Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that gives us all the warm comfort food feels, but seems like just too much to make.
But here’s the thing about pot pies, they really are forgiving.
Use uncooked chicken
use leftover chicken
even use leftover roast beef
use the veggies you have in your fridge
leave out any ingredient you just don’t like.
Make a pie crust from scratch
dig around in the freezer and use a frozen one
use some biscuit dough to top it off.
Do you see where we’re going here? Chicken pot pie really doesn’t need to be overwhelming to make. It’s really a forgiving dish that takes to a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So get ready for a flaky butter crust blanketing a creamy sauce full of chicken, onions, carrots, and peas to come out of your oven!
As mentioned above, the ingredients really are up for interpretation. Chicken with carrots, celery, peas, and onions seems like the classic take on this dish, but nothing says you can’t make your own classic signature pot pie dish!
Chicken. Of course, this recipe is called chicken pot pie, so we use chicken. BUT, it’s easy enough to change up your protein to whatever you have. If using leftover chicken or leftover turkey to make your pot pie, you’ll skip the step to saute the chicken. Do make sure your chicken or turkey is properly seasoned. If it’s bland before you add it to your pie, it will still be bland at the end of the recipe.
Crust. A homemade crust is an excellent choice for a chicken pot pie. Homemade crusts aren't our thing. So we happily endorse the frozen premade crusts. Our crust of choice is a sheet of frozen puff pastry. We love the flakiness and all the crispy crunchy layers! The contrast between all that flake and the creamy sauce is to die for.
You do you and whip up a homemade pie crust or roll out the frozen crust of your choice.
Vegetables. This recipe calls for a lot of vegetables. You might notice celery is missing from the recipe and that’s because Emily hates celery! Feel free to use the vegetables you like. You’ll need about 4 ½ cups of vegetables in total. Be sure to dice them so they are bite-sized or smaller.
Seasoning. A really good chicken pot pie recipe is a study in layering flavors. Yay, but what does layering flavors mean? It means we flavor everything each step of the way. As each vegetable is added, it is seasoned. The chicken is seasoned on its own. As the gravy is made, we make sure it is properly seasoned. Each piece of the pie needs to have great flavor on its own, so when layered together everything comes together into a beautiful delicious pie!
Ventucky Poultry Rub. The chicken for this recipe is seasoned with our Ventucky Poultry Rub. We hand blend this rub in-house at SpiceTopia using organic ingredients. It’s the perfect seasoning to add a deep savory flavor to chicken.
Poultry Seasoning. Poultry seasoning is a traditional blend of sage, thyme, and marjoram, with a bit of celery seed, and is used to season the gravy. Giving the gravy an herby full flavor.
Salt and Pepper. Good old salt and pepper add a base of seasoning that you just can’t replace with anything else. Pacific Flake Sea Salt and Tellicherry Black Pepper are our go-to's when it comes to everyday salt and pepper.
Fresh Parsley. We like to add fresh parsley to our recipe as it brings brightness to the gravy. If you don’t have any fresh herbs to add, no worries. Instead, double the lemon peel called for as it provides that same brightness.
Fat. Okay, let’s get one thing out of the way. This recipe is not low-fat! Do keep in mind all the fat is spread across six to eight servings. We use both butter and oil when sauteing the chicken and vegetables as well as creating our gravy. The butter is for flavor. Use a neutral flavored oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil.
Oil can be substituted for butter. Butter can not be substituted for oil. The oil is added to the butter to keep it from burning as oil has a higher burn point than butter. There is nothing worse than the taste of burnt bitter butter. (Well actually, we can think of lots of things worse, but you know what we mean–don't burn the butter!)
Chicken Pot Pie Technique.
Is Chicken Pot Pie Hard to Make?
The best chicken pot pie recipe from scratch will have many steps, but none of those steps are hard. Following them just requires you to go step-by-step.
First, the vegetables are cooked. Then the meat is cooked. Then the gravy is made. Then the crust is added. Then the pie is placed in the oven where it is baked. See? Easy Peasy!
One Pot Meal. Did we mention this is a one-pot meal? Make this in a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan and you’ll only have one pan to clean. There will be other bowls and spoons and knives and stuff to clean, but hey–only one pot!
Crust. As mentioned above, we use frozen puff pastry for this homemade chicken pot pie recipe made mostly from scratch! Follow the directions on the package of whatever crust you use. Ours calls for defrosting the crust for 45 minutes on the countertop.
One thing that is important when using any crust is to keep it cold. That keeps the butter or fat in the crust solid which allows for the fat to steam which makes the layers separate and that creates a crispy layered crust.
When rolling out the crust, we use a round olive oil bottle. No need for a rolling pin. After rolling out the crust, use a sharp knife to slice a few vents in the crust. This allows the steam from the gravy a place to go and avoids a soggy crust on top of the pie.
At this point, if your crust is not super cold, lay it on a plate or wax paper and place it in your freezer.
Roux. This recipe uses a roux to make the gravy. If you aren’t familiar with this technique, we have step-by-step instructions in our Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe. Mastering the technique of cooking flour and fat together to thicken liquid will serve you well as it is the basis for many gravies and sauces.
Our Favorite Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
1 Shallot or ½ Onion, diced finely
2 - 3 Carrots, diced
½ - 1 cup sliced Mushrooms
1 large Russet potato, diced
½ - 1 cup Fresh or frozen peas
½ cup chopped Fresh parsley
3 tablespoon Butter, divided use
3 tablespoon Oil, divided use
1 ½ - 2 pounds Boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, diced
3 tablespoons Flour
3 cups Chicken broth
½ cup Cream
1 tablespoon Ventucky Spice
1 tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
½ teaspoon Lemon Peel
½ - 1 teaspoon Pacific Flake Sea Salt
½ - 1 teaspoon Tellicherry Pepper
1 sheet of Puff pastry or Pie crust
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Start the puff pastry defrost process by placing it on the counter away from the heat of the stove.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet or other ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat for one minute.
Add shallot or onion, carrots, and mushrooms to the skillet. Season with ½ teaspoon Pacific Flake Sea Salt and 4 - 5 grind of Tellicherry Black Pepper (or ¼ teaspoon).
Stir often and cook until shallot is translucent and mushrooms are tender. Carrots will not be tender at this point. That is okay. Remove vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
Season chicken with Ventucky Seasoning. Add an additional tablespoon of butter and oil to the skillet. Allow to heat for 1 minute. Add chicken to the skillet. Cook until browned and cooked through. Remove from the skillet and add to your cooked vegetables.
Turn heat down to medium-low. Next, make your roux by adding remaining butter and oil to the skillet. Allow butter to melt. Next, add the flour. Using a whisk, stir together the butter mixture with the flour until a paste forms. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. While continuing to stir the roux, slowly pour in your chicken broth. Stir and allow to come back to a simmer. Add Poultry Seasoning and cream.
Lower the heat to low. Add vegetables and meat back into the pan along with the potatoes. Stirring often, simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender.
While everything is cooking, roll your puff pastry out so it is big enough to cover your pan. Slice two slits in the pastry to create vents.
After your veggies are tender, turn off the heat. Stir in the frozen peas, lemon peel, and fresh parsley. Carefully taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
Place your crust over your skillet. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn down your oven temperature to 375°F.
Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until your crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and be sure to allow to cool for 10 -15 minutes before serving.