An Incredibly delicious homemade chicken pot pie recipe that easy to make and well worth the effort.
Everyone loves chicken pot pie. Many of us have fond childhood memories pot pie dinners – from the freezer to the oven, a classic staple of our childhood. This classic chicken pot pie recipe aims to provide a near perfect homemade version of this classic dish, as an efficient, fun, single pot process.
Chicken pot pie is a simple dish – shredded chicken, onion, carrots, celery (Mirepoix) in white sauce (béchamel) baked in a pie crust. Depending on your available time and/or interest in details, this dish can be prepared painstakingly over most of the day, Thomas Keller style, or Pillsbury style with pre-packaged crust and vegetables, in less than an hour.
This recipe aims for the high middle ground – a traditional, homemade chicken pot pie with some of the necessary toil, but done in a few hours with incredibly delicious results.
For me, I suggest taking the slightly longer path of poaching chicken breasts and shredding, cutting your own vegetables and using fresh herbs, and making a pie crust from scratch.
You can certainly cut corners using store-bought shredded rotisserie chicken, pre-made pie crust, pre-cut frozen vegetable mixes, and dry herbs, but the significant trade-off is an incremental loss of some of the magic of this classic comfort food for each shortcut you take. I prefer a bit extra time and most of the magic.
All in, this dish can be prepared from scratch in about 3 to 4 hours. If short on time, you can prep the poached chicken, veggies and pie dough the day before and have everything ready when it’s go time. With everything prepped, the dish will take about 2 hours to get in the oven and another 45 minutes or so to bake. Bottom line, make this dish when you have no plans. It’s a great weekend or vacation project meal, and despite the time commitment, its’ always worth the effort!
In a large bowl mix flour and salt. Add cold, cubed butter. Mix and cut butter into flour by hand or using dough cutter or two forks. Don't over mix the dough. The goal is to incorporate the butter into the flour, but leave pea-size pieces of butter within the dough. The dough will be like crumbly gravel at this point.
Next, drizzle in just enough cold water to bring the dough together so it just holds a ball, but is still quite dry. Move the dough onto a lightly floured surface and fold the dough together a few times (do not knead the dough - the goal is to avoid gluten development) to form a ball. Cut the dough roughly in half, leaving one portion slightly larger for the bottom crust.
Shape and flatten the two dough halves to form a thick disk. Wrap in plastic and cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour (up to 2 days) prior to using.
Poach chicken breasts
Poach (boil) chicken breasts (2 medium sized chicken breasts make about 2 cups of shredded chicken) in a medium pot of water.
To the boiling water add a spring of fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp of dry thyme), one bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the water is to a boil, add the chicken and cook for about 12 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and shred with forks or meat claws. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
Strain and save remaining boiling water broth (1 cup for single recipe size) to use as chicken broth for filling.
Prepare and sauté vegetables
Clean and chop coarsely the carrot, celery, yellow potatoes and onions. Move the vegetables to a large pot with 4 tbs of butter and sauté over medium heat until beginning to soften, about 5 - 8 minutes.
Complete and reduce pot pie filling
Add the flour to the sautéed vegetables, and mix to combine. Stir and allow the flour to cook slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme, parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken broth, and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and stir thoroughly and frequently while the mixture thickens.
Next, add the milk, stirring it into the mixture. Simmer to thicken and reduce slightly, about 30 - 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 400 ℉. Remove pie crust dough from refrigerator allow to warm to room temperature.
After thickening the pot pie filling, mix in the shredded chicken breast.
Prepare the pie dough
Allow pie crust dough to warm to room temperature if refrigerated. Flour a work surface and roll out to slightly larger than a 12" circle (and slightly larger for the bottom dough). Roll onto rolling pin and transfer to pie pan.
Gently brush beaten egg over the bottom pie dough to help prevent liquid entering the dough from the pot pie filling. Fill pie with finished pot pie filling. Cover with top pie crust dough. Gently brush the top pie crust dough with beaten egg and cut several vents in the dough to allow moisture vapor to escape.
Place in 400 ℉ oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 - 35 minutes.