Homemade chicken pot pie is the ultimate comfort food. What’s not to love about lean protein, vegetables, and a creamy filling baked inside a flaky, buttery double crust? When a big slice hits your plate, you know you’re in for a treat!
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My chicken pot pie is made entirely from scratch for a gourmet meal. It’s far superior and more delicious than the store-bought stuff. Each serving is loaded with protein and vegetables suspended in a creamy herb sauce. The best part is that you’ll typically have lots of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.
For a recipe of this magnitude, I like to prepare different parts ahead of time. And I developed the dish so that you can make the filling all in one pan to minimize the mess. The crust and filling can be chilled and then assembled later. Just roll, fill, and bake!
Making pie dough
I use a classic pie dough recipe called Pâte Brisée to make a sturdy and buttery crust. It’s a simple combination of flour, butter, salt, and ice-cold water. The critical component is that you need to chill the dough for at least 4 hours before rolling. The gluten proteins that form need time to relax. Otherwise, the crust will be tough. I like to make this part the day before so that assembly is quick and easy.
Rolling out the crust
Roll out the pie crust first and place it in the refrigerator before making the filling. This process gives the butter in the dough plenty of time to firm up so that the warm filling doesn’t cause it to melt before baking. This recipe uses a double-crust pie to encase the chicken mixture.
Roll out the bottom and top crusts to ¼-inch thick. This provides a sturdy base and cover. Use a 9-inch pie dish to lay one portion of the dough inside, then trim off the excess. Place the top crust on a baking sheet, it will be further shaped later.
Saute the chicken
To cook the lean chicken breasts quickly, saute thinly sliced cutlets. The hot pan and oil create a browned surface full of additional flavors. It only takes about 6 minutes per side, and then it’s ready to shred. To speed up the process, you can use store-bought or leftover rotisserie chicken. You’ll need 3 cups.
Cook the vegetables
Saute the vegetables in the same pan used to cook the chicken. I use chopped onions, carrots, mushrooms, and Yukon gold potatoes. The spuds take longer to cook, so keep the pot covered to shorten the duration. The steam generated from the moisture released from the vegetables will soften the tough potatoes.
I like the buttery flavor and sturdy texture of Yukon gold, but you can also use Russets. They may need less time, so keep an eye on them.
Create a thick and creamy sauce
I use all-purpose flour to thicken the filling, just like making gravy. It’s briefly cooked with the vegetables to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly stir in chicken stock and heavy cream to help the starches in the flour swell up and stay separate.
In just a few minutes you’ll see the consistency change from liquid, to a consistency that can coat a spoon. Stir in the frozen peas and shredded chicken together with the creamy vegetables.
Let the filling cool down
It’s essential to cool down the hot chicken mixture to room temperature or below. You don’t want it to melt the butter in the pie crusts completely. Otherwise, it won’t hold its shape. I recommend spreading the filling out on a sheet pan, then stirring occasionally to drop the temperature down faster. You can also place it in the refrigerator for quicker cooling. At this point, you can store it in a container for up to 2 days.
Once the filling cools down, pour it into the bottom pie crust. Place the top crust over the pie, trim the excess dough so that it has a ½-inch overhang. Tuck, press, and crimp into a design on the edges. This also locks the two pieces of crust together, making it easier to slice later. You can bake the pie right away or refrigerate for up one day before baking.
I like to brush the surface with egg wash to give the pie a bronzed hue, then sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Make sure to cut slits into the top to create a vent for steam to release. Otherwise, the crust will get soggy.
Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes, or until the top and sides are golden brown. I use a glass pie dish so that I can monitor the color change easily. Let the pie cool for 45 minutes before serving. This helps the crust and filling firm up so it’s still nice and hot but doesn’t fall apart.
What to serve this with
The size of the butter makes a difference
To make the texture flaky, cut the butter into ½-inch cubes, then break them into the flour, so that they resemble the size of a pea, with smaller pieces incorporated throughout. When rolled, the larger pieces turn into buttery discs that separate the dough into flaky layers during baking.
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Chicken Pot Pie
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¾ cups unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, chilled
- ¾ cup ice-cold water, chilled
Chicken and Vegetable Filling
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, ¼-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced celery, ¼-inch dice
- 1 cup diced carrots, ¼-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms, ¼-inch thick
- 2 cups diced yukon gold potatoes, ½-inch dice
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock, or broth
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup green peas, frozen
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 large egg, whisked for egg wash
- Keep the measured ice water and diced butter in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a stand mixer bowl, add the flour and salt. Combine using the paddle attachment on the lowest speed (Stir) for about 10 seconds.
