Homemade chicken pot pie with a rich, creamy and flavorful chicken filling and a golden brown buttery-soft, flaky pie crust. There is nothing like it. It's one of my favorite comfort foods. Everyone in our family is a huge fan of a good ol' homemade chicken pot pie made with love.
I’ve made dozens of them in the past and have accumulated quite a few very good recipes. But this specific recipe is what I consider to be one of the best, if not THE BEST chicken pot pie recipes. It makes a seriously delicious chicken pie.
How to make chicken pot pie?
It's quite easy to make a chicken pot pie. It's a little harder to make a great tasting chicken pot pie where all ingredients just work together perfectly well. In this recipe, all ingredients are in perfect balance. You will get a creamy and delicious filling enclosed into a buttery-soft, flaky pie crust. Here are the basic steps that describe to make this chicken pot pie:
- Saute aromatic vegetables in butter to soften them up and bring out the flavor.
- Add the broth and the potatoes, and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the butter and flour mix, as well as cornstarch and milk mix to thicken the pot pie filling.
- Stir in cooked chicken and peas, and let cool. The filling is done.
- Roll out pie pastry into two circles (or 8 small circles if using ramekins), line a baking dish with one, add the filling, then cover with the other circle and crimp the edges.
- Finally, bake the pot pie for 50 minutes in the oven and enjoy while it is hot.
How to make chicken pot pie crust?
To make chicken pot pie you need pie pastry. No doubt, you can buy it at you local food market, but you will have much better results making your own. The pie pastry in this recipe is so good, yet so easy to make, that most people with whom I shared this recipe got quite surprised.
The secret to a perfect pie crust is not the amount of work, or some special ingredients, it's how you make it. Just follow the easy instructions this recipe and I promise you, you will have one of the best tasting pies you've ever had.
Steps the make chicken pot pie crust:
- In a food processor, pulse flour and salt to combine.
- Add very cold butter cut into cubes, and pulse a few times until it's the size of peas. It's very important to use VERY COLD butter. It's also important to have cut into 1/2" cubes before adding to the food processor. Large chunks will require more pulsing which will overwork the butter. For best results, cut butter into small cubes, wrap in plastic and put in a freezer for 20 minutes.
Add the water and vinegar and pulse a few more times. Important! The pastry does not need to form a ball. It will look like a big pile of crumbs, and that's what you want. See pictures below in the recipe. If the batter comes to a ball, it's a sign that there is too much butter and/or water in it. It won't make light and flaky crust.
- Wrap the crumbs in a plastic wrap, then twist like you would a candy. This will bring the pastry together. Divide into two if making a large pot pie, see detailed instructions below. Try to avoid touching the pastry with your hands. Quickly wrap it and refrigerate for an hour.
After refrigeration, the pastry will be ready for rolling out and assembly of chicken pot pie.
Why does this recipe use both cornstarch and flour as thickening agents?
While you can certainly use one or the other, I find that using both gives the filling a better consistency. Using just cornstarch makes the filling slightly too firm as it cools down, while using only flour makes the filling a bit too thick and gummy by the time you get the right thickness. Additionally, flour gives the pie filling richer color and a heartier taste, while cornstarch produces transparent color and no taste. Using both you can get a balance to satisfy your taste.
How to freeze chicken pot pies?
To freeze cooked pot pies, cool them down completely. Then chill in a fridge until cold. After that, place in a freezer. Once frozen, wrap in foil, then in freezer-quality plastic wrap. The pies will keep in a freezer for up to 3 months and even longer, depending on how cold your freezer gets.
To freeze unbaked pot pies, assemble them in baking dishes / ramekins. Place in the freezer. Once frozen, pop the pies out of the pie dishes, wrap in foil and then in freezer-quality plastic wrap. Freeze up to 3 months.
How to reheat chicken pot pies?
To reheat cooked chicken pot pies, the best way to do it is to bake them at 375F for about 35 minutes. There is no need to thaw prior to putting in the oven.
If the pies were frozen uncooked, when ready to bake, brush the tops with an egg wash and bake at 375F for at least 50 minutes. You may have to foil the edges to prevent them from getting too dark.
Tips for making the best tasting chicken pot pie
- Great chicken makes great chicken pot pie. You want to use juicy, perfectly cooked chicken meat. Dry chicken meat is a no go. All that gravy in the filling will not be able to make a dry, overcooked chicken taste good. Hence, I recommend cooking chicken separately which gives you the ability to cook it just right.
- While you can use any chicken meat in you homemade chicken pot pit, I think perfectly cooked chicken breast works the best. Try using the chicken from my slow roasted chicken breast recipe you will immediately see what I am talking about. Sous vide chicken breast would be another great option.
- The secret to soft, flaky pie crust is keeping the butter very cold, not overworking the dough, and adding a little bit of vinegar. Vinegar prevents formation of gluten which makes the pie crust tough and dense.
Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
For the filling:
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup milk
- A small onion finely chopped
- A medium carrot peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 cup condensed chicken broth or 1 cup water plus 2 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1/2 medium size russet potato peeled and diced
- 2 medium size baked chicken breasts diced (link to the recipe is in the post)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the pie pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup 227 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 egg yolk plus 2 tsp milk mixed well, for brushing
- To prepare the filling, combine 4 tablespoons of the softened butter with the flour in small bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the milk. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan, add two tablespoons of butter and saute the onion, carrot, and celery over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the broth and the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
- Add the butter and flour mix and bring to a gentle boil, constantly stirring.
- Pour in the milk and cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken and peas. Cover and let cool.
- To prepare the pie dough, in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and vinegar and pulse a few more times. It does not need to come to a ball. It will look like a big pile of crumbs, and that's what you want.
- Remove the dough from the food processor and place on a large piece of Saran wrap. Twist the plastic to tighten the dough into a ball. Cut into two pieces, and flatten each piece into a disk. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Alternatively, twist the plastic wrap on both ends, as if you were wrapping a candy.
- Cut the dough into 8 disks. This will make 4 smaller chicken pot pies that can be baked in ramekens.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the two dough discs into two circles, one about 13 inches in diameter and the other about 10 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife, make a few slits in the second (10 inch) dough circle. Line a 9-inch pie dish with the larger dough circle. The dough should overhang the dish by about 1/2 inches.
- If making smaller pot pies in 4 ramekins, roll out 4 disks into 8"-9" circles and 4 disks into 5"-6" circles respectively.
- Spoon the chicken filling into the baking dish, or ramekins.
- Cover with the second sheet of dough. Crimp the edges and tuck them in. Brush the top with egg yolk wash. If making single portion pot pies in ramekens, repeat the process four times.
- Bake on the rack positioned in the middle of the oven for about 50 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.