Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumb Topping combines classic ingredients with a few unusual twists to make this recipe over-the-top incredible.
Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food. Tender chicken, fresh vegetables and a creamy, full-flavored sauce, topped with golden crust. Take your first bite and you’re instantly comforted and satisfied. That is, if the recipe is a good one. And this is a good one and then some. I love this Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumb Topping because it combines classic ingredients with a few surprises like a touch of soy sauce and tomato paste to enhance the pie’s savory properties. The crumb topping gives the pie a rustic texture that’s an unusual departure from pastry crust. Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper in the crumb topping is nothing short of divine. I found the recipe years ago in Cook’s Illustrated magazine, where they know what “this and that” ingredient to add for optimum success. I’ve changed it very little since, but when it works, why mess with it?
How to Make Chicken Pot Pie
This isn’t a difficult recipe, but is mostly hands on until the final 15 minutes. Read through the recipe and assemble all your ingredients and tools before you begin. The following pictures highlight your journey to this incredible dish.
First, give the crumb topping a quick pre-bake for a crunchy, golden start. For the chicken and vegetables, use the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken. Cook the carrots, celery and pearl onions to tender before setting aside with shredded chicken breasts. In the same pot you cooked the vegetables, you’ll cook mushrooms until they release their moisture, then add tomato paste and soy sauce, an excellent combination. Add the mushrooms to the chicken mixture and then make a creamy sauce, using the browned and flavorful fond left over from the mushrooms. A touch of fresh-squeezed lemon juice in the sauce brightens it up just right.
A few steps later and here is the incredibly flavorful, savory filling (You could make it up to a day ahead to this step).
Top it with the crunchy Parmesan crumb topping. Then just 15 minutes or so in the oven and you have the most delicious, comforting chicken pot pie ever. Enjoy again and again.
Chicken Pot Pie with Savory Crumb Topping
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 Tablespoons cold butter
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- Breast meat from one rotisserie chicken or about 2 cups cooked chicken shredded
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- ¾ cup pearl onions, peeled
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 small celery ribs, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 10 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley, divided
- ¾ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup corn
- For the topping:
- Preheat oven to 450F degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne in large bowl. Grate 6 Tablespoons butter over the flour mixture and then with your fingers, rub butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course cornmeal. Stir in ½ cup Parmesan. Add ¾ cup cream and stir until just combined.
- Spread mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until fragrant and starting to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
- For the filling:
- Reduce oven heat to 425F degrees.
- Prepare the chicken - Cut chicken breasts from rotisserie and shred into bite-size pieces. Place in medium bowl and set aside.
- In a medium dutch-oven or heavy pot, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add ¾ cup onion, 3 sliced carrots, 2 minced celery, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add to bowl with chicken and again set aside.
- In the same pot you cooked the vegetables, add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add 10 sliced mushrooms; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their liquid, just a few minutes.
- Remove cover and stir in 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated, mushrooms are well browned, and dark fond begins to form on the surface of the pan, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer mushrooms to bowl with chicken and vegetables. Set aside.
- Melt the 4 Tablespoons butter in again-empty pot over medium heat. Add ½ cup flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
- Slowly whisk in chicken broth and 1 cup milk and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits, cooking until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
- Turn off heat, stir in lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons parsley, then stir chicken mixture, plus now add the ¾ cup peas and ½ cup corn, into sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour chicken mixture into 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
- Scatter crumb topping evenly over filling (You can use as much of the topping as you like, but don't need to use it all).
- Place pot pit on aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until filling is bubbly and topping is well browned, 13 to 18 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon parsley and serve.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.