All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken, Main Courses, Pie / Thursday, September 4th, 2008

“I cannot make enough chicken pot pies. Regulars call on Tuesday mornings to reserve a pie, forcing me to erase them from the Tuesday specials board before we open for lunch. I keep doubling the number I make, but the demand grows to meet the expanded supply. I’m about to have a line out the door waiting for pot pies.”–Rebecca Rather, The Pastry Queen

I won’t lie. Usually when Jeff asks for chicken pot pie, I pick up a Marie Callender’s from the grocery freezer for him and make something lighter for myself. I love chicken pot pie, but most just sit in your belly, playing Solitaire and watching their stories.

Then I saw a photo of Rebecca Rather’s All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pie in her first cookbook, “The Pastry Queen.” Actually, it was a pic of two rows of individual pies, with beautifully misshapen golden crusts.

I NEEDED one. So, out came the pans. And the bowls. And the rolling pin. It was time to get old-school.

One of the nice things about making your own chicken pot pie is being able to control what’s in it. I can’t stand dark meat, so instead of using a whole chicken, I poached three large chicken breasts. Jeff is pickier about vegetables, so I only added his favorites: potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, corn and fresh green beans.

While the vegetables were cooking, I started the sauce: butter, flour, chicken stock, Tabasco. The heavy whipping cream is optional, so I decided to skip it, since the sauce was already nice and thick.

Once you add the sauce to the filling, it’s time to spoon the chicken mixture into 1 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls. NOT ramekins, unless you have many, many, many ramekins or they are very large.

Finally, the crust. I thought it’d be a Labor of Love, but it was actually 30 seconds in the food processor. Roll it 1/4-inch thick, and cut rounds that are 1 1/2 inches bigger in diameter than your bowls. Then drape the dough rounds over the tops of each bowl, and brush them with egg wash.

Since the filling is already fully cooked, the pies only need 20 to 25 minutes in the oven.

The recipe makes six individual pot pies. You could definitely cut it down, but since it requires a significant investment in time, ingredients and dirty dishes, I suggest making the full amount and freezing the extras. According to the cook’s notes, you can double-wrap any unbaked ones in plastic wrap. Then when you’re ready, pop them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Without the whipping cream and the double-crust, these pot pies taste much lighter than most, and the freshly cooked veggies give the filling much more flavor. I can definitely see (and taste) why regulars call Rebecca Rather to reserve their Tuesday pot pies. I should be marking mine in the freezer right now …

All-Sold Out Chicken Pot Pies

Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s “The Pastry Queen”

Feel free to substitute the vegetables in the recipe for diced carrots, fresh corn kernels, diced turnips, sliced celery, cut-up asparagus spears or sliced wild mushrooms. Just add them to the sauté mix and enjoy.

Yield: 6 servings

    Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled
  • 8 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package frozen peas (optional)
    Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    Crust:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 ounces chilled cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 large egg
  1. For the Filling: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While the vegetables are sautéing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones, and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  3. Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl, and add enough water to cover. Cover the dish and microwave on high power about 10 minutes, until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Stir the beans, peas, and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.
  5. For the Sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste.
  6. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine.
  7. Fill individual 1 1/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three-quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.
  8. For the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the butter into 16 pieces. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.
  9. Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls–mine are about 4 inches across–and cut out dough rounds that are 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

64 thoughts on “All-Sold-Out Chicken Pot Pie

  1. Oh yum yum yum. This is perfect for those chillier evenings and it’s all about building up a pastry layer to block out the colD!

  2. Wow, David loves chicken pot pies – and I like to be able to control what goes into them. Great idea – thanks because I’m stealing it!!!!

  3. We’re some serious chicken pot pie lovers around here, and with this gray and rainy we’ve been having, I think this would hit the spot!

  4. Looks fabulous! It’s almost fall-like here today, maybe I’ll make these for dinner!

    I got a blog award yesterday and want to pass it on to you (see my blog to get it).

  5. This is one of my favorite comfort foods. Well, this and a huge wedge of cheesecake, deep fried and served with a double shot of bourbon. And a “Deadliest Catch” marathon.

    But for now — I’ll go with the chicken pot pie.

  6. This looks amazing! There’s an old Bobby Flay recipe for a pot pie that’s baked in a casserole dish, and the crust had chopped sage in it. The one dish for baking made it a little less work, and the crust was awesome.

  7. Rebecca-
    I have both of Rebecca Rather’s cookbooks and I just adore them and her little bakery! Thanks for giving a shout out to her! ps—your pot pies look heavenly!!!

  8. I started making my own potpies a few years ago. I really like the creamyness of the cream, but I actually use chicken broth, 1% milk and a little teeny bit of cornstarch to thicken. I love biting into my own potpie and finding a good crunch in the veggies instead of mush.

