Growing up, my parents would buy individual chicken pot pies from the freezer section, and those had to be the highlight of our grocery shopping trips.
The little pies came in small, aluminum pie tins with ingredient lists that took up the backside of the box. They were cheap, convenient, and kid-friendly.
In a house where both adults were active-duty military, anything that could be “cooked” without their help was highly sought after. Whether or not it was safe for us to do so at 10 years old, well, that was a different time, let’s just leave it at that.
My passion for chicken pot pie was born. But, as I grew into adulthood, I realized the comfort dish I love is actually quite simple to make from scratch. I didn’t need to rely on the boxed version anymore. I also found that chicken pot pie doesn’t involve a lot of hard-to-pronounce ingredients or complicated steps. Now, I’m even more of a fan.
WHAT MAKES THIS CHICKEN POT PIE EASY?
My commitment to making this an easy chicken pot pie develops in stages.
- The chicken: Buy a whole, cut-up chicken, which cooks faster than a whole chicken. No need to fiddle around with a whole chicken when they’re already available cut-up. Toss the pieces on a sheet pan with oil and roast it.
- The veggies: I use frozen vegetables to stir into the filling, but give the gravy a lift by dicing onions, garlic, and celery while the chicken is roasting.
- The pie crust: Rather than make a scratch pie crust I buy store-bought puff pastry.
- The stock: If you have homemade stock in your fridge then by all means use it, but there is no shame in saving time with store-bought stock. To find the best box stock check out our product review: Our Favorite Boxed Chicken Broth.
- The time: The finished chicken pot pie only takes 20-25 minutes to bake in the oven. You can add another 30 minutes to roast the whole cut-up chicken, but if you’re really pressed for time, just pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT POT PIE
- What’s my roux supposed to look like? Your roux, the flour and fat paste used to thicken the gravy, should be light in color (a pale yellow) and crumbly, but not dry. After adding the flour to the pan, the veggies should look like they’re coated in a crumbly, moist batter.
- How do I prevent lumps in my gravy? For a smooth gravy, add the chicken stock gradually about 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly. Add more stock only after the previous addition has been stirred smooth.
- What if my gravy is too thick or thin? Your gravy should coat the back of the spoon, but be thin enough for you to see through it.
- If your gravy is thin, whisk together a tablespoon of all-purpose flour and a tablespoon of cold water. Whisk this flour slurry into the simmering gravy to thicken it up to the proper consistency.
- If your gravy is thick like pudding, whisk in two to four tablespoons of chicken stock to thin it.
SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS FOR CHICKEN POT PIE
You can make this easy chicken pot pie gluten-free or dairy-free, swap out the vegetables, or save this recipe for Thanksgiving and use up leftover turkey in place of chicken. I use a basic medley of peas, carrots, onions, and celery in this chicken pot pie, but feel free to add things like sliced mushrooms, small diced potatoes (sauté them with the onions and celery to soften them), or your favorite root vegetables.
To make a gluten-free pot pie: Swapping the all-purpose flour for 1:1 Baking Flour (or your favorite gluten-free flour). Swap the puff pastry for gluten-free pie dough.
To make a dairy-free pot pie: Use your favorite nut milk in lieu of the cow’s milk. Because the milk is used to make the gravy creamier, you can even omit the cow’s milk altogether.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO REHEAT CHICKEN POT PIE?
Once the chicken pot pie has been cut and served, I find the best way to reheat it is to cover it with aluminum foil and reheat it in the oven for 15 minutes, or until warmed through.
Usually, I’ve stored the pot pie in the fridge in the same dish I baked it in. To avoid shattering my dish, I pop it into a cold oven. I set the oven to 350°F and allow the dish to warm up along with the oven. This lowers my wait time and protects my ceramic baking dishes. My 15-minute heating time begins when the oven has reached 350°F.
