Kick Ass Chicken Pot Pie

Kick Ass Chicken Pot Pie

I am a lover of pie, in all it’s forms.  And for me, the epitome of the savory pie, is the Chicken Pot Pie.  At it’s best, diving your fork into this American classic is like opening a fantastic present.  Flaky crust hides the meaty, chunky, creamy goodness below. At it’s worst, the pie can be a soggy, cornstarchy, bland, too salty, cafeteria-quality disaster.

Let’s avoid that, shall we?

Below is my recipe for Chicken Pot Pie with everything I want.  Big chunks of flavorful chicken are complemented by a variety of vegetables and unexpected elements like caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes and fennel.  No carrots for me, but I do add mushrooms for their earthy goodness and sweet peas for their perky shape and color.

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted loosely from a recipe by Ina Garten

Print-Friendly Recipe

  • 4-5 cups cooked chicken (I use roasted chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms
  • 4 ounces shitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas (edamame would also be good)
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 3 large stalks)
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fennel (about one medium bulb)
  • 2/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, white & green parts
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 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

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Add the shortening and butter and 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 bring it into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot, melt the butter with olive oil add the fennel, celery and season with approximately 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Sauté over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce.  Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring, until thick.

Mix in the heavy cream, chopped chicken, peas, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions, green onions and parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the filling equally among ovenproof dishes (I used a variety of dishes and ended up with about 10 servings).  Divide the dough evenly and roll out to fit over the filling going a little past the edge of each dish.  Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash then place the dough on top.  Trim the dough 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 slits in the top.  Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.  At this point, you could store the pies covered in the fridge for up to a day.

When you are ready to serve, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Let the pies sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.  If you bake these ahead of time, warm them up in a 250 degree oven for about 20 minutes before serving.