Chicken pot pies and I have a love-hate relationship.
I’m absolutely in love with it, but I also know how bad it can be for you… the crust requires butter. The filling also requires butter and some sort of a heavy cream. Annnnddd… it’s super time consuming. But man, is it the ultimate comfort food or what?!
Chilly weather, warm oversized hoodies, fireplaces, and individualized chicken pot pies…. YES please!
Imagine the moment you stick your fork into the light, flaky, buttery crust… you’re greeted by the warm filling filled with all kinds of yummy goodness – chunks of chicken, carrots, potatoes, celery, onions, corn, and broccoli florets. Make sure you get a little bit of everything if possible… as you savor the different textures that’s in every single bite, you can feel the the warmth of the pie filling warming your insides as it makes way to your stomach. This is exactly why I love having a hot bowl of soup in the frigid Minnesota winter.
The past few times I’ve made pot pies, I’ve always made my crust from scratch. However, since I’m typically trying to get six things done at once nowadays, I opted for the easy way out this time and used pre-made pie crust instead… tsk tsk. However, to “balance” out the amount of butter I used, I used skim milk instead of heavy cream… just to make myself feel a little bit better about it.
First I poached the chicken. You can by all means use pre-cooked diced chicken breast if you’re strapped on time, but I find fresh chicken to be better than the processed stuff. Place the chicken in a casserole dish, fill it with 3 cups of boiling water, cover it with foil, and cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Take the chicken out to cool on a cutting board, and use the same water that’s left on the dish to poach/cook your peeled and halved potatoes, about 30 minutes. Dice up the chicken and potatoes once they’re cooled, but keep them in separate dishes.
The reason you keep them separate is because you’ll be covering the bottom of your ramekin with the potatoes. This is because if you add the already cooked potatoes while you’re making and stirring the filling, you’re probably going to mash the potatoes up even more in the process… and no one wants mushy mashed potato/pot pie filling in their chicken pot pies.
While I was cooking/cooling/dicing up the chicken and potatoes, I took out my frozen pre-made pie crust out to thaw. Once thawed, remove the pie crusts from the foil baking dish it came in, onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a big ball, then roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s about 1/8″ thick. Next, using a bowl that’s slightly bigger in diameter than the ramekins you’ll be using, place the bowl upside down the onto the dough, and trace an outline of it with a knife. This is going to be your pie crust. Use the scraps of dough to roll it back into a ball, and repeat the process until you have about 6-7 pie crusts (we have 8-oz ramekins and two pre-made pie crusts yielded seven 5″ crusts). Stack the crusts together, with either a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap in between each one. Return to fridge to chill while you’re making the filling.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 medium sized russet potatoes, peeled and halved the long way
- 7 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
- 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1.5 cups skim milk
- 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 frozen pre-made pie crusts (usually a package you find at the store has 2 crusts)
- 6 to 7 (8-oz) ramekins
- Take frozen pie crust out to thaw. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the chicken breasts in a glass baking/casserole dish. Add 3 cups of boiling water to the chicken and cover with aluminum foil. Cook in oven at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Remove chicken onto cutting board to cool, then dice into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Using the same dish with the same water you used to cook the chicken, add the potatoes, cover with foil, and cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Transfer to cutting board and let cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces and transfer to another bowl.
- On a floured surface, remove pie crusts from aluminum baking dishes. Combine the two pie crusts and roll into a dough ball. Using a rolling pin, roll until dough is about 1/8" thick. Find a bowl that's slightly larger in diameter than the ramekins you'll be using. Place the bowl upside down onto the dough, and trace an outline of the bowl with a knife. Combine the scraps of dough and roll it back into a ball. Repeat steps to get as many discs of crusts as you can. Stack the crusts onto a plate, separating each crust with a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Return to fridge to chill.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the carrots, celery, and onion and cook until onions are translucent. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir.
- Add in the rest of the 4 tablespoons of butter into the vegetable mixture. Once the butter has completely melted, stir in the flour. Stir continuously to make sure the bottom of your pot doesn't burn. Cook flour for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the chicken broth and milk to the vegetables. Cook until mixture starts to thicken, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add in the diced chicken, broccoli florets, corn, dried parsley, thyme, another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until all the vegetables are cooked. Once filling is thickened and vegetables are cooked, remove pot from heat and let cool for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease six 8-oz ramekins. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Add chunks of potatoes onto the bottom of each ramekin, enough to cover the bottom. Spoon the cooled filling mixture over the potatoes, filling each ramekin to the brim. Placed the pie dough you made earlier over the top, crimping the edges. Make several slits with a knife for ventilation.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust turns golden brown.
- Remove ramekins from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.
It will be important that you cool the filling down a bit before ladling them into the ramekins and topping them with the dough. This is because if the filling is steaming hot, it could melt your dough and your crust won’t be able to hold its shape while baking.
This chicken pot pie is TO. DIE. FOR. The filling is creamy and the crust is buttery and flaky. Although the entire process took about 3 hours to complete, the final product sure didn’t disappoint! I’d happily do that all over again tomorrow if I had the time.
Also, just as a warning – the filling will be super hot when it comes out of the oven, so as difficult as it is to sit and wait and be tortured by the smells, letting it cool for a bit before eating is highly recommended! Burnt tongues ruin the enjoyment of eating pot pies, that’s for sure.
Recipe adapted from Simply Scratch
© Simple Everyday Food. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or kindly link back to this post for the recipe.