  9. I haven’t had chicken pot pie in so long. I agree with what you said about Marie Callender’s pies. They’re so dense!

    Speaking of pies and crust, you ought to submit this to the CLICK photo event on Jugalbandi’s site.

  10. I made Ina Garten’s recipe last year and they were even better out of the freezer. Probably because you haven’t just done all the work. Perfect for a rainy night with a movie.

  11. Oh, hurry up and get here, chilly weather, so that I can make these! They look amazing — and good to hear that they feel a little lighter in the belly than the standard CPP. BTW, someone sent a little blogging award to me, and I wanted to pass it on to you because I really enjoy your blog (although I suspect that it’s probably been shared with you many times already!). It’s on my blog if you are interested. Thanks for educating and entertaining!

  12. Thanks for blogging about this – my husband ADORES chicken pot pie, but he likes it with a double crust (“light” is not in his vocabulary!). I will definitely be making this!

  13. I had the best Chicken Pot Pie ever when I was in Alaska this summer. The chef was kind enough to give me the recipe! I can’t wait until it gets cold enough to make it–it’s still 90 and over where I live!

  14. Hey, Maya– Good question. I haven’t had a problem with sogginess, but I haven’t tried any long-term freezing yet. The pie should be fine, because there’s no bottom crust to get soggy, and there’s a pocket of air between the filling and top crust.

  15. I find it tastier and easier to roast boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the oven at 350F for about 30 minutes and then cube them.

  16. wow that looks very tasty. The recipe seems like the crust will be very fluffy and flaky. As fall comes around this sound great.

  17. These look great. I think the art of the meat pie has been lost and worth rekindling. Thanks for creating and posting this. Photography is great as well.

  18. I am a massive fan of pies and eve made a video about the search for the perfect one last week! I think the standard is getting much better, certainly here in Ireland anyway! I still think the best pies I have ever had were in Australia as they literally treat it as a religion over there! My all time fav would have to be a good chicken and mushroom! Nice pics, made me want a pie real bad!

  19. […] today, after finding a recipe from Gary which I then modified greatly, I decided today would be the day. I’d whip up 2 pot pies for […]

  20. […] could find a better ‘from scratch’ recipe. I visited several sites of fellow bloggers – Rebecca of Exra Pound Cake, Chelle at Brown Eyed Baker, Elise at Simply Recipes, and several others. After reading those I just […]

  21. I found your delicious looking pie on Tastespotting and combined your recipe with another to come up with one that better suited our tastes. I did use your crust recipe and I had to improvise because my dough never “formed a ball” as the recipe states. I added water to make it form a dough but I was curious if you had had any issues with it. I didn’t see any liquid ingredients mentioned, so I’m not sure how it would ever come together. Otherwise, a delicious dish and the crust, with the addition of the cream cheese, was exceptional! I’ll have a post up about it tomorrow.

    Thanks,
    Danielle

  22. Wow. That is an indulgent recipe. I have never had pastry crust with cream cheese? What does that add? Cant wait to try it.

  23. I LOVE chicken pot pies and this recipe sounds mouth watering! I will have to make them soon, it now as me craving them!

  24. Try some Juliet Mae curry in the pie! Really the curry is hand made and equal to the rest of the effort.

  25. Oh mannn, I used this recipe as a guide to make miniature ones (in cupcake tins XD), and it is delicious. I've got crust all around it, though, because crust is awesome. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. It would be better and healthier with one half of the sauce. Less wet and more chunky. Fabulous recipe but even better reducing amount of sauce. Really works well.

  27. This was fan-freakin'-tastic! I did cut the butter, added more veggies, and used 1% milk for the sauce, so I'd like to think I made it super healthy, I don't know if that's really true. I don't know if it was an error, but there was no liquid in the crust, so I added about 1/2 cup of ice water until it came together. It was absolutely delicious.

  28. Made this tonight, and it wasn't as much work as I'd expected.

    Good taste overall, but if I were to make it again, I'd use only HALF as much flour as the recipe calls for. It's way too much flour as written, at least in my opinion. I pulled out some chicken broth and added that and more whipping cream to compensate for the flour. Also added some powdered sage to the sauce and kept upping the pepper. I wish I'd thought to add some paprika, too. … (For the crust, I cheated and used refrigerator store-bought pastry; turned out fine.)

  29. P.S. I also tossed some curry powder into the sauce. That helped, too. Just too much flour in the recipe! I like more of a creamy sauce for my chicken pot pie; maybe some folks prefer more of a dry-roasted effect beneath crust? If so, they probably will be fine with the sauce as written in the recipe.

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