- Add chilled diced butter to the bowl. On the lowest speed, turn the mixer on and off quickly for a few seconds to coat the butter with the flour. This helps to prevent the flour from spilling over. Continue to mix on low speed until the flour and butter resemble wet sand with coarse crumbles and some pea-sized pieces remaining, about 60 to 75 seconds. Use fingers to break up any large pieces. Do not overmix. The dough should not bind together before the water is added. Alternatively, use a dough/pastry blender or your fingers to break the butter into the dough.
- Gradually add 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water to the bowl. After each addition, turn the mixer on for 1 to 2 seconds. Only add enough water until the dough looks lumpy and hydrated, but not wet or sticky. Where it just begins to clump together with small crumbles on the bottom of the bowl. All of the water may not be needed, about 8 to 10 tablespoons is typical. When the dough is pinched together, it should compress and hold, not be dry or crumbly. Do not over mix. The dough will be pressed together before resting.
- Separate the dough into 2 even-sized portions, about 1 pound (454 grams) each. Press them into a 1-inch thick round disc and cover separately in plastic wrap. Place both in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator to rest for at least 4-hours, overnight, or up to 2 days.
- Remove the crusts from the refrigerator, allow them to sit at room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes or until pliable. Dust your working surface dough with flour. When rolling out, dust again if needed to prevent sticking. Roll the top crust into a 13-inch circle, about ¼-inch thick. Lay it flat on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roll out the bottom crust using the same steps above. Place into a 9-inch pie dish and gently press against the sides and bottom. With a paring knife, trim the excess that hangs over the edges. Transfer both crusts to the refrigerator to chill while making the filling.
Chicken and Vegetable Filling
- Cut each chicken breast in half through the center to create two cutlets. Lightly season both sides with salt and black pepper.
- Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 375ºF (190ºC). Heat a large skillet with high sides or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes. Flip over and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer to a clean plate. Reserve the pan to cook the rest of the filling.
- Rest the chicken until it’s cool enough to handle. Shred into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Heat the same pan used to cook the chicken over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan. Add the onions and garlic, saute until translucent, 2 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, rosemary, and thyme, saute for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, saute for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir, then cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 9 to 10 minutes. Make sure to stir the vegetables every 2 minutes to prevent burning.
- Sprinkle in the flour, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock and heavy cream, stir constantly until a thick and smooth sauce forms, about 2 to 3 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon. Turn off the heat. Add the shredded chicken, peas, and chopped parsley, stir to combine.
- Transfer the filling to a sheet pan, spread into a thin layer, and allow to cool until room temperature, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to help it cool faster. The mixture should not be hot when added to the pie crust. The filling can also be transferred to an airtight container once cooled and then refrigerated for up to 2 days before using.
- Remove the top and bottom crusts from the refrigerator. Evenly spread the chicken filling into the pie dish with the bottom crust. Lay the top crust over the chicken filling. Trim the excess dough, to about ½-inch hanging over the pie plate. Fold the excess underneath the bottom crust edges. Crimp by pinching the dough using the pointer and thumb fingers.
- Lightly brush the whisked egg on the top of the crust and edges. Cut six, ¾-inch vent slits in the center for steam to escape. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pie dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 60 to 70 minutes. The sides will continue to darken during cooling.
- Let the pie sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until warm or room temperature, at least 45 minutes before serving. Cut and serve while still warm.
- Using salted chicken stock: Reduce the kosher salt input to 1 teaspoon instead of 1 ½ teaspoon. Taste and add more salt as needed.
- Make ahead: A fully assembled and unbaked pie can be made 1 day ahead of time. Make sure that the filling is cold before adding to the crust. Wait to brush with egg wash until ready to bake.
- Storing: The pie can be covered and refrigerated for up to 7 days.
- Reheating: For a quick reheat, microwave slices on high power in 30-second increments until the filling is hot, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan. Broil on the lower rack of the oven until the top crust is hot and crisp. Check every minute to make sure the crust doesn’t burn. Slices can also be warmed in the oven at 300ºF (149ºC) until the filling and crust are hot, about 15 to 20 minutes.
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