Classic Chicken Pot Pie
If you are looking for an old fashioned, traditional chicken pot pie, made from a whole chicken, freshly cut vegetables, and a flaky homemade crust, this is it!
This chicken pot pie recipe is also known as “Mrs. Hering’s Chicken Pot Pie” in the Marshall Field’s Cookbook, from the famed Chicago Marshall Fields department store. First introduced to customers in 1890, it was this Marshall’s chicken pot pie that launched the dish into our national consciousness.
How to Make Chicken Pot Pie
This pot pie recipe is a weekend affair — meaning, you should put on some music and set aside some time to make this! Your time will be well rewarded. There is nothing like the taste of homemade, from-scratch chicken pot pie.
Here are the basic steps:
- Cook the chicken: Start with a whole, raw chicken. Simmer it with water and vegetables until the meat is cooked. Pull all the meat off the bones for your pie, then add the leftover bones back to the pot. This makes a rich chicken stock for your recipe.
- Make the pie crust: If you’re intimidated by pie crusts, have no fear! This crust is made in the food processor and is easy to roll out. (You could also skip making pie crust and just use rounds of puff pastry instead.)
- Make the filling: This pot pie filling is a mix of classic veggies (carrots, celery, and onion) with a sauce thickened with some flour and milk.
- Put it all together: Portion the filling into individual ramekins and top with a lid of pie crust. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
If you’re not keen on spending the whole afternoon in the kitchen, you can certainly break this into steps. The chicken can be cooked and shredded, and the stock simmered, up to three days ahead. (You can also make it in the pressure cooker following this method.)
The pie crust can also be made up to two days ahead and kept refrigerated. When you’re ready to assemble the pot pies, just let it sit on the counter for a few minute to take the chill off and make it easier to roll it out.
You could also prepare the entire filling and even portion it into the ramekins a day or so ahead of time. Keep them covered and refrigerated. Just wait to top with the pie crust lid until you’re ready to bake.
A Thick and Creamy Filling
The ideal consistency of your filling when you’re cooking it on the stovetop and before going into the pot pies should be creamy and thickened. It will thicken a little more in the oven as the pot pies bake, so at this point, you want it to be slightly less thick than the finished dish.
If at this point your filling seems soupy, like heavy cream, let it simmer until it thickens up enough coat the back of a wooden spoon. If it seems like it’s not thickening up as fast as you like, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the sauce, whisk in a tablespoon or two of flour until no more lumps remain, and then whisk this mixture into the skillet.
If it seems like the filling thickened up too much and it starting to seem stiff, then whisk in a little broth or water to thin it out again.
Leftover Pot Pie
Pot pie is best served right away, mostly because that’s when the pastry crust topping is at its crispiest and flakiest. If you have leftovers, you can definitely reheat them — they’re delicious! Just know that the pie crust will be softened and won’t crisp back up again.
Try These Other Classic Casseroles
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
For the chicken and stock:
- 1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 small onion, halved
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the pie crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (best to chill cubes in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
- 3 to 4 Tbsp ice water
For the chicken pot pie filling:
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 3/4 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
1 Cook the chicken and make the chicken stock: Combine the chicken, carrot, celery, onion and salt into a large stock pot. Add cold water until just covered and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooling, continue to boil the remaining water and vegetables in the pot.
When the chicken has cooled enough to touch, strip away as much of the meat as you can. Place the meat on a dish, set aside.
Return the chicken bones to the stockpot and continue to boil, on high heat, until the stock has reduced to a quart or quart and a half.
Set aside 2 1/2 cups of the stock for this recipe. The remaining stock you can refrigerate and store for another purpose.
2 Prepare the pie crust dough: Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse 5 times to combine. Add the shortening and pulse a few more times, until the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal, with some pea-sized pieces of butter.
Slowly stream in ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks together when you press some between your fingers.
Empty the food processor, placing the dough on a clean surface. Use your hands to mold into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disk.
Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.
3 Preheat oven to 400°F.
4 Prepare the filling: In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, one minute more.
Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Whisk in the milk. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often until thickened and creamy.
Add the chicken meat, thyme, sherry, peas, parsley, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Divide the warm filling among six 10-ounce ramekins.
4 Prepare the crust: Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface to a little less than a quarter-inch thick.
Cut into 6 rounds, slightly larger than the circumference of the ramekins. Lay a dough round on each pot pie filling.
Fold the excess dough under itself and use the tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the ramekins.
Cut a 1-inch vent into each individual pie. Use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash to each pie.
5 Bake: Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pies on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
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