Thursday, January 14, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 chicken bouillon cubes
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.


This venture started with a recipe in my inbox from Eat Better America for "healthified" chicken pot pie. Unfortunately, that recipe used canned cream of chicken soup and that didn’t seem Good Chef worthy. So in my hunt to find another suitable healthy pot pie I ran across the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe that begins with a stick and a half of butter. I was SOLD. I followed Ina’s recipe as is, also adding crimini mushrooms to the vegetables. After all the cooking and dicing and stock-making and chicken baking – it was an all day affair – I have to admit it was worth the effort. The finished pie was warm, comforting and absolutely delicious. I’m not sure if I’d go through the trouble of making my own crust every time – the pies I made with the Pillsbury crescent recipe creations tasted yummy too.

 I did the recipe as written +1/2 since I was making it for a potluck at work as well. This is how much filling I had!
One of the small pot pies with the Ina’s crust. This is the one I had cooking night.

The potluck pie with Ina’s crust
One of the small pot pies with the Pillsbury crust. I sent 2 of these home with my parents.

So here’s the story:  I didn’t make my own stock.  I didn’t make my own crust and the only thing that I used the recipe for was for the basic idea of how to make a chicken pot pie.  I DID roast the chicken as per the recipe.  Truthfully, I don’t think that chicken pot pie is something that requires anyone to follow the recipe exactly.  I added soup vegetables instead of just peas and carrots.  For my sister, I made a fake chicken pot pie and she really liked it. 

What I liked about it:  It was warm and comforting.  I’ve needed that these last few days.  The Pillsbury crust was delicious.  (For me, making the crust seemed like too much work.)  I liked that there were more than just two vegetables in it.  Next time, I think I'll use LESS chicken and MORE vegetables.  (Don’t tell anyone I said that.)

(My sister started off as an innocent bystader and now she's a guest blogger.)  Danielle's first blog....EVER

Picture it Long Island 2010. I come home and my house smells delicious. These things never happen to me. In the year and a half I've been in my house, this is the first time it smelled so good without me cooking anything! What a treat it was to walk through the door. Initially, I was disappointed to hear that it was "chicken" pot pies. Not because they aren't great but because I don't eat chicken. Then Laura asked me if I had any "fake chicken". That was when it all changed. That's when I knew I'd get to have a pot pie too. I don't know what the homemade crust was like, but the Pillsbury one was great. I loved that the inside was somewhat creamy without being as thick as a cream of chicken soup. I think it was a perfect consistency. Laura made my pot pie in a glass dish that should have been 2 good sized servings. It was not. I just kept eating....and eating....and eating. So my suggestion for next time is to make your sister's pot pie bigger so she doesn't have leftover envy.


  1. As a Pot-Luck attendant I would like to throw my taste-bud 2 cents... It was mmmmmmm mmmmmmmm good! Dare I say slap-yo-mama good!

  2. Hi Koren, I'm glad you liked it so much but I'm not condoning slapping anyone's mama!

  3. LOL I'm pretty sure I've heard BOTH of you pretty close to wanting to slap your mothers...

  4. I plead the fifth. Or maybe I'm just gonna drink a fifth . . .