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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definitely making this!!
Sounds delicious. A perfect meal.
Crazy mix of flavours. I LOVE IT.
This is dinner tonight!
Yes David, better on a cool morning.:-)
This was so delicious! I made a couple of small changes, but overall used your method and it came out heavenly. If you want to read about how I used the recipe (and I did link back to this page), feel free to visit my blog at: http://www.foodinbooks.com
So awesome, Vanessa. Thank you!! 🙂
Love the spices, like the herbs and can think of more than one way to use this deliciously marinated chicken ! Without a crust I maybe shall not call it pot pie but shall prep it when I next reach for my favourite chicken thighs . . . love peapods but not green peas as a rule, but can easily get around that . . .
Thanks so much, Eha. I love pea pods, too. So pretty and tasty. Enjoy and I hope you're having a lovely weekend. 🙂 ~Valentina
Very interesting and delicious
Perfect for gf diets or those short on time (to make the pastry)! Looks absolutely wonderful, Valentina!
Beautiful, no gluten one 🙂 Pinning dear !
Thank you! Enjoy. 🙂 ~Valentina
David Scott Allen
Love the cardamom and cinnamon!! This is a brilliant idea, Valentina - and perfect for this time of year. I especially appreciate the tip on marinating the chicken in buttermilk for 24 hours! Can’t wait to try this.
Thanks, David. Hope you love it! 🙂 ~Valentina
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
A healthier pot pie? Count me in! It's getting so cold here now so I'm craving all the comfort food and I know this one would hit the spot! Cozy and delicious!! No going wrong with chicken and lots of veggies 🙂
Thanks, Dawn. I love this sort of comfort food all year long! Hope you have a delightful week. 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
I am ALL about the buttermilk-marinated chicken. Buttermilk is a classic for delicious fried chicken, but I've never thought about using it to make roasted chicken. This stew sounds like my kinda comfort food. It's currently snowing here (already!), and I'm thinking a nice big bowl of this would be quite welcome by tonight.
Wow, can't believe you're already in the snow. Yes, bring out the comfort foods. Thanks for checking this out, David. 🙂 ~Valentina
THIS is brilliant!! And yes, " I am hungry?" I love all the flavors in this Valentina - utterly scrumptious!!!
Thank you so much, Nancy! 🙂 ~Valentina
This recipe was amazing! Use of nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom was fun. I only had 5-6 hours to marinate so I poked the chicken with a fork many times hoping that would help accelerate the process. Also added lemon juice to the chicken prior to putting on marinate, in hopes of accelerating the process. Not sure if any of those things helped but either way it turned out so good. My stomach is happy after eating this, will make again!
Hi Zahara! You made my day. I'm so happy you tried this recipe -- and that you loved it! The lemon juice is a lovely touch. It's such a good comfort food this time of year. Happy cooking. 🙂 ~Valentina