I’m not going to beat around the bush here: this is the BEST Chicken Pot Pie that I have ever tasted. The BEST! Is it Wedding Fairy friendly? All in all, definitely not!
The other day I received a shower gift with a pie theme. That’s right. A pie theme! I could barely contain myself. [My fiancé gave me some odd looks as I unpacked the box like a 5 year old on Christmas Day. My excitement was certainly palpable.]
Sandwiched between the pie crust cutter and the Emile Henry pie dish was A Year of Pies by Ashley English of Small Measure. Even though, after the Peanut Butter Cup Cookie debacle, I promised the Wedding Fairy that I would behave, I couldn’t resist the Chicken Pot Pie in Ashley’s dazzling book.
As the altogether faintest of nods to the Wedding Fairy, I made a whole-wheat crust. Well that’s gotta count for somethin’ right? I used a Whole-Wheat Pastry recipe from the Boston Cooking School Cookbook [circa 1914], but I completely disregarded their preparation instructions, but the crust was flakey to perfection. [Seriously, who has time to fold in the butter in four layers? I’m not making puff pastry for cryin’ out loud!]
This Chicken Pot Pie is divine. Fresh vegetables are chopped and browned in butter, then a roux is made (yup, more butter!), then chicken broth, wine and half and half are added and then the mixture is covered with buttery pastry and baked to browned perfection. It’s the real deal. It’s flavorful, old-school home cooking at it’s best.
Comfort food incarnate.
While preparing this chicken pot pie, I was having a severe culinary Goldilocks moment. All my baking dishes were too big or too small. I thought I found one that was just right until I started pouring the filling and my dish that seemed so cavernous before now looked insufficient. Mini Chicken Pot Pie to the rescue!!! When isn’t a tiny pie a good idea? Isn’t it the cutest?
I’m not even going to show you the big one. It’s not cute, but it was just as delicious!
In case you couldn’t guess, this magnificent Chicken Pot Pie has my Fiancé’s Seal of Approval. He was a fan in a big way.
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 pound cooked chicken (I used a trusty grocery store rotisserie chicken. You can call me a cheater all you like.)
Whole Wheat Pastry
Make sure all your ingredients and mixing bowl are cold! Combine flours and salt.
Quickly chop the butter and shortening into cubes. This will make it easier to work into the dry ingredients.
Cut the shortening and butter into the flour using a pastry blender or two knives, working as quickly as possible.
Once you no longer have pieces of butter or shortening any larger than a pea, you are ready to begin adding water. I like to switch to a fork at this stage. Pour ice water over flour / butter mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After each addition, gently mix with a fork. Repeat until your dough is no longer crumbly when you press it together and will hold together in a ball.
Press into a fat dish, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator while you prepare the pot pie. You may roll it out at this stage and keep it cold and covered on a rimless baking sheet if you like.
Chicken Pot Pie
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, carrots, mushrooms, celery and garlic; sauté on low heat until softened and slightly browned. Approximately 15 minutes.
If you are using fresh peas, add them at this point and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. If you are using frozen, skip the additional cooking. They will be mush and gross.
Remove veggies to a large bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°
Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the same pot over medium-low heat, and then add the flour. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes until mixture turns a blond color.
Slowly add the chicken stock in no more than ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition.
Whisk in wine, half-and-half, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add the veggie mixture back into the pot along with the chicken and stir to cover with the sauce.
Pour into pan and cover with the pastry. Fold and crimp the edges decoratively.
Whisk 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush over pastry.
Cut at least 4 slits in the pastry. Make sure they are completely through the pastry or your steam will exit out the sides and your filling will runeth over. Trust me, I know. Whatever you do, just do it quickly because the warm filling will melt the butter in the crust and then it won’t be flakey. Sadness!
Set the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 30 minutes or until the crust is your version of perfectly brown. The whole-wheat crust definitely took an extra 20 minutes to brown the way my fiancé likes it.
Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. The filling will thicken considerably after 40 minutes. It’s your choice. It tastes just as amazing either way.
If you would like some additional pictures for the art of pie crust making, and I don’t blame you if you do, then check out my tutorial here! This whole-wheat crust will not be as wet as the one in the tutorial. It shouldn’t be wet or sticky at all. A new tutorial coming soon!
Note: Your Chicken Pot Pie will only be as good as your chicken broth. I use homemade because it’s richer, lower in sodium and much lower in fat. Here’s a tip for making the most of your rotisserie chicken. I bought two rotisserie chickens; I picked them clean; we ate one for dinner that night and I saved the second for the pot pie; I made a double recipe of my deep, rich, homemade chicken broth with the carcasses of my chickens; and then I made my chicken pot pie. The left over broth goes in the freezer for future use. It makes me feel like Holly Housewife, not gunna lie.