Free Range Nurse

Cooking therapy from a former travel nurse

Chicken Pot Pie January 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — freerangenurse @ 10:38 am

Chicken Pot Pie

I love chicken pot pie!  I mean, what’s not to love (other than the quality cellulite you’ll have after eating it)?  Creamy sauce, tender veggies, pastry…during dinner!  Sign me up!  As much as I love a good chicken pot pie, I really only make them once a year and before this year, I always used Campbell’s cream of chicken and mushroom soup for the sauce.  Now that I try to make things from scratch, even if only to see how it’s done, I don’t know that I’ll go back to the old way.  Home cooking from scratch really does taste better, in my opinion.  Now, sometimes I don’t have time for “from scratch” cooking, and I’ll bet you don’t either.  In that case, certainly you could use cream of chicken, or cream of chicken and mushroom soup, add vegetables and cooked chicken and use a store bought pie crust.  Just promise me that at some point you’ll try it this way.

Chicken Pot Pie

adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

  • 3 whole (6 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups yellow onions, diced (2 medium onions)
  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots, washed
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced thick

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice cold water
  • 1 egg beated with 1 tablespoon heavy cream (or water), for egg wash
  • flaked sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a baking sheet and rub them with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 35-40 minutes until cooked through.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.  Remove the meat from the bone and cut into large cubes.  You should have about 4-6 cups.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock.  In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onions and carrots over medium-low heat, until the onions are translucent.  Add the flour and cook over low heat for 1 minute more, stirring until thick.  Add the hot chicken stock to the sauce.  Simmer over low heat for 1 more minute, stirring until thick.  Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and heavy cream.  Add the cubed chicken and the rest of the vegetables.  Mix well.  Turn off heat and set aside.

For the pastry, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.  Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until the butter is about the size of small peas.  Add ice water, starting with 1/2 cup and using your hands, bring the dough together, trying to handle it as little as possible, so the butter stays cold.  If necessary, add more water, a little at a time, just until the dough comes mostly together.  Dump the dough onto a clean, floured counter and knead, quickly, into a ball.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide the filling among 6 ovenproof bowls (I used soup tureens, but you could use large ramekins or any oven-safe bowl).  Ina says this recipe makes 4 servings, but we very easily made 6 large servings.  Divide the dough into six equal portions and roll each piece into a circle large enough to cover your bowl.  Brush the outside edge of the bowl with egg wash, then place the dough on top.  Trim the circle to 1/2 inch larger than the top of the bowl.  Press the dough onto the edges to make it stick, then cut three slits into the dough to allow steam to vent.  Brush egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.  You could also sprinkle some parsley flakes for color, if you want to get a little fancy.  Place pies on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.  Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Enjoy!