Crustless Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk is a healthy, amazingly delicious comfort food dish. Spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, it'll warm you up in the fall and winter months.
Aside from not having a crust, making it more like a stew, this is not exactly like the pie -- it's also not quite as saucy and it's much healthier.
A more classic chicken pot pie would usually have butter, cream and flour. My Crustless Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk is thickened only with potatoes and chicken stock, and the buttermilk is for marinating, not cooking.
What makes this the best Crustless Chicken Pot Pie?
1. Long marinating time. One of the keys to this super flavorful, cozy dish is the long marinating time for the chicken. The chicken marinates for 24 hours in the buttermilk, olive oil, honey, cardamom and cinnamon. Are you with me? Can you imagine all of that deliciousness seeping into the chicken?
2. Chicken thighs. This recipe calls for chicken thighs which are my preference because they generally retain more liquid during the cooking process, keeping them extra juicy. They are also considered dark meat and have more fat than other parts of the chicken. This makes them more flavorful! (FYI, the fat here is monounsaturated, the so-called good fat.)
3. Warming spices. Warming spices are those that have a deep aroma and strong flavor. They can make any dish richer. Crustless Chicken Pot Pie includes three of them: cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg.
What does buttermilk do to chicken?
The enzymes in buttermilk break down some of the proteins (collagen) which tenderizes the chicken and keeps it very juicy. This technique is commonly used for making fried chicken, and it works really well for this Crustless Chicken Pot Pie, too.
- After the chicken marinates, before you cook it, it's important to let the marinade drip off the chicken pieces. Don't wipe it off though, you want just enough to coat it while it's cooking -- there should not be any pools of liquid in the pan before it goes in the oven.
- If you want your vegetables to become crispy, you can roast them in a single layer on a sheet pan instead of in the baking pan.
This healthy Crustless Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk is great served with a salad but can totally hold its own as the whole meal.
Enjoy every last bite!
More chicken comfort food dishes:
- Skillet Sweet Potato Chicken
- Cuban Chicken Stew Recipe
- Tomato Balsamic Braised Chicken
- Skillet Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives
In case you want a more classic Chicken Pot Pie, here's a delicious one.
Crustless Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk
For the chicken and potatoes :
- 2½ cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2¼ pounds chicken thighs (about 8 thighs)
- 1 pound (about 3 cups when cut) Idaho Baby Dutch Yellow potatoes, washed and dried, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cups (about ¾-pound) carrots, medium dice
- 2 teaspoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1¼ cup chicken stock
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken and potatoes:
- Add the buttermilk, ¼ cup of the olive oil, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and honey to a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish, and use a whisk to blend the ingredients together. Cut any excess fat off of the chicken thighs and add them to the marinade, being sure they are completely submerged.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. (At some point about mid-way through, flip the chicken pieces over.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and adjust a rack to the center.
- Take the marinating chicken out of the refrigerator. Remove the pieces of chicken and place them on a large plate, letting the marinade drip off, though not wiping it off. (In other words, leave whatever naturally stays on.) Discard the remaining liquid from the dish, and then put the chicken back in it and sprinkle it lightly with salt and pepper.
- Place the pan in the preheated 375°F oven and roast until the chicken is just cooked through, about 25 minutes. (You can cut a slit in the thickest part of one of the pieces, if you're not sure it's done.) Remove the chicken from the dish and and set it aside on a clean plate. Turn the oven up to 425°F.
- Without washing it, add the potatoes, carrots and onion to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, the sage and thyme. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently mix to blend. Place the pan in the 425°F oven, and roast the vegetables until they're tender. They should be mixed every 15 minutes or so. Do not turn off the oven.
- Remove 1 cup of the potatoes and add them to a blender with the chicken stock. Blend just to purée. Mix in the nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
- Slice the chicken into strips and add it to the pan with the remaining potatoes and the carrots. Add the peas and the potato purée. Mix everything together and season a bit more with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover with foil and return the pan to the oven just to be sure everything is hot, about 10 minutes.
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