Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping

Can you feel it in the air?  Fall is right around the corner.  I used to think my mom was crazy when she would say that while we were waiting for the school bus.  But as I’ve gotten older, I CAN feel it and I’m so excited for it this year.  It was a dreadfully hot summer.

One of those perfect fall foods that just warms your soul is Chicken Pot Pie.  And let’s face it, the frozen stuff is just crap.  And if you think that it’s good, it is probably because you’ve never had REAL pot pie.  And if you’ve made real pot pie from scratch before, you remember how much work it was and how long it takes!  Luckily, the test kitchen at Cooks Illustrated has your back!  This recipe cooks in just about 90 minutes and it’s phenomenal.  In fact, my husband instructed me that I am to make this one from now on, forget any other recipe he said!

As the friendly folks over at CI have noted, though it does call for two ingredients that are unusual to pot pie, do not get tempted to leave out the soy sauce and tomato paste.  You use just a little of it and the flavor is just incredible.  Trust me.  And them.  Amazing.

Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated, September & October 2010 issue

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into slices
2 small celery ribs, chopped fine
1 pkg mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
3/4 cup frozen baby peas
Crumble Topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 tbsp butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream (not regular milk)

Preheat oven to 450.

For the chicken:  Bring the chicken and broth to a simmer in a covered Dutch oven over medium heat.  Cook until chicken is done, then transfer chicken to a bowl.  Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and save.

For the topping:  Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the butter pieces in and incorporate with your fingers until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  Stir in the parmesan, then add the cream and stir until just combined.  Place on a lined, rimmed baking sheet and bake 10-13 minutes until becoming fragrant and browning.  Set aside.

For the filling:  Heat 1 tbsp oil in the empty Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, 1/4 tsp salt and  1/4 tsp pepper and stir well.  Cook until vegetables are tender, and while they are cooking, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Transfer cooked vegetables to the bowl with the chicken and set aside. 

Heat the remaining oil in the pot and then add mushrooms, cover and cook until mushrooms have released their juices, about 5 minutes.  Remove cover and stir in the soy sauce and tomato paste.  Cook, stirring until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the chicken and veggies. 

Heat butter in the pot and when the foaming subsides, add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring.  Slowly whisk in the reserved chicken broth and milk.  Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to get those browned bits up.  Simmer about a minute.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.  Stir in chicken and vegetable mixture and pease into the sauce.  Pour into a greased 13×9 baking dish and sprinkle crumble topping evenly over the top.  Bake until filling is bubbling and topping is well browned, about 12-15 minutes. 

Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping

Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping


8 responses to “Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumble Topping

  1. this looks great!!

  2. Huge hit never made pot pie before, even tho it was quite a bit of work I will definitely make again. Subbed evaporated milk for heavy cream in topping and 3/4 c skim milk and 1/4 c evaporated in the filling.

  3. thank you for posting! I lost my copy of the crumble topping! whole wheat flour is even more flavorful!

  4. was watching this being prepared on the CreateTV channel today … looks amazing! didn’t know the recipe had been around this long! so glad i found it here … thank you Google! 🙂 i couldn’t write fast enough to get down all the great tips it came with on the program! lol! i did have a question, though … we are NOT mushroom lovers, so would there be any other vegetable you could substitute that would not interfere and change the flavors? Thanks so much!

    • christenandjames

      Deborah, would you be opposed to cooking the mushrooms as it says and when you remove them, just toss them? That way you’d have the flavor of them. Otherwise, perhaps you could just substitute a little beef broth or cooking sherry.

  5. Made this yesterday – amazing chicken pot pie flavor. You can go a full 2 pounds with only chicken thighs, and it’s fantastic. I’ve never tasted a better chicken pot pie – and the best part… no soggy bottom layer.

  6. Kathy Napolitano

    Loved the idea of crust on top only… this topping, while pretty easy to make, will never compare to the frozen pie shells I used to make…

  7. Looks delicious! Thinking about making this for a holiday party. How many would you say it serves?

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