Chicken Pot Pie – the king of comfort food. I can assure you these individual chicken pots pies are a zillion times better than the Swanson version some of us admit to loving back in the day.
I love chicken pot pie – the aroma as you burst through the pasty crust; the velvety sauce mixed with vegetables; the plump pieces of chicken; and the flaky crust. Groan.
On the downside, this recipe has multiple steps and takes a couple of hours from start to finish. And, it is definitely not low calorie.
On the plus (plus, plus) side, you can take several great shortcuts that cut the time in half with really good results. I do this all the time. You can also make the individual chicken pot pies ahead or even freeze them. And they are very adaptable to your taste including making a vegetarian version. Try serving them with a lighter dessert like no-bake berry crumble.
Considering all that – and the sheer scrumptious-ness of this dish – these chicken pot pies are definitely worth the effort in my opinion. Actually, it’s not just my opinion. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie which got 4.9* (out of 5) from over 1000 reviews. Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs.
Shortcuts (great ones)
- Instead of roasting the chicken, use left over chicken or buy 1-2 rotisserie chickens (2 if you only want to use breast meat). I do the latter all the time and it’s perfect. The Costco chickens work very well because they are tender and moist.
- Instead of making the pastry crust, buy puff pastry dough sheets, unfold and cut to size as needed. This crust is delicious – buttery and flaky. You can also buy ready-made refrigerated pastry dough. If you can’t find this in the store, you can use the ready made refrigerated pie shells. Just roll out flat and cut to size.
- Reduce the preparation time by using just chicken and frozen peas or chicken and one other vegetable.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Make vegetarian pot pies, using vegetable or mushroom broth and vegetable bouillion cubes. Omit the chicken.
- Alter the vegetables. Try butternut squash, mushrooms, pearl onions, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, etc.
- Instead of individual bowls (onion soup bowls or oven-proof soup bowls), use a 3 quart casserole dish.
Make Ahead Individual Chicken Pot Pies
- To make them a day ahead: Cover the unbaked pot pies with aluminum foil and refrigerate. The next day, remove the foil, brush with egg wash then bake at 375F for an hour.
- To freeze: Wrap the individual chicken pot pies in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap. Bake, from frozen, after brushing with egg wash, at 375F for an hour. Note about potatoes: If you plan to freeze the pot pies, do not use boiling potatoes. Either eliminate potatoes completely or use red or ‘new’ potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
Chicken and Sauce
- 2 whole (or 4 split) chicken breasts, skin on, bone in Note 1
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 cups homemade chicken stock (or a good store bought chicken broth instead)
- 2 chicken boullion cubes
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
- 2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium onions)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cream (I use half and half)
- 2 cups carrots, diced (1/2 to 3/4 inch)
- 2 cups celery, diced (1/2 to 3/4 inch)
- 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (1/2 to 3/4 inch) Note 2
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
For pastry crust
- 3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 lb (one stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- COOK CHICKEN: Place chicken on foil-lined plan, rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, roast for 35-40 minutes until done (165F). When chicken is cool enough to handle, take skin off, remove meat from bones and dice into chunks (e.g. 1.5 inches). You will have 3-4 cups. Note 1.
- COOK VEGETABLES: Blanch (boil) vegetables in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- MAKE PASTRY CRUST: Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade.Add butter and shortening. Use your fingers to make sure each piece is covered in flour (watch your fingers! better yet, use a spoon). Pulse processor 10 times. Add butter and shortening. Use your fingers to make sure each piece is covered in flour (watch your fingers! better yet, use a spoon). Pulse processor 10 times. With motor running, start adding 1/2 cup ice water and process just until dough is moistened and comes together (you may need a bit more ice water). Place dough on floured surface and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and then let it rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- MAKE SAUCE: In a medium saucepan, heat stock with boullion cubes until cubes are dissolved. In a large pot, melt butter and saute onions over medium heat until translucent, 10 minutes. Mix in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot stock, whisking to combine well. Cook a few minutes until sauce is thickened. Add 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste), 1/2 teaspoon pepper. and cream. Add chicken, blanched vegetables and peas to the sauce. Stir.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- ASSEMBLE: Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 oven-proof bowls. Divide the dough in 4 pieces and roll each piece in an 8 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Spray some oil on your fingers and brush them along the outside edge of the bowls (and down the side about an inch). This will make clean up much easier. For each pot pie, place the dough on the filled bowl, mold or crimp over the sides and trim to 1/2 inch overhang. (At this point, you can put the individual pies in the fridge covered. Note 3.)
- BAKE: Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits on the top. Decorate with bits of extra dough if you like. Place pot pies on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour until golden brown.
- Chicken shortcut: Use left over or store bought chicken. You will need 2 of using only white meat or one plump one if using dark and white meat. Cut meat into 1 inch chunks.
- Note about potatoes if planning to freeze: If you plan to freeze the pot pies, do not use boiling potatoes. Either eliminate potatoes completely or use red or 'new' potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
- Make Ahead: Make and assemble individual chicken pot pies. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in fridge for up to a day. The next day, brush with egg wash and bake at 375F for about 60 minutes. To freeze: Wrap the individual chicken pot pies in aluminum foil and then in plastic wrap. Bake, from frozen, after brushing with egg wash, at 375F for an hour.
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