Friends, this is my favorite chicken pot pie. It’s the perfect comfort food for cold, dark days. (We’ve had so many in Oklahoma lately. So much fog!) It’s high in protein, so it’s satisfying. It’s fragrant, pretty to look at, filling, simple, and a crowd pleaser, I think because it’s full of plain, familiar flavors and it’s customizable.
First Make Some Chicken:
If you already have some leftover chicken or turkey meat, use that! This is an excellent recipe for making good use of extra food without feeling like you’re serving leftovers. If not, cook up a few nice, big chicken breasts or a whole bone-in chicken. My favorite thing to do is cook it all day in the crock pot so the meat is tender and the house smells like home. Plus it renders you some extra wonderful broth which you’ll use later in the filling. All told you will need about 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken meat. Season to your heart’s content, but err on the side of simple.
Not always, but sometimes we like it extra hefty, extra starchy. Sometimes we are just so hungry! So on those night I first quarter then slice up 5 or 6 russet potatoes very very thinly. Microwave them until they’re mostly cooked. Save for the filling.
Prep Two Perfect Pie Crusts:
To me the crust will make or break the finished product. You do what you want, but I strongly and lovingly suggest this recipe:
Combine 2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in 2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of shortening and the same amount of cold butter. Use your very clean hands to flake it all together, then add 4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water, tossing with a fork. You know what to do from here, right? I divide into two parts, roll it out, and fold it gently to keep cool in the fridge while the other stuff is prepared. (Note: For extra credit, if you’re making a sweet recipe, you can add some sugar to the flour before forming the dough.)
Then Cook the Filling:
Melt 1/3 cup butter plus a little oil in a large skillet. Make a roux by sprinkling that with 1/3 cup flour and seasonings like salt and pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg (not too much!). Stir it enthusiastically with a whisk or wooden spoon, ridding the mixture of lumps. Let it brown and bubble. Let it get silky.
Now to this gorgeous thin gravy base, add 1/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup heavy cream if you have it (2/3 cup milk if not, still delish). Also add 1 and 3/4 cup good chicken broth (this is where you could strain your droppings from earlier and use the broth). Season again, stirring, and cook at boiling for about a minute.
Now remove from heat and add in the cooked, shredded chicken meat and the potatoes if you opted for those. Stir it all together with the gravy.
Now Assemble and Bake:
I suggest using a nice, deep dish rather than a standard pie plate. My go-to is actually a scalloped casserole dish, maybe three inches deep.
Lay one of the cool, silky, pliable pie crusts on the bottom of your dish. Pour in the hot, savory chicken mixture. Bid it adieu because it’s about to be covered up forever. Top with the second perfect pie crust and flute the edges and cut a few steam vents in it. Now I like to brush the top with a wash of one beaten egg and a little milk. Salt it lightly and bake at 425 degrees for about half an hour.
Like any pie fresh from the oven, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting in. Then allow your knife to crunch into the strong, tender, flaky crust and sink through the steaming middle. The bottom crust should pop up off the dish easily and give you a truly perfect slice of supper. So very good, friends. So hot and delicious and filling. And I doubt very much you’ll have any leftovers.
Other ways to customize:
We don’t do this here at the farm, but certainly you could add diced carrots, frozen peas or whatever else you want. Maybe a little cheese? But honestly this is one of the few recipes I like to keep really, really simple.
I hope you try it and enjoy! Merry final-Christmas prep making!
Teach Me How to Dougie