Chicken pot tie is the ultimate comfort food. Since the weather in Montana has been sorta spring with a bit of winter mixed in, it's the perfect time of year for a very satisfying pot pie dinner. Making Chicken Pot Pie definitely requires some time, but I have a couple of short cuts to make it easier.
If you love making pie crusts (so much fun!), then go for it. Here's the recipe I use for a buttery and flaky crust, every time. If you don't want to make a crust or just don't have time, go ahead and buy one so you can enjoy this wonderful dish even if you don't have a baking bug. No shame!
If you are going to put all this time into it, you may as well make two and put the extra one in the freezer so you don't have to do all the work again to enjoy another pot pie.
Making the filling isn't very time consuming, but you can make it even quicker if you buy a rotisserie chicken. Or just use leftover chicken. If you don't have leftover and are not into buying a cooked chicken at the grocery store, use skinless boneless breasts and thighs.
Chicken Pot Pie
Yield: 1 pie or 2 large ramekins or 4 small ramekins
Author: Eileen McGurty
The ultimate comfort food. Chicken pot pie is not quick and easy dish, but I have added 2 short cuts to make it manageable if you don't have lots of time.
You can easily double this recipe and make 2 pies! Freeze the extra one for when you have a hankering but no energy to make one.
Melt the butter in the large pot. Add the onions and cook on medium until they begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add carrots, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning the flour.
Lower heat to medium-low. Slowly add the milk while stirring continuously. Scrape any bits of goodies from the bottom. Add the broth and turn the heat back to medium. Allow the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently.
When it has begun to thicken, stir in chicken, thyme, the rest of the salt and the black pepper. Let the mixture thicken a bit more and the chicken get heated through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Add the peas and remove from the stove.
Putting It Together
If you are using a pie pan, simply put one crust on the bottom of the pan, pour in the filling, and cover with the other pie crust. Be sure to crimp the crusts together, poke a small hole for steam, and brush an egg wash on the top crust to make it shiny and pretty. Loosely cover the pie with foil, place it on a sheet pan or cookie sheet, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to 350 and continue cooking for another 40-50 minutes. Your pie will be done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
If you are using ramekins, cut the bottom pie crust to go about 1/2 inch over the rim. Cut the top crust to be about 1/2 inch larger than the ramekin. Assemble the ramekins and crimp the crusts together, poke a small hole for steam, and brush an egg wash on the top crust to make it shiny and pretty. Loosely cover the ramekins with foil, place them on a sheet pan or cookie sheet. Cook small ramekins for 15 minutes and large ones for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to 350 and continue cooking for another 20-40 minutes. They will be done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
For the pie crust, don't be afraid of lard! I used to be a "butter only" advocate. Lard makes a crust very flaky. The recipe I linked to uses both lard and butter, so you get the flakiness from the lard and the flavor of the butter. I also was skeptical about adding vinegar and egg to a pie crust, but I tried it and have never looked back.
If you are cooking chicken specifically for this recipe, use boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Bake them at 350 and be very careful not to over cook to avoid tough chicken in your pie.
If you make an extra pie to freeze, it should last several months in the freeze if covered well. Thaw in the fridge overnight and remove about an hour before you will reheat it so that it goes in at room temperature. Reheat at 350 with a loose foil cover to avoid burning. Plan for at least 45 minutes for a pie pan and 30 minutes for ramekins.