chicken pot pie

This is one of the first recipes I’ve ever created (without using some other recipe as a foundation). Homemade pot pie is one of those super crave-inducing meals. All it takes is a cool evening and I want it.  That evening is here.  Early snow and I’m suddenly craving comfort food.
chicken pot pieBefore this version, I’d never had a homemade pot pie before. I knew I wanted my version to be flavorful, but very “traditional”. Like Grandma’s cooking, that is if my grandma had made such a thing. As with any pie, it does take some time. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that it can be fully prepped ahead of time and frozen before baking. If you plan to eat it on a given day, take it out of the freezer either the night before or that morning.  It also makes a great gift for a new family or for someone that’s going through a difficult situation that could use a hot meal.roasted chicken breast

IMG_8886chicken pot pieBake it that evening for an incredibly comforting hot meal on a cool day. I’ll describe the steps that can be simplified or eliminated entirely, but here’s my version.

Oop’s chicken pot pie
makes 2 pies (1 for now, 1 to freeze for later)

2 bone-on, skin-on chicken breasts
1 glug olive oil
salt and pepper

olive oil
2-3 large onions
2 cloves garlic
6-8 carrots
1 tsp dried thyme
1½ tsp herbes de provence
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
5½ cups chicken broth or stock (divided)
½ cup corn starch
12 small(isn) red potatoes or about 4 large
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup half-and-half (or heavy cream)

pie crust(s)*

I roast my chicken breasts at 400° until cooked through (165° on a meat thermometer), about 40-45 minutes. (For an additional bonus meal, throw a few extra breasts in the pan. These can be the base a simple, but delicious, dinner.)  Alternatively, rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey work so well in this recipe.

Now to make the filling, put a glug of olive oil into a Dutch oven on medium heat on the stove.  Dice onions and put into the pot.  Cook until translucent.  Toss in the minced garlic cloves.  Peel and chop carrots into small coins or larger half-coins of roughly even size.  Add those to the pot. Add in dried herbs and seasoning. Honestly, I’ve never measured these. I just toss them in, tending to go with a pretty heavy hand.

Meanwhile, add corn starch to ½ cup room temperature (not warm) chicken broth) and stir to combine.

Add chicken broth to the pot.  Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces and add to the broth.  Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot.  Dump in the cornstarch and chicken broth mix.  Continue to cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.  The mixture should be thick and hearty.  (If you need to thicken it up even further, you can add more corn starch/broth until it’s fully thickened.)

Remove from heat.  Add frozen peas and half-and-half.  Stir to combine.

You have the choice now of a double-crust or single crust pot pie.*  Single crust is obviously the easiest choice.  It’s also the healthiest option.  My husband usually likes the crust-to-filling ratio found with a double crust pot pie, but you can choose whatever your heart desires here.  You’re also not limited to a pie dish.  I’ve made pot pies in large casserole dishes for a crowd.  Whichever you prefer.

Place a baking sheet or foil (or something to catch potential drips) on the oven rack below the rack you plan to bake the pot pie.  Bake the pot pie at 350° until filling is bubbling and crust is slightly browned, about 25-30 minutes.  If you chose a double crust pie, you’ll have to bake longer (and probably cover the top with foil mid-way through baking) in order to allow the bottom crust to fully cook, at least 45-50 minutes.

* If you do not have the time or inclination to make and roll out pie crusts, you’re just like the rest of us!  Puff pastry sheets are also a great option to top off this pot pie.  Pepperidge Farm makes a great puff pastry that you can use when you’re in a hurry.  Just plop the sheet down on top of the pot pie filling and bake as directed.  If you want to get fancy, brush the top with a bit of egg wash and water for a beautiful golden sheen.

There are so many iterations of this recipe that I’ve since developed. Creamy chicken and wild rice stew. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken and biscuits. Chicken hand pies/empanadas (read: child-friendly lunches). If there’s interest in those as well, I’d be happy to share.


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