Step aside Marie Callendar. Your frozen pot pies, while delicious and a snap to bake, cannot hold a candle to these truly delicious and homemade chicken pot pies. Yum.
The cool fall weather we’ve had the last couple days here in Amarillo demanded some serious comfort food. Ben made a fire Saturday afternoon since the temperature hovered around 40 most of the day and dropped down to 30 that night. Today it was close to 90. Gotta love the Panhandle!
The cool weather called for some kind of casserole or hearty pasta dish for a dinner in front of the fire. I came across a pot pie recipe, marked with a blue sticky note, in The Pastry Queen cookbook. A friend of my mother-in-law told me that I just had to make these because they were one of the tastiest meals she’d ever had. This was over a year ago, and I had yet to try them! Now was the time.
I used the Rebecca Rather recipe and this recipe from Simply Recipes to create my pot pies. My initial plan was to roast my own chicken, but as time began to catch up with me yesterday afternoon, I decided to buy a rotisserie chicken instead. A very good decision.
The kinds of vegetables varied in these 2 recipes, so I just chose what I liked: onions, potatoes, carrots, celery and peas.
There are a lot of options for the sauce. Some recipes call for the sauce to be made separately, while others create the sauce along with the vegetables. I chose a separate sauce that is then added to the vegetables and chicken.
Now to the most important part of a pot pie. The glue that holds it all together. The crust.
Puff pastry is a decadent option, or a regular all-butter pie crust or butter and shortening crust can be used. I even found a recipe that used phyllo. I chose a butter and cream cheese-based crust that came together quickly in the food processor, didn’t require much chilling time, was easy to handle and roll out, and tasted heavenly.
I baked individual pot pies in two over-sized coffee mugs and filled a 9-inch pie plate with the extra filling. While both were delicious, the individual pies are much easier to eat and serve. I plan to invest in some 8- or 10-ounce ramekins when I make this again for company. I see this meal being a great dinner party meal. You can make them ahead of time, bake them when people arrive and not spend too much time in the kitchen. Having a personal pie for each person is also something I find totally adorable.
Please make these for someone now that the weather is cooling a bit. You will not be sorry. And anyone you serve them to will probably offer to be your best friend and maybe even clean up the mess you will most likely make in your kitchen. Enjoy!
Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 1/4 cups frozen peas
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and torn into bite sized peices
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup butter, chilled
- 3 cups flour
- 8 ounces cream cheese, chilled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten, for brushing the tops of the pies
To make the filling:
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and potato and saute for 5 minutes, then add garlic. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and parsley.
- Stir in the chicken and peas, remove from the heat and set aside.
Make the cream sauce:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the chicken stock and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly.
- Add the cream, salt and pepper and thyme and whisk well.
- Pour the cream mixture into the chicken and vegetable mixture and mix to combine.
Make the crust:
- Cut butter into 16 pieces and pulse with flour in a food processor until crumbly.
- Cut cream cheese into a few pieces and add to the processor along with salt and pepper. Continue pulsing until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
- Use immediately or chill for 30 minutes to an hour wrapped in plastic wrap. If you chill it longer, let it warm up a bit before rolling.
Make the pies:
- Fill six 1 and 1/2 cup oven safe bowls or ramekins equally, about 3/4 full, with the chicken mixture. You could also use a deep dish pie plate or casserole.
- Split the dough in 6 equal pieces (or as many pies as you plan to bake) and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Cut dough into rounds that are about 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than your bowls to ensure a lovely overhang.
- Brush a little of the beaten egg onto the edges of the bowls and place dough rounds over the filling, pressing slightly to adhere to the bowl. Repeat with remaining bowls.
- Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash.
- Bake the pies at 375° for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.