I roasted a chicken the other night, which always leaves us with leftovers, so I decided to make chicken pot pies and realized I hadn’t shared a recipe for those yet. I make them about once a year because the recipe makes six pies, which carries us through the chilly season with only two of us to feed.
The chicken pot pies at some of the chain restaurants used to be my staple order until I began making my own. Nothing beats the flavor of homemade chicken pot pies, though, so no more mass-produced chain restaurant pies for me.
These homemade pies do take a bit of work but not excessively so. You can certainly cut corners by purchasing a rotisserie chicken and precut and/or frozen veggies. However, don’t skimp corners on the crust. This crust contains tangy cream cheese and is spiced up with some pepper. Fantastic flavor. So easy to work with, too: not too sticky and you can handle it without having to first refrigerate it.
The first time I made these, I pressed the dough on the rims of the bowls to make sure it would stick. Bad idea. I guess I pressed so hard that during baking the sides just slipped off! Looked like the pot pies decided to drop their skirts ; ) I’ve since learned, thanks to Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cooking show, to brush both sides of the dough with an egg wash. The inside brushing helps the dough adhere to the bowl while the outside wash gives a sheen to the cooked crust. Thank you, Ina, for that handy dandy tip.
Once cooked, these freeze beautifully. Just double wrap snugly in plastic wrap followed by an aluminum foil wrap, and you can then bake them straight from the freezer. Love the ease of that.
Now, if making entire chicken pot pies doesn’t appeal to you, the folks at Cooks Illustrated have created a casserole version that tastes equally yummy. Since I don’t have that recipe posted on my blog yet (but have made it a few times), head on over to Annie’s Eats to find the recipe.
Chicken Pot Pies
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into small chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 cup celery, diced small (not part of original recipe)
- 1 cup carrots, diced small (or use frozen carrots)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
- dash hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
- 10 ounces cream cheese, chilled
- 1 large egg
- To make filling: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and potato to pan; saute for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, bell pepper, celery, carrots (if using raw) and mushrooms; cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- When veggies finish cooking, add cooked and shredded chicken along with frozen peas (and carrots if using frozen carrots). Stir in red pepper flakes as well as season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To make sauce: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth (mine lumped up into a big ball).
- Add broth about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking it into the flour mixture. Continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens into a creamy sauce. If using heavy cream, mix that in now. Add hot sauce as well as salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour cream sauce over chicken and veggies; stir to combine.
- Spoon the filling into 6-8 individual oven-safe ramekins (mine are 4 1/2 inches in diameter).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F at this point.
- To make crust: Place flour in bowl of food processor along with salt and pepper. Pulse briefly to mix.
- Cut cold butter into 16 pieces and add to food processor; pulse until flour and butter are crumbly.
- Add cream cheese; continue to pulse until dough forms a ball. Transfer dough to a lightly-floured work surface. Use a floured rolling pin to roll dough into a rough rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough in half lengthwise, then into thirds in the other direction, making six squares (or if you have 8 pies, cut accordingly). If squares are too small to fit over bowls, you can roll each one separately to enlarge them to needed size.
- Beat egg with a whisk, then brush dough with the egg. Place brushed side down over bowls, and gently press sides until they adhere to bowl. Now brush egg over top side of dough.
- Place pies on a foil-covered baking sheet (both for ease of transfer as well as any overflow of filling). Cut several slits into pie tops. Place pies into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown (if your crusts are on the thick side, you may need to bake a bit longer).
- Baked and cooled pies can be frozen. Wrap snugly in plastic wrap followed by an aluminum foil wrap. Either thaw frozen pies in refrigerator on the day you intend to eat them, then reheat in 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes. Alternatively, pies can be reheated straight from freezer at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes.