The Chicken Pot Pie Experiment

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With multiple feet of snow having fallen in the last several days we are wrapping up our THIRD snow day in a row here in New England.  Over the course of this unexpected break, I have cooked up a large batch of rice and beans, organized our tool area in the basement, and have listened to an entire audiobook.  We also drove to Ikea yesterday between storms to buy a new couch and some other goodies for a mini living room makeover.  

My other big snowday accomplishment was making (and eating) my first ever homemade chicken pot pie!  I know this is a traditional family favorite for many, but it just wasn’t something that we ever really had growing up in our Ukrainian-Italian family.   My husband, however, would probably put chicken pot pie up into his top tier of favorite foods.  So – I did some reading

One of the first recipes that popped up in my search was from Betty Crocker.  The recipe made the process look pretty straightforward, but I didn’t love the idea of using puff pastry.  The Pioneer woman’s chicken pot pie recipe made me smile as always.  She had great ideas of using turkey or chicken, and added turmeric. I plan to try that in the future.  But then I stumbled upon Sunny Anderson’s recipe which cooks the entire pie in a cast iron and I knew that was the recipe for me.

Seeing as it was my first time making this recipe (or really anything similar to it) I followed the recipe almost exactly and used store bought pie crust (I’ll save the homemade crust for my next experiment).  For the first I used whole wheat flour to coat the veggies but the filling didn’t thicken as quickly or as well as I would have liked. So, I used regular flour for the second which was a dramatic improvement. This might be painstakingly obvious to some, but I clearly don’t use flour very often…

The final chicken pot pie was an amazing combination of buttery crust and warm creamy filling.  There was no one flavor that overpowered the others, but the pearl onions and large chunks of juicy chicken were my favorite bites on the spoon.  

I will be sure to make this again in the future, particularly because it freezes well. But, I need to figure out how to get the cream to hold, as I noticed mine had broken when I removed it from the oven.  I’m not exactly sure what happened there, so I’d love any feedback!  

cast iron skillet chicken pot pie 2.PNG

Ingredients:

  • 1 store bought pie crust
  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup pearl onions (frozen)
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots combo
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of cream (I used light)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

Steps and notes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Place the chicken breasts onto a cutting board and cut (widthwise) in half from top to bottom
    • Note: you will cut them again to make them thinner, after cooking for a bit
  3. Combine the spices (paprika, sage, oregano, salt, pepper) into a small bowl and then cover the raw chicken on each side with the spice mixture
  4. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet on medium-high heat and add a light layer of olive oil.  Then, add the chicken and saute on one side for 4 minutes without touching. Then, flip the chicken and cook for 3 more minutes on the other side.
  5. Remove from the heat and cut each breast in half and sear for 1 extra minute on any necessary sides
    • Note: this ensures that the chicken is fully cooked through if the original breast was thick
  6. Once fully cooked remove all chicken from the pan and leave the oil.  Let cool on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes and then cut into chunks.
  7. Add the onions, carrots, and peas to the cast iron skillet. Saute for 3 – 5 minutes then add the garlic for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the flour and mix well until it dissolves.
  8. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and increase the heat in order to bring the stock to a simmer.  Stir regularly until the filling thickens. (This took 6-7 minutes)
  9. Pour in the cream and mix well.
  10. Turn the heat off and unroll the crust onto a cutting board.  Cut 3 air holes when on the cutting board and then place over the skillet.  Press the crust along the inside edge of the pan creating a gentle seal.
  11. Beat 1 egg and brush over the crust.
  12. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden

 

Thoughts for Next Time:

  • Add other vegetables like celery, green beans, and corn
  • Try the Pioneer Woman’s recipe (link above) using turkey and turmeric
  • Individual sized pot pies in mini ramekins. Thank you, Ina! Also recreated here!
  • This pie highlights a homemade crust used for both a top and bottom layer.

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11 comments

  1. That crust looks fabulous, store-bought or not!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love chicken pot pie! Here is what I do when making a cream sauce. I always keep a quasi 1:1:1 ratio for the flour vs. butter/oil vs. the liquid. Quasi meaning I’m looking at the numerals, not the actual size measurements. So with this recipe, you have 3 cups of liquid to thicken, but only 2 tablespoons of flour going into hardly any oil or butter, probably only 1 tablespoon or less to start with and you lose some in all the sauteing. So after the veggies are tender, for flavor I’d add about 2 tablespoons of butter, then let that melt, then add 3 tablespoons of flour and mix into a roux. Now you have 3 tablespoons of flour to go into about 3 tablespoons of oil/butter, which then you will add 3 cups of liquid. I would add the liquid all at once, not at different times, and stir until thickened. Adding it all at once will help with the “breaking.”

    I hope that helps and you aren’t offended with the suggestions! This is only coming from my experience and not in any way scientific or anything like that, I am a home cook just like you! And yes, your crust looks awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you SO MUCH!! I will try this next time with keeping the proportions even. Would I then add the cream after this step? Again, thank you so so much. Not offended in the slightest. This is exactly the type of feedback I was hoping for.

      Like

      1. You are so welcome! You add both the broth AND the cream at the same time. 🙂

        Like

  3. Looks tasty. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for inspiration, it looks delicious. I make always pie dough myself, so I cannot help you
    But one very easy dough :
    200 g quark
    200 g butter
    200 ml flour
    mix together and voila.

    Like

    1. Thank you! I’ll have to try it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yumolicious! 🌿

    Like

  6. Wow, delicious! I absolutely love a chicken pie. We’re coming into autumn here in New Zealand so this is just the sort of dish I’ll feel like cooking. Love the look of that crust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t believe how easy it was, and SO tasty. My brother actually just made a similar recipe in large muffin tins – and had 6 individual pies! I’m hoping to try that soon as well. Thanks for the note. –Deb

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That presentation looks divine! Too bad you can’t just freeze the entire pan like that to preserve the look haha

    Liked by 1 person

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