Deep-Dish Chicken-Fennel Pie With Bacon-Biscuit Top

This hearty dish features an amazing blend of flavors underneath its savory, bacon-studded crust.

Number of servings : 12

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Type of meal : | Main Courses | Main Courses

Special diet :


3 pounds chicken breasts
4 cups chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bulbs fennel (1-1/2 pounds)
2 large boiling potatoes
1-1/2 pounds baby carrots
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped parsley

Biscuit topping:
12 ounces bacon
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups whole milk


  1. Make the filling: Place chicken, broth, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a large stockpot. Add 4 cups water and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until chicken is opaque throughout. Remove chicken to cool. Reserve broth.
  2. Meanwhile, trim and discard stalks from fennel bulbs, and slice bulb in half then into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Return cooking broth to boiling. Add fennel, potatoes, and carrots. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Remove vegetables with slotted spoon and reserve 2 cups broth. (Save remaining broth for another use.) Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. Arrange vegetables and chicken in two ungreased 13-inch x 9-inch baking dishes.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Blend in flour, milk, and reserved 2 cups stock. Stirring constantly, heat to boiling. Season with salt if necessary. Pour sauce over vegetables and chicken in baking dishes.
  4. Make biscuits: Cut bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Cook in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead to this point. Cover baking dishes, and wrap bacon in plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using 2 knives scissors-fashion, or with fingertips, cut butter into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork, blend in bacon and milk just until combined. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonsful onto filling. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes, or until biscuits are browned and filling is bubbling.

Nutritional information: