme. Whisk until smooth. At first, the flour will be clumpy. Continue to whisk and add the chicken stock until the mixture is smooth and thick. Stir in the pearl onions and peas to warm through, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and shredded chicken. Pour into a greased 9×9-inch baking dish and prepare biscuits.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the diced butter and, using a pastry cutter or hands, work into flour until it resembles a coarse grainy texture. Add buttermilk and stir. The dough will be shaggy and almost batter-like.
- Scoop biscuits onto the top of the prepared filling, making approximately nine biscuits. Sprinkle with salt and bake in the preheated oven until the biscuits are golden and the filling is bubbling, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.