Chicken Cobbler

Chicken Cobbler Recipe

I’ve always found it a little annoying that marketing cretins “geniuses” at baking mix companies have co-opted the term “pot pie” to use on their back-of-package recipes for making a biscuit topped chicken dish. These are the same folk that invent words like “lite”, as if removing some consonants from the word “light” makes their product contain less calories. All I have to say to these nincompoops is that if it doesn’t have a pie crust, it’s not a pie.

That said, there’s certainly nothing wrong with sticking moist golden-brown biscuits atop a filling of chicken, vegetables and a creamy gravy, and there’s a certain allure of not having to roll out a pie dough to make dinner. So what should the dish be called then?

Well, it’s a cobbler. I know that in the US the term “cobbler” is usually preceded by a fruit, but it’s a term used in other English speaking countries to describe any sweet or savory dish covered in biscuit dough. You could even call it a chicken pot-cobbler if you like, but please don’t call it a biscuit topped chicken pot-pie.

So now that that’s off my chest, I’ll get off my soapbox and tell you about this awesome chicken cobbler. Beneath the golden buttery biscuit crust lies a filling that’s as flavorful as it is colorful thanks to the chicken, onions, carrots and mushrooms being thoroughly browned.

Chicken Pot Pie Filling

For the gravy, I like using a mixture of chicken stock and whole milk to get just the right amount of creaminess without making it too rich and cloying. Because the chicken stock plays such a major role, use the best stock you can get your hands on. My rich chicken stock gives the gravy some nice body with an intense chicken flavor.

As for the chicken, you can certainly use breast meat, but because you’re cooking it twice, it tends to become overcooked in the oven. That’s why I recommend using chicken thighs. Finally, to ensure the peas stay green, I add frozen peas to the filling just before putting everything in the oven. That way, they have just enough time to warm up, without ending up a swampy green color.

Equipment you'll need:

Chicken Cobbler
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Chicken, mushrooms carrots and peas in a creamy gravy topped with a buttery golden biscuit crust.
Chicken Cobbler
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Chicken, mushrooms carrots and peas in a creamy gravy topped with a buttery golden biscuit crust.
Servings Prep Time
people 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Servings Prep Time
people 15minutes
Cook Time
45minutes
Ingredients
  • chicken
  • 400 grams chicken thighs – boneless skin-on cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme - fresh leaves minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 110 grams onions chopped
  • 200 grams mushrooms (~8 mushrooms) quartered
  • 100 grams carrots diced
  • 42.75 grams butter 3 tablespoons
  • 33 grams flour - all-purpose (~1/4 cup)
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup green peas - frozen
  • biscuit
  • 130 grams flour - all-purpose (~1 cup)
  • 5 grams sugar - evaporated cane juice (1 teaspoon)
  • 7.5 grams baking powder (1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams baking soda (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1.5 grams salt (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 57 grams butter - cultured unsalted chilled & cut into 1/4-inch cubes (4 tablespoons)
  • 2/3 cup yogurt - plain
Units:
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and then season with thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot and then add the olive oil and chicken. Let the chicken brown on one side, and then flip and brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to a bowl, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.
  3. Add the onions, mushrooms and carrots and saute until the carrots are tender and the onions are browned.
  4. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to the bowl with the chicken.
  5. Add the butter and flour to the pan and cook the flour until it's bubbly and free of lumps.
  6. Turn down the heat to low and add the chicken stock and milk. Immediately start whisking to prevent clumps of roux from forming.
  7. Once the mixture is smooth, return the vegetables and chicken and turn the heat back up to medium, bringing the mixture to a simmer.
  8. Add the sherry and season with salt. The amount of salt you add will depend on how much salt your chicken stock had, but you should not need to add more than 1 teaspoon of salt. Keep in mind that the mixture will continue to reduce in the oven, so you want it to be slightly under-salted. Let this mixture simmer and thicken while you make the biscuit dough.
  9. Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 425 degrees F (220 C).
  10. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the bowl of a small food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  11. Add the butter and give it about 10, 1 second pulses until the butter is broken up into small rice-size grains.
  12. Add the peas to the chicken and sauce and then transfer to a 9-inch oven-safe casserole dish.
  13. Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and add the yogurt. Use a spatula to quickly mix the yogurt and flour together until just combined (do not overmix) or your biscuits will get tough.
  14. Working quickly drop the biscuit dough evenly over the surface of the chicken. I find it's easiest to drop strips of dough off a broad spatula into rows.
  15. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake until the chicken mixture is bubbly and the biscuits are golden brown on top (about 10-15 minutes).
Categories
  • http://baconandrhbuarb.blogspot.com Rachel Zenhausern

