Chicken Pot Pie
(American savory chicken stew in pastry)
Pot pie is a great way to use up leftover meats and vegetables in your refrigerator. Feel free to individualize to your taste. Use the variations below as your guide.
4 to 6 servings
- Chicken breasts or thighs, boneless, skinless -- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
- Water -- 4 cups
- Bay leaf -- 1
- Butter or oil -- 1/3 cup
- Onion, diced -- 1
- Carrots, peeled and diced -- 2
- Celery, diced -- 2 ribs
- Flour -- 1/2 cup
- Peas -- 1/2 cup
- Parsley, minced -- 2 tablespoons
- Thyme -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Milk, cream or half and half (optional) -- 1/4 cup
- Flour -- 2 cups
- Baking powder -- 2 teaspoons
- Baking soda -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Thyme -- 1 teaspoon
- Pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Cold butter, cut into small pieces -- 8 tablespoons
- Milk -- 3/4 cup
- Filling: Place the chicken, water and bay leaf in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high flame. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through and tender. Set aside to cool.
- While the chicken is simmering, heat the butter or oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium flame. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Sprinkle the 1/2 cup flour into the pot and stir into the onions and carrots, making sure no lumps remain. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Remove chicken from its poaching liquid, reserving the liquid, and shred with your fingers or cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Whisk 1 cup of the poaching liquid into the vegetable-flour mixture, taking care to whisk out any lumps. Whisk in the remaining 3 cups of liquid and add the peas, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Return to medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in the milk, cream or half and half, adjust seasoning and set aside while you prepare the biscuit topping.
- Biscuit Topping: Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the thyme and pepper.
- Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the flour takes on a texture a little like dry oatmeal. A few large chunks of butter are fine.
- Pour in the milk all at once and stir just enough to moisten all the dry ingredients. Add a little more milk if necessary to make a moist, but not runny, batter. Do not over mix.
- Assembly: Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour the chicken filling into a 2-quart casserole dish with 3- or 4-inch sides.
- Drop spoonfuls of the biscuit batter over the top to cover most of the filling.
- Place in the oven and bake until the biscuit topping is browned and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes.
Pot Pie Variations
- Filling: Substitute beef or turkey for the chicken if you like. Or increase the amounts of the vegetables and make a vegetable pot pie instead. Just substitute water or vegetable stock for the chicken broth.
- Topping: This recipe uses an easy biscuit dough topping. Try topping with a pie dough or puff pastry instead.
- Vegetables: Substitute or add other vegetables you have in your kitchen. You should have about 3 cups total of vegetables in the end. Root vegetables like rutabagas, turnips and parsnips work particularly well, but potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and green beans are good too.