Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

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This recipe is so good it has a cult following.  I have never been much of a fan of chicken pot pie but after reading the ingredients and the rave reviews I decided to give it a try.  I was not disappointed.

It all started at Costco last week when they were giving out samples of their chicken pot pie and I found myself circling the aisle and coming back for thirds.  If you have a large family or gathering, I highly recommend them.  Unfortunately they are enough for 8 to 10 people and not for a family of two.The crust is what takes it over the top.  Anyway, the idea stuck and I found myself thinking of chicken pot pie for the next couple of days.

One of the things that has always turned me off this classic comfort food is the celery and the green beans.  None here. Just peas, carrots and whole onions, a very classy combination.  The splash of sherry, a stroke of genius and not in the original recipe, is a natural.  I encourage you to add it.

 Do try to make the crust from scratch.  It's easy, even for me, and makes a big difference.  You can make it the day before and leave in the refrigerator overnight. I used 4 inch (or was it 5?) ramekins and had a small amount of the chicken mix left over for a mini one which I covered with the leftover dough pieces.  My daughter and I had two and froze two for another time.  Another time was the next night for neither one of us could stop thinking about it.

Is that her third martini???

If you are making everything in one day, give yourself plenty of time.  Plan on starting about 2 1/2 to 3 hours before serving for it really takes about an hour to make the dough (resting time is 30 minutes) and the filling, another hour to cook, (with you sipping cocktails), and a good half hour of rest so you don't burn your tongue. By the time I was finished (3 hours and umpteen vodkas on the rock later) I had to be dragged upstairs and put to bed.




  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sherry (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, blanched for 2 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin. Cut the chicken into large dice. You will have 4 to 6 cups of cubed chicken. ( I used Costco's roast chicken)

    In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.

    In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce. Add the sherry if using. Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and heavy cream. Add the cubed chicken, carrots, peas, onions and parsley. Mix well.

    For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour. Pulse 10 times, or until the fat is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together. Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.

    Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

    Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa
    All  photos  Lindaraxa


    1. Chicken pot pie is one of my favorite comfort foods! I use a similar recipe -- love just the peas, carrots and onions in the pie! I've been known to use puff pastry to top it with -- just for a change! I think I need to make this soon!

    2. My husband was a jock in school and often came home from practice of whatever sport to find the family had eaten and his mother would say there are chicken pot pies in the freezer. It would take at least 3 or 4 to feed the tall guy. He absolutely hates them! As a bride I made a pot pie from scratch right down to homemade crust. It was beautiful. He came in from a late night at the law office saw the pie and declared he simply could not eat it. I threw the peanut butter at him. Now 37 years later, I might have to try this again...note to self: buy more peanut butter.

      PS: So glad to see the sous chef is perking up! And I've given up booze for wine. This way my HDL is 98. If I die of liver failure, at least my heart will be good to go somewhere else!

    3. I have made chicken pot pie as well but will definitely try your recipe. I really like the addition of the sherry. I was gifted with these adorable little individual chicken shaped casseroles from a very dear friend and they would be perfect for your recipe. I am now craving Chicken Pot Pie, it is contagious.

      Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

    4. The sherry is a must....I just posted about pheasant pie I made on Sunday...check out the pix.

    5. This looks like the perfect dinner for a chilly Saturday night - and the weekend is looking like a cold one!

    6. I don't even know where to start...

      Ok all of you, as someone who does not like chicken pot pie this was great! try it!!! and with the sherry!

      Just ask the sous chef, and she can't eat chicken,,. it gives her the you know what. Of course, if you intend to do it all in one shot, like I did at 6 o'clock at night, make sure you have some fortifications to wait it out. Vodak, wine, scotch, you name it...the time flies by.

      And if your significant other does not like it, you have my blessing to throw a jar of peanut butter at them, chunky or otherwise.

    7. That looks delicious! I love chicken pot pie.

    8. A good chicken pot pie is one of life's greatest pleasures. The one time I made cpp I was astonished at the amount of time (and labor) it took, as I always assumed it would be as easy as, well, pie. In any event, I shall file this recipe away for when I am next inspired to try it, as it sounds marveous indeed. RD

    9. I have never heard of green beans in chicken pot pie before. Peas and carrots is the way to go.

    10. I recently discovered you blog and I am delighted I did. What sherry did you use?

      Best regards,


    11. Taylor's Dry sherry. I keep a bottle just for cooking.

    12. When I did the cooking for entertaining in NYC, we often served chicken pot pie, sometimes for as many as 40 people! Our secret, or rather, the indulgence was to add foie gras and truffles to the pie--de-lish!

      And being from the South, I always like a bottom crust--it's just not pie without it.


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