How to make a perfectly cooked chicken pot pie with real ingredients and no cans!
I grew up in a busy household with parents who worked long hours. Chicken pot pies were an easy go-to for my sweet momma, who from time-to-time, after a hard days work, just didn’t have it in her to whip up a big dinner for our little family. They were filling, quick-cooking, and loaded with chicken and vegetables.
Although I appreciate my mom’s work ethic and (literally) all of the million things she was able to do for us because of it, I always secretly wished she could have stayed home with us, and even as a young child I had nostalgic ideas of cooking my family’s meals only from scratch, staying home with my children, and having dinner on the table right when my husband walked through the door.
Fast-forward into adulthood and it’s pretty much a dream come true…except real life. I do get to stay home with my children, most of our meals are cooked from scratch and dinner is almost on the table (about an hour or so) after my husband walks through the door.
One thing I will say, though, is that our chicken pot pies are never frozen, there are no cans, and they are always homemade.
I swore off “cream-of” soups long ago, right about the time I got married and went on a “make-it-all-from-scratch or die trying” rampage. The bread portion of that deal? Nope. Didn’t last long at all, however, after making sauces from scratch, I began to taste something a little off in those cans.
My homemade sauces just tasted…well, cleaner, and I started to notice the store-bought, canned soups had an unpleasant aftertaste to them. Then I read the back of a can — I’m sorry, but what is “chicken meat” exactly?
Homemade sauce it is.
HOW TO MAKE A CHICKEN POT PIE USING REAL INGREDIENTS
Homemade chicken pot pie begins with regular ol’ pie crust, chicken, sautéed vegetables and a chicken gravy.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN POT PIE CRUST
If ever you’ve made a homemade pie crust, you’re already way ahead of the game when it comes to making the crust for your chicken pot pie! Why? Because it’s exactly the same.
My recipe for Perfect Flaky Pie Crust is what I use to slam out a beautiful golden, brown chicken pot pie. However, I omit the sugar from the recipe for savory dishes.
To make a chicken pot pie crust from scratch, you simply whisk together flour, and salt, cut in cold butter and shortening using either a pastry blender or your food processor, and drizzle in ice-cold water. Mix until a dough has formed, divide into two discs (preferably with one disk being slightly larger than the other), and transfer them to the refrigerator to chill.
VOILA! You’ve just made the most perfect crust for chicken pot pie ever. Of all time.
The next element you’ll move onto for your homemade chicken pot pie is the chicken. I’ve found the easiest way to prepare chicken for this dish is roast it in the oven.
HOW TO COOK CHICKEN BREASTS FOR CHICKEN POT PIE
For this portion of the pot pie, I call upon my Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts recipe. It’s simple, easy to make, and has served me well time and time again over the years, producing nothing but succulent, juicy chicken every single time.
To make the chicken for the pot pie, you simply pat any excess moisture away from the chicken with a paper towel so that the oil will stick the breasts. Then, drizzle with Canola or Olive oil, season, and bake for 25-30 minutes (preferably on an oven-safe rack).
Once the chicken is out of the oven and is cool enough to handle, slice it into 1/2″ slices, always cutting against the grain. Then, cut each slice in half lengthwise. Line up a handful of thin chicken slices at a time, and (carefully) cut them into 1/2″ cubes. This will yield the perfect sized bite of chicken for your chicken pot pie.
Moving on to the vegetables.
HOW TO COOK THE VEGETABLES FOR CHICKEN POT PIE
To make the vegetables for chicken pot pie, you begin with diced onions and carrots. This recipe does not call for potatoes, but if you wanted them in your pot pie, they could certainly be included here as well. The peas don’t go in until the sauce has finished cooking.
The diced vegetables go into a large sauté pan with a small amount of butter or oil. Once the vegetables have softened, you’ll begin making your roux for the homemade chicken gravy.
HOW TO MAKE THE CHICKEN GRAVY FOR CHICKEN POT PIE
Don’t let that whole roux thing scare you off. It’s only a mixture of oil and flour — nothing scary about that. The flour is sprinkled over the cooked vegetables, and it will begin to look somewhat glossy as it absorbs the oil coating the vegetables.
Once the flour has reached this point, you’ll begin adding in your chicken broth a splash at a time, until the mixture starts to resemble a pudding-like texture. Then, you can add the remaining liquid, and let it simmer until slightly thickened.
Season the gravy, add in the peas, and the diced chicken, and you’re officially ready to move on to assembly.
ASSEMBLING AND BAKING THE CHICKEN POT PIE
HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE CHICKEN POT PIE
To assemble your pot pie, you’ll need a 9″ (preferably deep dish) pie pan, a large, floured work surface for rolling, and a rolling pin. Roll out the larger pie disc into a circle a 1/4″ in thickness, and transfer to the pie dish, leaving the edges hanging over the side.
Roll out the smaller second disk just the same, and set aside until ready to use.
Add the filling to the pie dish, top with the second pastry disc. Crimp the edges together, brush with an egg wash, and cut small vent holes in the center of the pie.
To cut vent holes in the pie, find the center point of the pie and envision a small a square box around it. Insert the tip of a paring knife where the corners of the box would be, and one at a time, with the blade facing the outer edges of the pie, gently wiggle the knife side-to-side until a small, pear-shaped hole has been made on each corner of the imagined box.
HOW LONG TO BAKE A CHICKEN POT PIE
All of the ingredients inside of the pot pie are already cooked, so they only think we are concerned with is the pie crust.
The crust should be fully baked with 40 minutes. If the top crust should start to look golden brown before the time is up, simply cover the edges with either a pie shield or with aluminum foil and continue cooking for the allotted amount of time.
All that’s left now, is to dig in.
There is nothing like a made-from-scratch chicken pot pie. Especially one enveloped in a buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust, decked out with perfectly cooked chicken and vegetables that are just smothered in a to-die-for chicken gravy.
It’s a meal I’m proud to serve to this little family of my own, and my children and husband are absolutely over the moon for it. But their not the only ones: My parents sure do love it, and they too consider it a major upgrade from those frozen pot pies we ate on those busy weekday nights.
Homemade chicken pot with succulent diced chicken, perfect flaky crust, hearty vegetables and chicken gravy.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 cups cooked, white meat chicken, diced
- 2 pie dough rounds
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 400° and have ready a greased, 9" (preferably deep dish) pie tin.
Add butter and oil to a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add the celery, carrots, and onion and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir until evenly coated. Add the chicken broth a splash at a time, whisking after each addition, until the mixture begins to resemble a thick pudding. Once this consistency is reached, the remaining broth can be added in.
Add the salt and pepper, and increase the heat to medium-high. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in the peas and the diced chicken, and set aside until ready to use.
Roll out the pie dough so that it is a 1/4" thick. Lay one dough round on across the bottom of the pie dish, and allow the excess to lay over the sides of the dish.
Pour the chicken and vegetable filling into the dish. Roll out the second dough round just the same, and place it over the dish. Crimp the edges of the pie crust together.
To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg and water, and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the mixture across the top crust and the edges. Create vent holes in the center of the pie, and transfer to a sturdy, rimmed baking sheet to catch any spillage.
Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 350°, and bake for 20 minutes more, using a pie shield to prevent the edges from over-browning, if necessary.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting into. Serve and enjoy.
See The Anthony Kitchen's recipes for "Perfectly Cooked Chicken Breasts" and "Perfect Flaky Pie Crust" if needed.