Chicken Pot Pie

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I’m convinced that there is no food more comforting than a chicken pot pie!  On cold nights, a pot pie baking in the oven is almost as good as a warm hug and this recipe is my family’s favorite.  It’s hearty and packed with starchy vegetables and a rich creamy sauce. The flaky pie crust is the perfect way to wrap up this delicious goodness.

This is not a quick evening supper, but if you’ve got a little more time, it is worth it.  However, there are a few steps you can modify to speed this up and I’ve shared the short cuts in the directions.  These individual pies also freeze really well and then make perfect week night meals- just pop them in the oven for an hour.

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Step 1

The first step in this recipe is to boil a whole chicken. (For a short cut- use a rotisserie chicken from the local supermarket.  It’s just as delicious. Now proceed to step 2)  The broth from the boiled chicken and vegetables is perfect for making and freezing as your own homemade broth.  

In a medium to large stock pot place a rinsed whole chicken (remove any giblets), the quarter an onion, a few celery sticks, carrots, plenty of pepper, salt, red peppercorns, dried or fresh thyme and a bay leaf.  Cover with water and boil until the chicken is cooked.  The time will vary depending on the size of the bird, but usually 40 minutes is ample time.

Remove the chicken, shred the meat and place aside.  Pour the broth through a strainer and store in a freezer safe container.  Use in this recipe and the next time you need chicken broth.

Step 2

Ingredients for the Sauce:

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth 
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 tsp. Tony Chachere’s Original Seasoning 

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Directions for Sauce: In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, add all-purpose four and whisk constantly.  Slowly add chicken broth and the half and half, whisking constantly.  This should take about 5 to 6 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Add the seasoning and remove from heat.  Set the sauce aside and prepare step 3.

Step 3

Ingredients for the Filling (before adding the sauce):

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 (8 oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 potato, peeled and chopped
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups of your cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup frozen peas

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Directions for Filling: In a large dutch oven or stock pot, melt 2 tbsp. butter, add onion and mushrooms and sauté for approximately 4 minutes.  Add potatoes and carrots and sauté another 4 minutes, then add chicken and frozen peas.  Stir mixture well, then add the sauce.

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Fold the sauce into the mixture and set aside. 

Step 4

Prepare pot pie dishes for the pie crust. Spray with a cooking spray. I use refrigerated pie crust.  

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There’s no exact science to this method, just place the pie crusts as best you can in the dishes. (You can also use foil mini pie tins or small bed loaf tins- I like to use these when I freeze my pies.)

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Now add the filling! You’re getting close. The end is insight! I like to sprinkle a little more Tony Chachere’s over the top before adding the top crust.
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To help the crust brown nicely, I add a little egg white wash to the top crust. (just one egg white, whisked and applied.)

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It’s time for the oven.  Cut a few slits in the top of the crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.  Enjoy!

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