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individual chicken pot pie crust cut open 2
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5 from 4 votes

Ina Garten Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. I can assure you this Ina Garten chicken pot pie is a zillion times better than the Swanson version some of us admit to loving back in the day.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Chicken and Sauce

  • 2 chicken breasts, whole (or 4 split) skin on, bone in Note 1
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups good chicken stock or chicken broth
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoon unsalted butter (1 and 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (about 1 large sweet onion)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cream (I use half and half - 10% cream) or use heavy cream (35%) for extra richness

Vegetables

  • 2 cups carrots, cut in large dice 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups celery, cut in large dice 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice, Note 2 1/2 to 3/4 inch/1.3-1.9 cm)
  • 2 cups frozen peas optional
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

For pastry crust, Note 3

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (or 1/2 cup/110g + 1 tablespoon butter or margarine)
  • 1/4 pound (one stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN to 350F/177C for chicken (unless using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken). Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • COOK CHICKEN: Place chicken on prepared sheet pan, skin side up. Rub with oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, roast for 35-40 minutes until done (165F/74C). When chicken is cool enough to handle, take skin off, remove meat from bones and dice into chunks (e.g. 1.5 inches/3.8cm). You will have 3-4 cups. Note 1 for shortcut.
  • COOK VEGETABLES: Blanch (boil) vegetables (except parsley) in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, blanch in microwave for 1-2 minutes, covered, with a tablespoon of water.
  • MAKE PASTRY CRUST: Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl of a 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. 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 board 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 bouillon cubes until cubes are dissolved. In a large pot, melt butter and sauté 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 3-4 minutes until sauce is thickened. Add 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste), 1/2 teaspoon pepper. and cream. Add cubed chicken, blanched vegetables, parsley and peas to the sauce. Stir.
  • Preheat oven to 375F/190C to bake pot pies.
  • ASSEMBLE: Divide chicken mixture evenly among 4 ovenproof 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 edges of each bowl (and down the side about 1 inch/2.5cm). 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 5.)
  • 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.

Notes

  1. Chicken shortcut: Use left over or store bought chicken. You will need 2 chickens if using only white meat. Or or one plump one if using dark and white meat. Cut meat into 1 inch chunks. 
  2. 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 Yukon gold, red or 'new' potatoes which hold up in the freezer much better.
  3. Pastry crust shortcut: Instead of making your own pastry, you can use a store bought sheet of puff pastry, unroll it, cut to shape, then lay over the bowls with pot pie mixture, cut slits in top and bake. 
  4. Variations:
    • For a lower calorie version, use half the butter, less pastry crust and 2% milk instead of cream. 
    • For a vegetarian pot pie, use vegetable or mushroom broth and vegetable bouillon cubes. Omit the chicken. Or use plant-based or vegan chicken.
    • Add tarragon leaves for a different flavor if you like. 
    • Use other vegetables like parsnips or mushrooms.
  5. Make Ahead:
    • To make chicken pot pie 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/190C 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/190C 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.
    • How to reheat chicken pot pie once cooked: Set oven temperature to 300F/149C. Place pot pies in oven and heat for 15 minutes. If crust is getting too brown, cover the edges with aluminum foil and continue baking another 10-20 minutes until heated through.
 
Nutritional information is estimated and includes all the pastry crust (you may trim some away, thereby lowering calories and fat). 
Calories: 1081kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 1391mg | Potassium: 1251mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 9337IU | Vitamin C: 50mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 6mg