My idea of what a chicken pot pie should be and what it always ends up being are completely two different things. I always want to to be so much better. I want it to have more depth and flavor, to be creamy and rich, and to have a flaky, buttery crust. It has turned into a life long journey of finding the right, the best, the most delicious pot pie, and it has been one disappointment after another…..until now. Thank goodness for Barbara dropping the hammer on the pot pie world.
My pal Amy gave me two of her mom’s delicious and scrumptious recipes. You’ll be seeing the cake in weeks to come. (Barbara went and made her daughter’s tiered wedding cake from a favorite family recipe. It is deceptively simple and magically delicious.) As a connoisseur of pot pies, it was obvious which one I had to make first.
“Everyone claims their mom or dad makes the best chicken pot pie. Well, my mom really DOES make the BEST chicken pot pie. We grew up on these, and my mom always made them as individual mini-pies, which I now realize was because it makes extras easy to freeze and easy to reheat in a pinch. My brother’s family is vegetarian and she figured out a way to make these vegetarian, without losing any of the original taste! Now when we visit, whenever my mom asks what we want for dinner, the answer is always ‘chicken pot pies.” -Amy C.
This recipe calls for cooked chicken, cooked carrots, and chicken broth, so I thought I would take care of all three in one fell swoop. I put a pot on the stove with my bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, a roughly cut up onion, 4 peeled carrots, some rough cut celery with tops, and salt. I brought it up to a boil, covered it and lowered it to a simmer for about 40 minutes. When it was done, I had a ton of rich chicken broth, cooked chicken and the cooked carrots that I took out and sliced.
Once the chicken was cooled, I chopped it up along with the celery, parsley, and green onions and set them to the side. And by the way, I had so much chicken broth left over AFTER making this recipe, that I put it in two 28 oz containers, labeled it and popped them in the freezer for another time.
So, here is where Barbara may give me a questioning look of disdain. I did not make my own pie crust. YOU HEARD ME. But that is the beauty of this modern age! I just happen to have pre-made rolled up pie dough in my freezer. I mean, I didn’t want to be wasteful, right? Plus, it took far less time to unroll and place then it would have if I had made my own dough, rolled it out and placed it in my pie plate. I realize that it cannot compare to homemade, but boy did it make my life easier.
In went the pie dough to the bottom of the pan.
**Very important note here. Amy made it very clear that her favorite version was the individual portion. I believe it was all about the crust. But who says a whole pie isn’t my very own ‘individual portion’? Huh, Amy?
Now for the magic.
Melt the butter in a pan. Whisk in flour 1 tablespoon at time. Continue whisking in flour until completely incorporated. Let it cook on medium heat for a few more minutes. I found that this additional time on the stove gave it a smokey depth.
I began to add the chicken broth a little at a time. It seemed to be doing a lot of sizzling up and evaporating. I didn’t start seeing too much of a liquid until I had added about a cup worth. By the way….it smelled AMAZING. I ended up whisking and adding about 2 cups of the broth. It got all creamy and thick. I poured in about 2-3 tablespoons of the half-n-half and ended up getting this really velvety sauce into which I added the onions, parsley, and celery and let simmer for a few minutes.
This is the time where you figure out if you want it to be thicker or soupier. Add more chicken broth to get it to your liking.
Put in the carrots, chicken, frozen peas, and stir. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. I found that with my homemade chicken broth, I needed to add a lot more salt at this stage. If I had used store bought, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have needed to add too much more. I took the mixture off of the stove and spooned it into my prepared pie crust.
At this point, I fully realized how easy this recipe was to make. I had never made a pot pie before, somehow thinking that it was the unattainable. But now I’m thinking about all the possibilities there are for additional ingredients! Barbara Goldhammer is my hero!
Never having made a lattice crust before, I just cut up strips out of the second pie crust and got to work. Once laid out, I folded over the edges and crimped it with my thumbs all the way around. For not knowing what the heck I was doing, I think I did a pretty great job!
I popped it in a 375 degree oven and walked away for an hour.
It wasn’t quite done after an hour, so I waited 10 more minutes and checked again and found it bubbly and golden. I took it out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes before diving right in.
It was everything I had been looking for. It was rich and tasty, and most importantly….there was this creamy sauce that waltzed the chicken and veggies around with the ease of Fred Astaire. This was my kind of Chicken Pot Pie.
Do you think Barbara would mind if I added sherry to it? It’s what a growing girl needs.
Barbara Goldhammer’s Chicken Pot Pie
- CRUST: Your favorite double pie crust for deep dish pie
- 3 Tbs butter
- 3 Tbs flour
- 2 tsp. chopped parsley
- 2 – 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 green onions – sliced small including green tops
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1-1/2 cups cooked sliced carrots
- 3 – 4 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes or torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup half & half creamer
- Line bottom of desired pie plates. If making mini tarts, flute edges – no top crust needed. For deep-dish or individual pies, leave overhang of pie dough. With remaining dough, roll out & cut into strips for lattice crust. Cover strips with wax paper & set aside.
- Slowly melt butter in large skillet.
- Whisk in flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue whisking & add remaining flour. Allow roux to cook a few minutes on medium heat.
- Slowly add chicken broth a little at a time while continuing to stir with whisk. Sauce will thicken as it cooks. Add just enough broth to desired consistency.
- Add parsley, green onions & celery. Cook in sauce for a few minutes.
- Whisk in a couple tablespoons half & half. This will help thicken sauce. If too thick add additional broth. Too thin add half & half. Always stir with whisk.
- Gently stir in peas, carrots & chicken.
- Add salt, pepper & paprika to taste.
- Scoop filling into desired pie crust. If large or individual pies, lay strips across to form lattice. Crimp edges & flute.
- Preheat oven to 375. Bake large pie 50-60 minutes, individual pies 35-40 minutes, and tarts 20-25 minutes, until filling is hot & bubbly!
- Let set about 5-10 minutes for filling set a bit. Enjoy!
- **May substitute turkey breast for chicken.
- **For vegetation option omit chicken, use Quorn Chicken-Style Pieces & vegetable broth in lieu of chicken broth.