Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel and Mushrooms in a Potato Bowl Recipe

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Yes, you read the title correctly and no, I didn't put the wrong picture up. This is a chicken pot pie. Kind of.

This is the Classic Update to the Classic Chicken Pot Pie. The Classic/Classic Update feature is one of my most favorite sections of Fine Cooking Magazine. They always challenge me, whether with the original classic dish (like the Lemon Icebox Cake which still remains one of the best desserts I've made; ever) or with the update, like this take on the chicken pot pie.

The Chicken Pot Pie with Fennel and Mushrooms in a Potato Bowl was created by Chef David Burke, who owns six restaurants, including ones in New York City and Chicago. It is unusual, unique and definitely the reward for out-of-the-box thinking.

Truthfully, the hardest thing about this recipe is piping the mashed potato bowl, a skill which you can see I definitely do not possess. I didn't have the right tip size either. I will admit it right up front that I only made one bowl. The other servings had a spoonful of mashed potatoes plopped in the middle of the plate with the stew piled on top. Dudette, of course, got to eat the serving with the potato bowl. She didn't mind that it was lopsided, leaked, or any of the other things that were wrong with it.

The amount of time this meal takes is relatively little on the cooking side (15 minutes here for this; 20 minutes there for that kind of thing), but there is a bit of small-dicing and slicing to do.

Before even beginning to cook the chicken thighs (they are seared and then simmered in gravy in a straight-sided skillet) small-dice the vegetables; fennel and carrots, slice the mushrooms and peel the pearl onions. When the thighs are tender, they are removed and the vegetables are added to the gravy to gently cook until tender. It just takes a bit longer to do the small-dicing than it does to do the cooking so it's good to have that head start.

As soon as the vegetables are added to the gravy, put the little carrots in the oven to roast in some olive oil with salt. The potatoes can also go on the stove to boil. It's a bit of a dance, but it can all come together at the same time if done in this order, I promise. While the potatoes boil, the vegetables simmer and the carrots roast, skin the chicken and remove the meat from the bones, shredding it into bite-sized pieces. It'll get put in the gravy with the vegetables as soon as they're cooked, along with a dollop of Dijon mustard.

The cooked potatoes are simply made with warm milk and butter. I didn't need to add any salt since the recipe asked that they be boiled with 4 teaspoons of the stuff. It doesn't over-salt them, but it does flavor them enough to make the potatoes tasty without needing more later

To pull this together, after the potatoes are mashed, put them in a pastry bag with a 1/2" plain tip and pipe the bowl about 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches high. Fill the bowl with the stew and top it with a few of the roasted baby carrots. Garnish it with chopped chives and serve.

As far as which dish we preferred, it's a three-way tie. We all thought this was good so there's no knocking it in any way. Hubby preferred the Classic Chicken Pot Pie. Though he repeatedly said that this version was good; he just liked the other more (read "must have pie crust" between the lines). Dudette liked the updated version more (but not the roasted carrot so much). She downed almost the whole bowl and stopped only because she was full.

I sit on the fence. I really liked them both. A lot. Each has its own pluses. The fennel definitely adds another dimension to this dish, as does searing the chicken and then using the drippings to create the gravy. I thought this version had more flavor, although it was very unique, but there is something about the "comfort" of the classic version with a pie crust that can't be beat. Like I said; on the fence.

I'll definitely make this again and would even consider doing shepherd's pie-like, with the stew on the bottom of a casserole dish and the mashed potatoes spread over the top.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $4.34 view details
  • For the stew
  • 1-1/2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms, such as oyster, hen of the woods, or chanterelles
  • 1-1/2 cups small-diced fennel (from 1 small bulb)
  • 1 cup small-diced carrot
  • 1 cup fresh pearl onions, peeled, or frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • For the baby carrots
  • 16 baby carrots with tops, peeled and trimmed with 1/2 inch of the tops intact
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • For the whipped potatoes
  • 3 lb. russet potatoes (about 4 medium)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Make the stew
  3. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in a 10- to 11-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, flipping once, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk the flour into the fat in the pan. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the pan, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer gently, turning once, until the chicken is very tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and let cool briefly.
  4. Meanwhile, stir the mushrooms, fennel, carrot, onions, and thyme into the sauce. Cover and simmer until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the mustard and butter, and keep warm.
  5. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, shred into bite-size pieces (discard the skin and bones), and add to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  6. Roast the carrots
  7. Put the carrots on a small rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with 1/4 tsp. salt. Roast the carrots until tender and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Keep warm.
  8. Make the whipped potatoes
  9. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put them in a 4-quart saucepan; add enough water to cover and 4 tsp. salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce the heat as needed to keep the water from boiling over, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain well. Return the potatoes to the pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until they no longer steam profusely (a little steam is fine), about 2 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming, about 2 minutes. Keep warm.
  11. With an electric hand mixer on medium-low speed, beat the potatoes until they’re broken up, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk and the butter, and beat on high speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot occasionally, until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes (the potatoes should be fairly stiff, but add the remaining milk if needed). Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  12. Assemble
  13. Tip: To pipe whipped potatoes into a bowl shape, the potatoes need to be stiff, but not too stiff. Try piping a little bit of potato into a circle, and if it’s too stiff to do so easily, add a bit more milk to the remaining potatoes before proceeding.
  14. Spoon the whipped potatoes into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (Ateco #806). Pipe the potatoes to form “bowls” on each of 6 plates; the bowls should be about 3 inches in diameter and about 2-1/2 inches tall. Spoon the chicken stew into the bowls and garnish with the roasted baby carrots and the chives.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 673g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 830  
Calories from Fat 374 45%
Total Fat 42.36g 53%
Saturated Fat 18.44g 74%
Trans Fat 0.03g  
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 1084mg 45%
Potassium 2248mg 64%
Total Carbs 75.15g 20%
Dietary Fiber 7.0g 23%
Sugars 8.39g 6%
Protein 42.13g 67%
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  • Tamara Daugherty
    I'm with you on this one The Mom Chef - Tested this myself in Gourmetmama's Experimental Kitchen and came to the same conclusion. And by the way, you did a great job on the presentation. I give it the same (4.5 Stars)
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


    • ShaleeDP
      May 26, 2015
      This looks awesomely delicious! yummyyyy

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