Homemade chicken pot pie with a flaky butter crust is the ultimate comfort food. You know you’re in for a treat when a big slice hits your plate.
Table of Contents
- Make the pie dough
- Rolling out the crust
- Pie dish selection
- Prepare the chicken
- How to cook the chicken for pot pie
- Cook the vegetables
- How to thicken the chicken pie filling
- Let the filling cool down
- Pie assembly
- Bake the chicken pot pie
- If making smaller individual pies
- Serve this with
- Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
My chicken pot pie recipe is made entirely from scratch for gourmet results. It’s far superior and more delicious than the frozen store-bought stuff. Each piece delivers a tender buttery crust filled with lean white meat and vegetables suspended in a creamy herb sauce.
What I like about this recipe is that you can prepare the components ahead of time. I prefer to make the crust the night before, but you can also prepare the filling too. You can even assemble the pie and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake. It’s convenient to have a few options.
Make the pie dough
I use a classic pie dough recipe called Pâte Brisée to make a sturdy buttery crust. It’s a simple combination of flour, butter, salt, and ice-cold water. The critical component is 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.
This part can be made up to two days in advance so that assembly is quick and easy. It can even be frozen for up to 6 months and defrosted in the refrigerator one to two days before use.
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 to provide a sturdy base and cover. Place the top crust on a baking sheet. You will shape it further later.
Pie dish selection
This recipe was developed with a glass 9-inch pie dish. Alternatively, you can use a deeper baking dish as there is plenty of dough for the higher sides. Glass takes a little longer to heat up but retains heat well to finish browning the bottom and sides of the pie once removed from the oven. I also like how I can monitor the color change and progress.
Prepare the chicken
I use boneless skinless chicken breasts for a quick cooking, lean protein option. If you prefer dark meat, you can substitute it with chicken thighs. This recipe also works well if you have leftover roasted chicken. Rotisserie chicken from the store is a quick option if you’re short on time. You’ll need 3 cups.
To prevent drying out the breasts, slice them horizontally to make two cutlets, however, skip this step if using thighs. The chicken will cook faster when sliced thin. Season the surface with salt and pepper to enhance the savory taste.
How to cook the chicken for pot pie
I like to use a large skillet or wide dutch oven for cooking the chicken and vegetables in one pan. To add more flavor to the meat, sear it in hot oil to develop a browned surface, to enhance the taste. It only takes about 6 minutes per side.
Let the meat rest to redistribute the juices and make it easier to break apart. You can shred the chicken using your hands, two forks, or even a mixer to break down the pieces quickly.
Cook the vegetables
There will be fond (flavorful bits of protein) and juices left over from cooking the chicken. Don’t let it go to waste! Add the chopped onions, carrots, mushrooms, and Yukon gold potatoes using the same pan. The spuds take longer to cook, so keep the pot covered to shorten the duration. The steam released from the vegetables will soften the tougher potatoes.
I like the buttery flavor and sturdy texture of Yukon gold, but you can also use Russets. They may need less time and will turn mushy and break down if overcooked, so keep an eye on them.
How to thicken the chicken pie filling
All-purpose flour thickens the filling, just like making gravy. It’s briefly cooked with vegetables to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly stir in chicken stock or broth and heavy cream. If you want to substitute with half-and-half, the filling will be less rich because heavy cream contains at least 36% fat, whereas half-and-half only 10.5 to 12% fat.
The simmering and constant stirring helps 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 with the vegetable and creamy sauce.
Let the filling cool down
Cooling the hot chicken mixture to room temperature or below is essential. You don’t want it to melt the butter inside the pie crust 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, and trim the excess dough to have a ½-inch overhang. Tuck, press, and crimp the edge into a beautiful design. This process also locks the two pieces of crust together, making it easier to slice later. You can bake the pie immediately or refrigerate it for up to one day before baking.
I like to brush the crust’s 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 the chicken pot pie
Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes until the top and sides turn golden brown. I use a glass pie dish to monitor the color change easily. Let the pie cool for 45 minutes before serving. This duration helps the crust and filling firm up. It will still be hot, but it will prevent the slice of pie from falling apart.
If making smaller individual pies
Use the same baking temperature of 375ºF (190ºC), but bake mini pies in a muffin pan for about 10 to 15 minutes. For individual pies, about 4 to 6 inches, about 20 to 30 minutes. No matter the size, the goal is to have the crust thoroughly cook the surface and sides. Adjust the bake time as needed. The filling is completely cooked, so you don’t have to worry about it being raw.
Serve this with
Yes! You can use store-bought products like Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts for a quick substitution. If frozen, make sure to defrost; if refrigerated, bring it to room temperature for about 15 minutes to make it pliable.
Heavy whipping cream, chicken broth or stock, butter, and all-purpose flour. Simmered together creates a luxurious, rich sauce that suspends the filling ingredients. This combination prevents a runny consistency that would make a soggy bottom crust as it sits.
Make sure the pie crust is rolled out enough, about ¼-inch thick. Do not add the hot filling to the unbaked bottom crust. This will melt the butter and cause a fragile crust, making it easier for moisture to seep through. Ensure the sauce in the filling is thick enough to coat the meat and vegetables.
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" cubes, chilled
- ¾ cup ice-cold water, chilled
Chicken and Vegetable Filling
- 1 ½ pound 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" dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced celery, ¼" dice
- 1 cup diced carrots, ¼" dice
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms, ¼" thick
- 2 cups diced yukon gold potatoes, ½" 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
- Prepare the Crust – 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.
- Cut the Butter into the Flour – Add chilled diced butter to the bowl. On the lowest speed, turn the mixer on and off quickly for a few seconds to coat. This helps to prevent the flour from spilling over. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand with coarse crumbles and some pea-sized pieces remaining, about 60 to 75 seconds. Use your 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.
- Hydrate 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.
- Chill the Dough – 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.
- Roll Out the Dough – Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and 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
- Prepare the Chicken – Cut each chicken breast in half through the center to create two cutlets. Lightly season both sides with salt and black pepper.
- Saute the Chicken – Set the oven rack to the middle position—preheat to 375ºF (190ºC). Heat a large skillet with high sides or a dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for 6 minutes. Flip 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.
- Shred the Chicken – Rest the chicken until it’s cool enough to handle. Shred into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Cook the Vegetables – Heat the same pan used to cook the chicken over medium heat. Melt the butter. 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.
- Thicken the Mixture – 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.
- Cool the Filling – Transfer the filling to a sheet pan, spread it into a thin layer, and allow it 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.
- Assemble the Pie – 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.
- Bake the Pie – 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.
- Cool and Serve – 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. Make sure that the filling is cold before adding it 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.
- Freezing Unbaked Pie: Wrap well with plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready, bake straight from the freezer—no need to defrost.
- Freezing and Reheating a Baked Pie: Cool entirely, then wrap in plastic and foil for up to 3 months. Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) to reheat until warmed through. Cover the surface with some foil if it starts getting too brown.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
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