As a kid, I loved, loved, loved chicken pot pie! Of course, it was always the frozen kind from the grocery store, which I thought was the only way you could get chicken pot pie! To my regret, I became an adult and along with other crushing disappointments about life, like Santa, and that money didn’t just come out of the machine whenever you needed it, I realized what was in those frozen chicken pot pies, and I put an end to my love affair with creamy chicken goodness.
Many years later when I started really rolling up my sleeves in the kitchen, I decided to make my own pot pie. I found a recipe that immediately brought me back to my childhood. It’s always a surreal feeling when a single bite transports you back in time to a memory, feeling or experience. That’s the power of food and exactly what I love about it. At fourty, I still love, love, love Chicken Pot Pie! It’s one my favorite meals to make when a cold chill sets into the air and snow gathers on the ground- nothing warms my bones more than a perfect, homemade pot pie.
What makes it perfect? The perfect chicken pot pie needs to have a tasty and sturdy crust, a well seasoned creamy sauce, tender vegetables and perfect, succulent chicken. This recipe delivers on all of the above and it’s fairly easy to make too!
The base of this recipe is from Ina Garten and it makes a perfect pot pie filling every time. Unlike Ina, I like to recommend the addition of crimini mushrooms because they elevate the classic version and it really does make it that much better. I also prefer to use puff pastry in place of homemade pie dough- it is a mess saver, and a time saver, without loosing any flavor.
The pot pie filling freezes well. This recipe makes about 6 portions so I vacuum seal and freeze in portions of 2. When ready to serve, all you need is to defrost, add pie crust and bake.
Homemade chicken stock really makes a difference. If you don’t keep your own stock on hand, be sure to use a good quality store bought stock. Every ingredient contributes to the flavor.
- 3 whole or 6 split chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on. (You should have 4-6 cups of cooked chicken)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken stock *good quality or home made is a must!
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 10 tablespoons 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups yellow onions chopped (2 onions)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups medium-diced carrots blanched for 2 minutes
- 1 10-ounce package frozen peas (2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
- 10-16 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced 1/4 inch and sautéed
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- Frozen puff pastry sheets- defrosted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Divide the filling equally among 5-6 ovenproof bowls (This depends on what bowls you are using- I like a hearty portion) Divide the puff pastry dough into squares and roll each piece into a circle about one inch larger than the bowl. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.