Chicken Pot Pie

I love comfort food when it’s cold outside. Who doesn’t, right? One of my favorites is chicken pot pie. It’s a lot easier than people give it think it is, and it’s always delicious! I also love that you can modify it to suit your taste. You can add all different kinds of veggies, or you can keep it simple.

I like to make individual pies, but this recipe can also make one large 9×13 pie.

For the crust of the pot pies, frozen pie dough is a great choice, but if you want to make it from scratch you need cold butter, flour, cold water, sugar, cold shortening, and salt. If you use pre-made pie crusts, be sure to buy a two pack; one crust will be the bottom and the other will go on top. I’ve never made this with pre-made crust, but I think that the amount of filling that this recipe makes might be too much for a single pie. It may actually be enough to make two full pies, in which case, you would need four pre-made crusts total. If anyone makes it like this, I’d love to get feedback about how much filling fits in one normal nine inch pie!

I use a food processor to make the crust because it’s so much faster, but it’s easy to do by hand too. If you mix by hand, all of the dry ingredients are combined in a large bowl before adding the shortening.

In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand, then distribute the butter on top. Process this time until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. I like to do all of this in pulses so that it doesn’t overwork the dough. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender, again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces. You won’t be able to get the mixture as fine by hand, but stick with it until you have, more or less, a mixture that resembles the photos.

If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add cold water and begin mixing with a spatula.

Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold. Using a spatula rather to mix keeps the dough nice and cold. When you knead with your hands, the heat from them will cause the butter and shortening to melt. Having chunks of fat in your crust is what will make is flaky, a definite must.

Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading for as little time as possible.

Once the dough is well mixed, divide it evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across.

Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.

The star characters in the filling are onion, flour, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, pepper, salt, butter, carrots, celery, chicken broth, sherry, and chicken.

Begin by finely chopping the onion and washing/peeling and slicing the celery and carrots. Slice the chicken into roughly one inch squares and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

Once the butter has stopped foaming, add the onion, carrots, and celery; saute the vegetables until softened, 7-10 minutes. Add minced garlic and thyme, stir, and cook for 20-30 seconds then stir in the flour. Make sure that the flour evenly coats everything, then stir in the sherry.

This smells wonderful!

 

Stir in the chicken broth about one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Adding it slowly like this helps the sauce thicken. Once all of the broth has been stirred in, add the thyme and bay leaves and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point, you can certainly stir in any other vegetable, like peas, that you like. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste; stir in the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes.

While the filling cooks for the final 10 minutes, remove one of your pie dough disks from the refrigerator and roll it out to about a quarter inch thick. If you’re making one large pie, roll the dough in a rectangular shape. You are going to line the bottom of your pan with it. If you’re making individual pies, place your containers on the rolled out dough and trace them with a paring knife. The pieces you cut will be the bottom of your pie. Use the leftover scraps of dough to line the sides of your container(s).

Don’t worry about making it look pretty…you won’t see it anyway.

Ladle filling equally into each of your bowls, or pour all of the contents into your large pan.

After rolling out your second piece of dough, cover your pie(s). Again, don’t worry about how neat it looks. I like to cut shapes or letters out of the leftover scraps and place them on top.

The individual pies and the one large pie both bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

Go on! Dig in! You don’t want to miss this! Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST:
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, cut into small chunks
6-8 tablespoons cold water

FOR THE FILLING:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, washed and sliced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

To make the crust: In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients for a couple of seconds to combine, then drop the shortening evenly on top in chunks. Process until the mixture looks like wet sand. Evenly distribute the butter on top and pulse until the mixture has pea sized chunks in it. If mixing by hand, cut the cold shortening in with a fork or dough blender, again until it resembles wet sand. Then cut the butter in until you have pea sized pieces.

If using a processor, transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add about 6 tablespoons cold water and begin mixing with a spatula. Using a spatula, mix the dough by ‘folding’ from bottom to top and pressing down with each fold, adding more water if the dough is too dry.

Once the mixture has just formed a dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface. As quickly as possible, finish bringing the dough together by hand, kneading as little as possible.

Divide the dough in half evenly and shape into two disks, roughly 4 inches across. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or over night.

To make the filling: Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrots, and celery; saute the vegetables until softened, 7-10 minutes. Add minced garlic and thyme, stir, and cook for 20-30 seconds. Stir in the flour. Slowly add the sherry. Stir in the chicken broth about one cup at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the salt and bay leaves; simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add more salt and pepper to taste; stir in the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove your one of your disks of pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about a quarter inch thick. If you’re making one large pie, roll the dough in a rectangular shape and line the bottom of your pan with it. If you’re making individual pies, place your containers on the rolled out dough and trace them with a paring knife. The pieces you cut will be the bottom of your pie. Use the leftover scraps of dough to line the sides of your container(s).

Fill you container(s) with the pie filling.

Roll out your second piece of dough, cover your pie(s) and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Comments

  1. Heather :D says

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…….. I love the "M" !!!!

    Seriously…. I think you should get PAID to do this stuff!!!! Your website is fantastic, your instructions are clear and precise, and the pictures make me wanna devour my computer screen!!!! SHEESH!
    If you don't open a restaurant or a bake shop of some sort someday, you are INSANE!!!!!

    Love you!!!

    • says

      Definitely…just omit the sherry. The heat cooks all of the alcohol out and just leaves flavor behind, but omitting the sherry has a tiny effect on flavor. It’ll still be delicious! :)

    • says

      Yep, that’s fine. Since it’s already cooked, and you’re going to continue cooking (heating) in the oven, you can add the chicken at any point before adding the broth to the pie. :)

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