Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Over the weekend I was hit with the desire to make chicken pot pie something fierce. Suddenly biscuits were sounding really good too. I’ve always liked the idea of a biscuit crust, but have never tried it. I found that refrigerating the cut out rounds while you prepare the filling is the way to go. It keeps the butter cold and also prevents the vegetables from over cooking while they wait in the warm sauce for you to make the biscuits. By refrigerating the biscuits while you prepare the filling, you can assemble the crust on top right away and immediately get the dish into the oven.

These biscuits were incredible fluffy and moist. The key is keeping the butter cold and not demolishing it completely in the food processor. I added an extra step of freezing the butter while you prepare the dry ingredients to keep it extra cold. I enjoyed the biscuits so much that I think I must have literally dreamed about them the entire night because I when I woke up Sunday morning I just had to make them for brunch. We had scrambled eggs on the side and topped the biscuits with apricot jam. Yum!

Buttermilk Biscuits
slightly adapted from The New Best Recipe, by Cook’s Illustrated
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c plain cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbs cold unsalted butter*
  • 3/4 c cold buttermilk

Prepare the butter by quartering it lengthwise and then cutting crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Place butter in a bowl and put it in the freezer while you prepare the dry ingredients. Measure out the dry ingredients and pulse in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until well combined. Add butter and pulse just slightly until mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal with a few larger lumps.

Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir with a form until the dough gathers into moist clumps, adding up to 2 Tbs extra buttermilk (1 Tbs at a time) if the dough is still dry. Transfer onto a floured work surface and form into a rough ball. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch pastry cutter, stamp out 8 rounds of dough.

At this point, I got the best results when I refrigerated the dough rounds on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap while I prepared the pot pie recipe. When the pot pie filling is ready, arrange the dough rounds over the warm filling and proceed with the recipe for the pot pie.

*I only had salted butter, so I halved the amount of salt in the recipe.
Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust
adapted from The New Best Recipe, by Cook’s Illustrated
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast and/or thighs
  • 2 1/4 c chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 celery ribs, cut 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 c frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/3 c minced fresh parsley
  • 1 recipe Buttermilk Biscuits

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a small stock pot. Add the chicken, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until chicken is just done. Transfer chicken to a bowl and reserve the leftover broth.

Using the same pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, celery, and carrot until tender, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside in a bowl with the sauteed vegetables.
Again using the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in reserved chicken broth, milk, and the thyme. Bring to a simmer to thicken sauce, about 1 minute.
Stir the chicken and veggies into the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in peas and parsley and pour into a baking dish. Top with biscuits. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Freezer Tips
: Want to freeze this recipe? Freeze the unbaked filling and biscuits separate from the each other. To freeze the biscuits, lay them in a flat layer inside a gallon size freezer Ziploc bag so they don’t stick together. When ready to bake, thaw the filling and biscuits, assemble as usual and bake according to recipe instructions.