By looking at the photos for this recipe, you may be thinking this is not a traditional chicken pot pie and you would be right! I had a hankering for chicken pot pie after watching an episode of Anna Olsen’s show Bake. She took the top half of her pastry dough and turned it into a biscuit topping. This got my mojo running. I knew I wanted to make something that set your traditional pie up a notch so…do you remember the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster? Yeah…I topped the pie with them.The pie consists of a no-fail, tender, golden, and flaky crust lining, a creamy center filling with tender vegetables and moist roasted chicken. The top is, of course, cheesy, garlicky and buttery biscuity love. This recipe is a lot of work, but well worth it! You can make the components ahead, or assemble and freeze for a meal ready to pop in the oven.
Start by making the pie crust. I recommend making this in a food processor, or Ninja if you have. If not, it can easily be made by hand. Combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse a for few seconds at a time, until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar, and pulse again until the dough just begins to form. Add additional water, if needed, a teaspoon at a time. If you are making it by hand, place the flour and salt in a large bowl, cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until it is the size of peas. Pour the water in and mix with wooden spoon or your hands until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into a disc with your hands. You never want to overwork a pie dough, so be sure to keep the manipulation to a minimum. Overworking will result in a tough and dry pastry texture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum, overnight or freeze.
Preheat the oven to 375•F. Take two pieces of chicken breast, skin on and bone in. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel so there is no moisture on the skin. This keeps the meat juicy while roasting crispy skin. The skin will not be incorporated into the dish so I dare you to treat yourself when it comes out of the oven! Does anyone even admit to indulging in something so sinfully delicious? The bone in infuses an extra layer of flavour into the chicken you cannot get without it. Rub the breasts down with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the skin is a nice golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken breast is 165•F. At this point, you will want the chicken to cool before removing the meat from the bone and cubing. This can be done ahead of time.
For the filling, soften the onion, carrots, and mushrooms in a pan of melted butter on medium heat. You could add celery too if you like. Season this layer with onion salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have done most of the softening, add the garlic. I grate mine with a Microplane, but you can use a press for mince with a knife. Cook for a minute longer until the rawness of the garlic has cooked out, add the chicken broth, celery seed, thyme, poultry seasoning, and chicken bouillon powder.
In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch into the milk until completely combined. Leaving any bits of cornstarch will add gelatinous lumps into your pie filling. Does that sound tasty? Didn’t think so. Add the milk mixture and heavy cream to the pan and continue to simmer until the filling has reached a thick and creamy consistency. Add the peas at this time. Taste and adjust seasonings if you desire. Let the mixture cool, or store in a container for up to 3 days.
And now, for something completely different…Cheddar Bay Biscuits! I use a halved recipe for the topping, but I will share a separate post so you can make these bad boys all on their own. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and a sprinkle of cayenne if desired. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk and butter. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon or spatula until moist. Again, don’t overwork. This keeps your biscuits light and airy. Gently fold in the cheddar.
In a small dish, melt butter, parsley and garlic powder. This will be set aside to brush on top of the biscuits at the final stages of baking.
To assemble the pie; preheat the oven to 400•F. On a floured work surface, roll out the disc of dough and line, a 9″ pie plate with it. Poke the entire bottom layer with a fork to ensure even cooking throughout. Design your pie border as you wish, whether that may be crimped or just folded over. Spoon the chicken filling into the crust. Brush around the dough with milk and then top the pie with the biscuit dough. Pat it down and pull it to distribute evenly. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Pull the pie out and brush the top with the butter mixture. Return to the oven for 15 minutes. If the top is starting to look too browned, return the foil to the top for the remaining cooking time. Remove from the oven when it is bubbly and golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting a slice. Enjoy!
The Ultimate Chicken Pot Pie
Classic Chicken Pot Pie with Red Lobster's Biscuit Topping
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/8 cup ice water
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 egg whisked with a splash of milk for brushing the pastry
- 2 Chicken breasts, skin on and bone in
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup cubed carrots
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 3/4 cup of whole milk
- 1 clove of garlic grated
- 1/2 cup of whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
- pepper to taste
Cheddar Bay Biscuit Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Biscuit Topping Ingredients:
- 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a baking dish, place 2 chicken breasts with the skin on and bone in and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden and internal temperature is 165ºF. Let cool, and set aside or refrigerate.
- In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar, and pulse again until the dough just begins to form. Add additional water, if needed 1/2 tsp. at a time. Remove the dough from the food processor and form into a disc with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In a frying pan on medium heat, add 2 tbsp. of butter, and add onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Once onions turn translucent, add in grated garlic clove and all other seasonings.
- Add chicken broth, bring to a simmer and milk and cornstarch mixture.
- Bring to a low boil and stir periodically until the cornstarch is activated and the filling has thickened.
- Add in the cream. Taste the filling at this point and adjust seasonings to your taste. Set the filling aside and let cool.
- Remove the white meat off of the chicken bone, and cut into cubes. Add into the filling mixture and combine.
- For the topping, take a large bowl and combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk and butter. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir just until it comes together and the mixture is moist. Gently fold in cheese. Set aside.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the disc of pie dough and line a 9″ pie plate with it. Poke the entire surface of the crust, including up the sides with a fork.
- Spoon the filling into the crust, and brush around the dough with the milk and egg mixture.
- Take the biscuit topping and place on top, gently pulling apart to evenly cover the surface of the pie.
- Bake loosely covered with aluminum foil for 35 minutes.
- For the butter topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small dish.
- Remove the pie from the oven, and brush the tops with the butter mixture.
- Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. Return aluminum foil top if the top begins to brown too quickly.
- Let cool for 5 minutes until serving.