Pipe Dream #246: To Master Comfort – Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Drop Biscuits


One of the perks of going to an English boarding school is that you don’t have to make your own meals. If I were a Baudelaire, this would be awful, but I’m not, and the school food I experienced was highly superior to dorm food, not to mention high school caf chicken patties. Now that I think of it, some days in England we did have chicken patties (aka Chick-wich), which were awful.

Besides the days when we had Chickwich or lamb curry, which, for reasons unknown to me, made me gag, I relished the experience of being served. It was a real time-saver, and I could focus on things like how Jesus actually loved people practically and how the book of Hebrews is so worth delving into.

chick pot pie 2

The meals were on a loose rotation, and every month we would get some form of biscuit-topped pot pie. Often it was chicken and mushroom with these individual biscuits atop it, but the very first pot pie I had at school was a traditional chicken and vegetable pot pie, with the most pillow-y biscuits. I cannot tell you enough what a homemade pot pie will do for a jet-lagged human overwhelmed by a sea of foreign people in a foreign country. Comfort food to the max.

Real pipe dream: to recreate this masterpiece of glorious comfort. Anyway, the biscuits. They were so fluffy and pillow-y. There is no other way to describe. I think this is because they had been baked atop the pie, soaking up some of the moisture from the filling and squishing together, rather than being baked on a separate pan and dropped on the pie later so their bottoms got crispy.

Soft vs. crispy biscuit bottoms are, of course, a matter of personal preference. I prefer soft, which you may have guessed given my chronic under-baking issues. This pot pie recipe is the nearest I could come to re-creating that very first pot pie. For variation, I added cheese to the biscuits, and I did not regret it for even one second.

You may not live in a foreign country, but nothing beats this on an Average Joe snowy day. Use a rotisserie chicken, and it comes together in a flash on a weeknight.

chick pot pie 1

chick pot pie 3



Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Adapted from Alaska From Scratch

For the pot pie:

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 cups leftover roasted chicken, light and dark meat, shredded (from a rotisserie chicken, if you wish)
1 3/4 cups diced carrots and broccoli florets
1 tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper

For the biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
1 cup medium cheddar cheese, grated + half a bunch of diced green onions
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
black pepper

For the filling:
Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, stirring and sautéing until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly, for a couple minutes more, allowing the flour to cook a bit. Pour in the stock and the milk, stirring until combined. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a low and let simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as the mixture thickens. Add the chicken, peas & carrots, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 425.
To make the biscuits:
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using two knives until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the cheddar cheese, followed by the buttermilk, until it all just comes together and forms a thick, sticky dough. Try to handle the dough as little as possible.
To assemble the pie:
Drop the biscuit dough in 1/4 cup sized dollops onto the top of the pot pie filling (about five biscuits total). Sprinkle the biscuits with black pepper. Place the skillet into the preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Serve promptly.

3 Responses to “Pipe Dream #246: To Master Comfort – Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Drop Biscuits”

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  1. 1 Pipe Dream #184: To Use All the Blubber, Revisited – Banana Bacon Skillet Cake | piping dreams Trackback on August 24, 2015 at 9:02 am

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