Chicken Pot Pie
My girls love chicken pot pies and I’m embarrassed to say I don’t make them that often. There are a few good commercial brands on the market that we pick up at the market but when I look at some of the ingredients on the label I realize I need to start making them from scratch and freeze some. I’m not saying I feel guilty about serving my kids commercial products and won’t keep buying them frozen pot pies for convenience, but I think this could be one of those recipes your kids would enjoy preparing with you on a Saturday afternoon.
Let’s Talk about Pot Pies
Rich, savory chicken stew hiding under a pastry crust. It doesn’t get much more comforting than this, or more universally appealing. This is a meal our whole family can agree on. You can make pot pies with just chicken, and have a salad on the side. Or you can add a lot of vegetables to the filling. Depending on how busy your day is, you use a premade crust, homemade crust or even puff pastry.
Part craft project, I think your kids will love help making these, especially if they are individually portioned in ramekins. Another great thing about making these in individual servings is that you can customize the filling based on your family’s tastes. Kids don’t like mushrooms? No problem – don’t put mushrooms in their servings.
For the Sauce
2 cups velouté sauce, made with chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipping cream or half and half
salt and pepper, to taste
poultry seasoning, to taste (optional)
juice of half a lemon
For the Pot Pies
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into cubes
a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups diced vegetables - carrot, celery, peas (not diced of course), pearl onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, butternut squash, green beans, corn, lima beans, etc. (You can even add greens such as spinach, kale or collards)
2 cups prepared sauce suprÃ¨me
1-2 Tablespoons of cold butter cut into small pieces pastry crust of choice (either store bought or homemade pastry crust)
How To Prepare At Home
For the Sauce Supreme
Bring the veloute sauce to a boil and stir in the cream or half and half. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced by about 1/4, stirring frequently. Taste and season with salt and pepper and the optional poultry seasoning, as necessary. The sauce should be thick.
Stir in the lemon juice.
For the Pot Pies
Arrange the chicken pieces in the bottom of your ramekins or casserole. Sprinkle with just a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the vegetables followed by another pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce suprème over the vegetables.
Dot the sauce with a bit of butter and then arrange the crust over all. If only using a top crust, wet the rim of your ramekins or casserole and press the crust down to seal. If using a bottom crust, press the top crust to the bottom crust. Cut several vent holes in the crust and bake at 425°F for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Let cool for ten minutes before serving.
Make a decorative lattice top for your crust by cutting and weaving strips of pie dough.
Add some diced hard-boiled egg to your pot pie.
Any fresh, seasonal herbs can be stirred into your sauce before pouring it over the chicken and vegetables. Tarragon is particularly nice in the springtime, but use what your family likes.
Some cooked and crumbled bacon makes a nice addition to pot pie.
Pot pie is a great way to use up leftovers, so look in the fridge and use any leftover cooked or fresh vegetables that you have on hand.
Rather than using raw chicken, use leftover roasted or rotisserie chicken.
The best chicken pot pie isn't made with chicken at all. It's made with turkey. Make turkey stock with your leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey and use up your leftovers, including the green bean casserole, by making a turkey pot pie.
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