    I had to laugh at your post because this is something that has been on my mind lately. I make a “chicken pot pie” that is a chicken and vegetables covered in a layer of biscuit crust. I have been thinking that it really is a misnomer to call it “Pot Pie” when it truly is a cobbler. In fact, I had been planning to call it that going forward. I thought the idea was so original too! I guess we can only say great minds think alike. :-)

    If it bugs you that chicken covered in biscuit crust is called a pot pie, I suggest you never order chicken pot pie in PA Dutch country. I went to college in that area. The cafeteria served “chicken pot pie” that was really just a chicken soup with very large noodles. When I commented to a friend who was from the area that it seemed like a silly name for a soup, she told me that it was the legitimate PA Dutch way to make chicken pot pie.

    I still might be insulting chicken pot pie with my cobbler though. I don’t like the traditional peas and carrots, so I make mine with broccoli and mushrooms. Very far afield of the classic.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hahaha, glad to hear I’m not the only one that thought this was odd:-) As for the filling I don’t think there’s any right or wrong way to make it, just like there’s no wrong way to make apple pie filling (as long as it has apples). Broccoli and mushrooms sound delicious!

      Thanks for the heads up on PA Dutch country chicken “pot pie”. It’s fascinating to hear how foods evolve as they trek around the world.

  • Kiki

    Interesting name cobbler. I prepare a quite similar dish using puff-pastry dough (ok, there exists a huge variety of ingredients I use, to give the old lady bechamel a little kick, such as champagne, cognac, different kinds of vegetables and mushrooms..). It never came to my mind to make a biscuits crust – did not know such thing exists. Have to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  • KimNB

    Well if Wiki is right, cobblers are just a subset of pies where there is only a top crust. The crust can be pastry, biscuit, potatoes, etc. So if you want to go with cobbler go for it, recognizing that the use of cobbler for a savory dish is pretty rare in North America. Technically the biscuit folks are also correct with their pot pie recipe. Regardless of what you call it your recipe looks great.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi KimNB, it’s a good point you raise and the definitions of food words is often a bit murky. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, the english word “pie” comes from magpie, a bird with variegated coloring who collects odds and ends for it’s nest. The original meaning was a dish in a nest that had odds and ends thrown in. Since this dish has no nest, it doesn’t really fit with the original meaning. That said, the modern British definition of pie seems to have taken the odds and ends part and forgotten about the nest part since there are dishes like cottage pie and shepherds pie (both topped with mashed potatoes). So if you were British you could almost be excused for calling this a pie, except according to wikipedia, the British definition of cobbler includes savory casserole fillings under a scone (biscuit), so I think this dish would still be called a cobbler in the UK.

      As for a cobbler being a type of pie, I respectfully disagree. A pie is a type of pastry, and according to McGee, pastries fall into one of 4 categories: Crumbly (such as a pâte brisés or shortbread), Flaky (such as an American pie), Laminated pastry (puff pastry, phyllo, etc), and Laminated bread (croissant). While he doesn’t make specific mention of cobblers, biscuits are listed under an entirely different category of “quick bread”.

  • Marlo

    This recipe is delicious, although I changed it up a bit, based on what I had in the pantry. I used tuna, instead of chicken, shiitake mushrooms, and used sour cream+milk with reduced amounts of butter for the biscuits instead of yogurt. Yummy!

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