For a grown-up take on this childhood favorite, we dropped the traditional pastry crust in favor of a no-fuss biscuit topping, then added cremini mushrooms and fresh thyme to the filling for a little earthiness. Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. Notes: One standard-size rotisserie chicken supplies just enough meat for the pies. You will need six or seven 8- to 10-oz. ovenproof containers for this recipe.
2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
12 small cremini or button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 tablespoons plus 2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, preferably a mixture of white and dark meat (see Notes)
1/4 cup frozen sweet peas
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. well-shaken buttermilk
Egg wash (1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tbsp. milk)
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery. Lower heat to medium and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain vegetables, reserving stock; set both aside separately.
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt salted butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add fresh thyme and 5 tbsp. flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly, until combined, then add stock and cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste. Add parsley, chicken, cooked vegetables, and peas and divide filling evenly among 6 or 7 ovenproof containers (8 to 10 oz. each), leaving the top 1/4 in. unfilled.
Preheat oven to 425°. To make biscuit topping, sift remaining 2 cups flour with baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in unsalted butter to form a coarse meal, working quickly to keep the butter from warming up and melting into the dough. Stir in cheese and sage. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk and add to the flour mixture, stirring gently until a shaggy dough forms.
Lightly flour a counter, a rolling pin, and your hands. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll out first ball to a 1/4-in. thickness, then use a 2 1/2-in. biscuit cutter to cut into rounds, scraping and rerolling dough as needed. Repeat with second ball.
Place 3 rounds of dough on each potpie, overlapping as necessary (any unused rounds can be baked on their own as biscuits). Brush dough with egg wash, put potpies on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil, and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 17 to 22 minutes.