MAKE CHICKEN POT PIE AHEAD OF TIME
One thing I love about this recipe is that it’s so make-ahead friendly. Prepare the filling and top it with the dough as early as a day ahead. Wait until you’re ready to bake the pie to brush the egg wash on. The egg wash will dry out and crack as the pie bakes if you brush it on too early.
To freeze this pie, assemble the pot pie, but don’t brush the egg wash on or bake it. Cover the unbaked pot pie with foil and freeze for up to three months.
Thaw the pot pie in the fridge overnight. Thirty minutes prior to baking, remove the dish from the fridge to give it time to warm up—remember, shattered dishes are no bueno. Brush the egg wash on the dough and bake for 30 minutes in a 400°F oven.
DINNER PIE RECIPES FOR DAYS!
Easy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
Reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes by using a store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of roasting a whole cut-up chicken yourself.
For the roasted chicken:
- 3 to 3 1/2 pounds cut-up whole chicken
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the pot pie filling:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced
- 1 medium (1 1/2 cups) white onion, diced
- 3 stalks (1 1/4 cups) celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, stems removed and roughly chopped, or 3/4 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, stems removed or 3/4 teaspoons dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, roughly chopped or 3/4 teaspoons dried
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) frozen peas and carrots blend, thawed and drained of excess water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For the puff pastry topping:
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed under refrigeration
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Salt, optional
1 Roast the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the chicken pieces on a sheet pan or baking tray and coat them lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Place the tray of chicken in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of each piece reaches 160°F to 165°F.
2 Cool, then shred the chicken: Remove the roasted chicken from the oven and allow the meat to cool for 15 minutes at room temperature. Leave the oven on as you’ll need it to bake the assembled pot pie.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred the meat from the bones using your hands or two forks. Don’t shred the chicken too finely, instead leave nice chunks of meat to create that rustic pot pie filling.
Set the chicken aside while you prepare the rest of the filling. Discard the skin and bones or save them to make bone broth or stock.
3 Sauté the aromatics and make the roux: In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted and begins sizzling, add the white onion, celery, and garlic. Using a large spoon to stir, sauté the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes or until they become translucent.
Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle the flour over the veggies and fat in the pot. Stir the flour into the vegetables to create a roux, then cook the mixture for one minute to remove the raw, floury taste. The roux should look pale yellow and leave a thick coating on the vegetables.
4 Make the gravy: In a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup combine the chicken stock and milk. Continuously stir the roux coated vegetables while adding the chicken stock-milk mixture to the vegetables one cup at a time. Once all of the liquid has been added, simmer the gravy until it thickens, about 5 to 6 minutes. The gravy will go from a thick, paste-like consistency to a smooth gravy that coats the back of your spoon.
5 Fold in the shredded chicken and the frozen, thawed vegetables: When the gravy has thickened, fold in the chicken you shredded earlier, the peas and carrots, as well as the rosemary, thyme, and sage. Stir to completely coat the chicken and veg in the gravy.
Taste the mixture and, if needed, adjust the seasoning with the salt and pepper. Pour the filling into a 9 x13-inch baking dish and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
6 Roll out the puff pastry dough and make the egg wash: On a lightly floured surface use a rolling pin to roll out the sheet of puff pastry into an 11 x 15-inch rectangle that’s 1/8-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water to make an egg wash.
Lay the rolled sheet of puff pastry on top of the baking dish. Brush the surface of the pastry with the egg wash and fold any excess dough over the top of the dough to create a crust. Crimp the edges as you would pie dough, then brush the fluted edge with more egg wash. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the surface of the dough, then use a knife to cut small slits in the surface to act as vents.
7 Bake the pot pie: Place the baking dish on a larger sheet pan to catch any spills in case the filling bubbles over the edge of the dish. Bake the pot pie for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling gently bubbles up through the vents.
8 Cool slightly, then serve: After baking, remove the chicken pot pie from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes prior to serving. The filling will be very hot, so take care when eating.
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