Last weekend I had a plan. I knew that I only had two days of work to get through before break, including two work lunches and a dinner with friends, so I didn’t need to cook enough on Sunday for leftovers. I also wanted to be healthy, so I had some brussels sprouts sitting around and I planned to pick up a salmon filet for dinner, call it a day.
Then this pot pie totally derailed my Sunday dinner plans.
See, last Sunday (and several days thereafter) was just relentlessly gray. Gray, misty, chilly. One of those days where the only then you want to do is curl up in your jammie jams on the couch and read a book, then watch TCM for hours. The kind of day where you get the idea of chicken pot pie stuck in your head and you’re unable to dislodge it despite your best efforts and lazier tendences.
The thing is, I’d never made pot pie before. And honestly, I like pot pie just fine (anything with “pie” in the name, really), my mom’s is good, but pot pie isn’t a thing I’ve ever really craved. Pasta-as-comfort-food is more my style. So I didn’t have a triend-and-true recipe that I was willing to undertake, since I definitely didn’t want to deal with pie crust. In my mind, I was picturing making the filling in a slow cooker, and then topping with a drop biscuit crust—seemed easy enough. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a crockpot chicken pot pie filling recipe I liked (that didn’t include cream of chicken soup) or even a biscuit-topped pot pie for cooking times and so forth, so I decided to make it up as I went, pulling bits and pieces from some recipes and just using my brain for the other parts.
This chicken pot pie is probably the best I’ve ever had. Okay, not probably, DEFINITELY. It’s warm and hearty and comforting and feels decadent, but is secretly really healthy and easy and basically perfect. It’s great as leftovers. The biscuit crust is amazing. I could just eat the filling as a stew (which is saying something because I’m not keen on stew). What I’m saying is that you need to make this pot pie now.
Turn your crockpot on high.
Peel and dice the carrots and dice the potatoes (don’t peel them), then add to the crockpot. Pour the frozen corn and peas on top.
Dice up the chicken into even, bite-size pieces and add to the slow cooker. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth, then season with salt, pepper, and rubbed thyme.
Cook on high (covered) for 2-3 hours. You’ll want to stir it every so often to keep it from sticking, and make sure that everything gets evenly cooked. I had to add a little more broth from time to time to make sure it had enough liquid.
When it seems all the veggies and chicken are cooked, you can get the roux started. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Preheat the oven to 415 F.
Melt butter in a large skillet on medium, then add the onions. Cook for a couple minutes, then add the flour (I used whole wheat flour). Whisk everything together and start adding the milk, a little at a time.
Continue to whisk in the milk and combine everything, then add the chicken broth (I think I used another half cup or so) as well and whisk in. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes to thicken, then add to the crockpot.
Stir into the chicken and veggie mixture and turn the crockpot down to low. Taste the mixture to see if it needs more seasoning—I added more salt, some white pepper, and some more of the rubbed thyme. Let the mixture cook and thicken while you stir together the biscuit dough.
Pour the filling into a large oven-safe pan (I used my trusty cast iron). I’d be careful about over-filling the pan because you’ll end up with a mess in the oven (…”she says from experience”).
Drop dollops of biscuit dough around the edges of the pan, then in the middle as well.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until your biscuits are cooked through and browning, and the filling has gone all golden and crusty around the edges.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to set, then serve hot and fresh. The filling will be watery at first, but will thicken a lot more as it cools, so don’t worry about that.
Comfort in a bowl. Absolute belly-warming deliciousness.
Chicken Pot Pie with Biscuit Crust
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 small golden potatoes (or 1 large russet)
- 1/2 pound of frozen corn
- 1/2 pound of frozen peas
- 2 cups of chicken broth (I used low sodium) + some extra
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1 small or medium yellow onion
- 1/3 cup of flour (I used whole wheat, gives it great flavor)
- 2/3 cup of milk (room temperature, or at least take the chill off)
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- Salt, fresh ground black pepper, white pepper, rubbed thyme
- 1 batch of drop biscuit dough
Turn your crockpot on high. Peel and dice the carrots and dice the potatoes (don’t peel them), then add to the crockpot. Pour the frozen corn and peas on top. Dice up the chicken into even, bite-size pieces and add to the slow cooker. Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth, then season with salt, pepper, and rubbed thyme. Cook on high for 2-3 hours.
After the chicken is cooked and the veggies are softened (you’re probably good after 2 hours), get the roux started. In a medium skillet, melt the butter, then add the diced onion. Cook for a few minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic, then add the flour and whisk until it forms a paste of sorts. Pour in a little of the milk, whisk to combine, and then repeat this with the rest of the milk. You’ll probably also want to add some chicken broth to get it liquidy enough—I think I used a half cup or so. Once everything’s incorporated, let it cook for a minute to thicken, then add to the crockpot and stir it in. Turn the crockpot down to low and let the whole mixture thicken for a few minutes. Taste it and see if you need to adjust the seasoning—I added some more salt, white pepper, and rubbed thyme.
Preheat the oven to 415 F. Mix together the biscuit dough, then pour the filling into a large oven-safe pan (I used my cast iron). You may have some extra filling, I’d be careful about over-filling the pan because you’ll end up with a mess in the oven. Drop pieces of the biscuit dough around the outside edges and then in the center.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the biscuits are cooked through and browning, and the filling is bubbly and golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes, then serve hot (the filling will continue to thicken as it cools).
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