As a kid, chicken pot pie came directly from the freezer case at the local grocery store. The taste was unmistakeable and so comforting. However, I knew a home made version would be so much better.
My Chicken Pot Pie is the ultimate comfort food and not one I make often because it is definitely not friendly to your waistline. But every now and then you just need to indulge. This version has a homemade pastry and roasted chicken but you can definitely substitute the store bought pie crusts and a rotisserie chicken. The filling can be made in less than 20 minutes so it makes this a quick dinner with the substitutions.
Individual dishes are used for the 4 generous servings but you can easily put the filling in a pie plate or 2 quart casserole. The individual dishes work best for me so I can freeze two of the servings for later. There is enough pastry to line the bottom and top of a pie plate or casserole dish if you prefer.
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
- olive oil, salt and pepper
- 3 celery stalks
- 3 carrots
- 1 large onion
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup half and half
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp back pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold shortening, diced
- 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
- 8-10 tbsp ice water
- Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp water)
Roast the chicken breasts using the Barefoot Contessa’s method. Sprinkle olive oil on both sides of the chicken and salt and pepper generously. (Photo A) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Let the chicken cool and then remove the meet from the bones. Shred the meat and discard the bones and skin. (Photo B)
In a food processor, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse to mix. Add the shortening and butter. (Photo C) (The shortening and butter need to cold so the crust is flaky.) Pulse the mixture until it forms a pea like mixture. It takes about 8 to 10 pulses. With the processor running, add 1/2 the ice water down the feed tube. Continue adding ice water until the mixture comes together in a ball. Dump the mixture onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Photo D)
Dice the onion, celery and carrots so that all the vegetables are approximately the same size. (Photo E) In a large pot, add the butter and turn the burner to medium heat. Add the vegetables and 1/2 the salt and pepper. (Photo F) Saute until the onions are translucent.
Add the flour to the vegetables and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and cook until the mixture thickens. (Photo G) Add the wine, half and half and peas.
Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and chop to release the oils. Add the thyme, shredded chicken, the remainder of the salt and pepper, and nutmeg to the filling. (Photo H) Taste the filling and add more salt and pepper as needed. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Remove the pastry dough from the refrigerator and cut in half. Roll the dough into a circle large enough to cut out two tops for the serving dishes. Don’t try to make it a perfect circle. Just make it a rough cut so that it looks rustic. (Photo K) Repeat with the remaining dough. (Tip: Roll the dough from the center and don’t use a back and forth motion.)
Ladle the filling into the individual serving dishes. (Photo J) Brush the egg wash on the top and sides of the serving dishes to keep the pastry in place. Place the pastry over the dish. Brush the egg wash on the pastry. Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on the pastry. (Photo L) Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
The pot pies may be frozen at this point. Just wrap each individual serving in foil. Bake the frozen pot pies at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.