I grew up eating individual chicken pot pies that we pulled out of the freezer and baked in the oven. My favorite part was always the pie crust, gravy and vegetables, I picked around the chicken.
When I made this version of chicken pot pie for my family, I knew I had found a winner. There are no shortcuts, and you can taste every bit of the labor and love that goes into this homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Drop Biscuit Topping.
Slowly cook the chicken
2 quarts chicken stock (I used Swanson cooking stock in this recipe or make your own homemade stock)
4 1/2 pounds assorted bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, thighs, and breasts
1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
In a large stock pot combine chicken stock, chicken parts, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf and any other fresh herbs you happen to have on hand. Cover and place over medium-high heat until stock registers about 150°F on a digital thermometer.
Adjust heat to maintain that temperature, and cook until thickest part of chicken registers 135°F, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove the chicken with tongs, set aside on a rimmed baking sheet. Strain the stock through a mesh strainer into a large bowl, discard solids, and set stock aside to cool.
For the Filling:
1/2 ounce gelatin
1/4 cup reserved chicken stock, cooled
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 large celery ribs, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 quart reserved chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup drained and diced pimento peppers
1 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cups shredded chicken
Combine gelatin, and 1/4 cup cooled stock in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain; set aside.
Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large Dutch oven, then whisk in flour. Stir with a whisk until the roux is fragrant and a nutty blond color, about 5 minutes. Stir in onion, carrots, and celery and continue cooking and stirring until vegetables are slightly softened, about 7 minutes more. Add garlic and stir for another minute.
Add wine and 1 quart of the reserved stock, constantly stirring until smooth. The remaining stock from poaching can be reserved for another use. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it begins to bubble, remove from heat. Stir in frozen peas, diced pimentos, and prepared gelatin, followed by salt, thyme, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until gelatin has fully melted into the sauce and adjust seasonings to taste.
Shred or dice reserved chicken, discarding skin and bones, then stir into filling. If it better suits your schedule, the sauce can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen in an airtight container for 3 months. Otherwise, fill a large 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish (approximately 7 by 11 inches). Place on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any drips and set aside.
For the Biscuit Topping
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces cultured low-fat buttermilk
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and toss to break up the pieces, then smash each one flat between your fingertips. Continue smashing and rubbing until butter is broken up into small pieces, like cereal flakes. Stir in buttermilk with a flexible spatula, then drop the thick dough in 1-tablespoon portions over prepared filling.
Bake and share the love
Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling-hot, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on whether mixture has been chilled. If you value the roof of your mouth, cool at least 25 minutes before serving to allow the filling to thicken and reach a safe temperature to enjoy. Covered in foil, leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days and reheated.