One of my guilty pleasures from childhood is those super cheap frozen single serve chicken pot pies. For less than a dollar you get a big bunch of tasty veggies and chicken in a creamy salty gravy all encased in a flaky buttery crust. Yum. I know I shouldn’t love them but I just really, really do.
However, I do realize that they aren’t the most sophisticated or healthy meal in the world. And, although tasty, you need an advanced chemistry degree to read the list of ingredients. But the heart and belly want what they want and sometimes I just really want a chicken pot pie.
So I figured, rather than feed my family “cooked mechanically separated chicken” and “artificial chicken flavor,” I’d try one from scratch. And guess what? It isn’t that hard. Really. I promise this time. It’s a bit of chopping but that’s really the most complicated bit of this. I’ve made biscuit topped chicken pies before and that’s fine and simple. But when you want the double crust pie that you grew up with, you just figure it out!
I’ve used mostly fresh ingredients here although I did use frozen peas and store bought pie crust. But you could use a mix of frozen veggies if you don’t feel like chopping everything or buy a rotisserie chicken (I had some leftover chicken from earlier in the week) and you can make your own pie crust if you like. This can be as easy or hard as you like. Whatever. It’s all good.
And by the way, yes, this would be DELICIOUS with your leftover Thanksgiving turkey!
Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 double crust pie crust (I used store bought but you can make from scratch if you prefer)
- 5 T unsalted buttter, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, 1/2 inch dice
- 3 large carrots, 1/2 inch dice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 medium potato, peeled and 1/2 inch dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 C all purpose flour
- splash of white wine (maybe an ounce)
- 1 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 C cream or half and half *
- 2 oz (about 1/4 C) cream cheese, softened (optional) *
- 1 1/2 C diced cook chicken (about two breasts usually)
- 1/2 C frozen peas
- 1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped.
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg beaten with 1/4 C water
Preheat oven to 375F.
Press one pie crust in glass pie plate leaving edges hanging over side of pie pan. Prick bottom of crust all over with fork. Put in refrigerator until ready to use.
In medium pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 2 T butter and add onions, carrots, potato, bay leaf and celery to pot. Saute until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. If you need more fat, add a little more butter or a little vegetable oil. Add garlic and continue to cook for one minute. Remove veggies to a bowl with the diced chicken. Fish out the bay leaf as you’ll be putting that back in the pot in a moment.
Reduce heat to medium and return same pot to heat and add 3 T butter. Add flour and cook for a few minutes until it starts to smell a bit nutty (maybe 5 minutes or so). Gradually whisk in wine and then chicken stock to make a smooth gravy. Stir in cream. Add bay leaf back to pot and simmer until very thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove bay leaf and add reserved veggies and chicken to the sauce. Taste and then add salt and pepper as needed. Remove pot from heat and melt in cream cheese if using and stir in frozen peas and parsley. Your veggies may not be fully cooked at this point and that’s okay as they’ll continue to cook in the oven.
Pour chicken mixture into prepared crust. Carefully unroll second crust over the top, tucking edges under bottom crust. Crimp edges with your fingers or with a fork. Cut several vents in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape (my mom used to carve our initials in ours – make whatever pattern you like!). Brush top of crust with egg wash. Cover edges of crust loosely with strips of aluminum foil to keep them from becoming too brown as it bakes. Put pie plate on a foil lined cookie sheet (to catch drips) and bake for 30 minutes. CAREFULLY remove foil from edges of pie and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until top crust is beautifully brown and filling is bubbling up through your vents.
Remove from oven and allow to cook on a wire rack for at LEAST 20 minutes. Slice and serve. It’s even better reheated the next day.
*To make this kosher, make sure you use a parve crust and simply leave out the dairy, using olive or vegetable oil in place of the butter and increasing your stock a little.