Chicken Pie with Biscuit Topping

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Preparation info

  • Makes one 9 × 13 × 2 inch 23 × 33 × 5 cm ) pie,

    4 to 6

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

I love chicken pie but never seem to make it as often as I would like. This new method of preparing it greatly reduces the preparation time and lets you have the pie in the oven in less than an hour. And if you cook the chicken the day before, it will go even more quickly. You can add any assortment of vegetables you like—I always throw in a handful of frozen peas since they don’t need to be cooked before going into the filling. I like using onion and carrots as the other vegetables, since they can cook right along with the chicken. If you prefer white meat, rather than the all-dark-meat version here, just substitute skinless, boneless chicken breasts for the thighs. The initial cooking time will be about 10 minutes shorter.


Chicken and Vegetables

  • pounds (700 grams) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, cut into -inch (4-cm) pieces
  • 1 quart (1 liter) water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, or - teaspoon dried thyme leaves tied in a small cheesecloth bag
  • 1 medium onion (about 6 ounces/175 grams) peeled, halved, and cut into 1-inch (-cm) dice
  • 4 large carrots (about 6 ounces/175 grams) peeled and cut into ½-inch (1-cm) slices
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Biscuit Topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons ( sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • cups milk or buttermilk
  • One 9 × 13 × 2-inch (23 × 33 × 5-cm) glass baking dish or an oval gratin dish of similar capacity


  1. To cook the chicken, combine the chicken, water, salt, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme in a large saucepan or medium enameled iron Dutch oven. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, occasionally skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Lower the heat and cook the chicken until it is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the onion and carrots during the last 10 minutes. (You may need to increase the heat for a few minutes to get the liquid simmering again after adding the vegetables.)
  2. When the chicken and vegetables are cooked, set a strainer or colander over a bowl and pour in the contents of the pan, reserving the broth. Invert the solid contents into the baking dish and let the chicken and vegetables cool for a few minutes.
  3. Return the broth to the pan, and place it over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and then simmer until reduced to about 3 cups. Add the cream and continue reducing to 2½ to 3 cups. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. After you add the cream to the broth, set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375°(190°C).
  5. Remove the parsley, bay leaf, and thyme from the chicken and vegetables and scatter the peas on top. Pour on the sauce and even out with a rubber spatula.
  6. For the biscuit topping, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in tho-bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the butter and pulse until it is mixed in finely. Add the milk and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Invert the food processor bowl over a floured work surface to turn out the dough. Carefully remove the blade and transfer any dough on it to the work surface. Press the dough together and fold it over onto itself 2 or 3 times to make it smoother. Press the dough into an approximately 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33-cm) rectangle. Cut it into 12 equal pieces. Gently pat each piece into an approximately 3-inch (-cm) disk. Place the disks over the chicken filling. You may cover and refrigerate the pie for up to one day before baking it. If you do, remember to preheat the oven about 1 hour before you intend to serve the pie.
  7. Bake the pie until the dough is baked through and well colored and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Set the pie on a rack for a few minutes to cool slightly, then serve immediately.


Spoon out one of the biscuits onto a warm plate, then serve several large spoonfuls of the chicken, vegetables, and sauce next to it.


Wrap and refrigerate leftovers. Reheat gently at 350°F (180°C) to serve again.