Photos by Donna

Photos by Donna

Say you didn’t listen to me.  Say you disregarded my warning and made stock anyway. Or say you just like to cook and want to put the leftover chicken to use in a really cool way. I love chicken pot pies.  I grew up eating frozen ones and all I remember is the nasty peas and the fact that chicken pot pie for dinner meant mom and dad were going out for the evening (my dad was a classic ad man, creative director, and even resembled Jon Hamm as much as my mom resembled January Jones—still does in fact!).  Suburban sixties.

But now I know how fabulous a chicken pot pie can be if you do it yourself.  And you don’t have to add peas if you don’t want.  I make a buttery crust (3-2-1 pie dough), thicken the stock with roux, add onions, mushrooms and some extra boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut up and sauteed or roasted first.  Easy as pie.  When I was working on the pie dough chapter in Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, I made these individual pies, and they were so good, I’d have served them to company expecting the finest foie gras.  The fact that they can be done ahead makes them even more appealing for serving to friends.  When was the last time you had a hot savory pie?

Maybe they’re coming back.  Thomas Keller and Ad Hoc chef Dave Cruz put one in the new Ad Hoc At Home cookbook.  I love my loop handled dishes but you could make individual ones in large ramekins or a large one in a stainless steel saute pan.  I don’t usually measure, but for four people and four pies or one regular sized pie for six people, you’ll need about three cups of stock (one chicken carcass should give you four cups) or milk, either works great, a couple cups of cooked chicken and whatever vegetables you like (onions are a must, I happen to like celery in them, but everything else, carrots, potatoes, is up to you; or see Ad Hoc for Keller/Cruz recipe).  Thicken the milk or stock with roux (a few tablespoons of flour and butter), add the meat and vegetables, simmer if for ten minutes and take it off the heat.  Meanwhile, roll out your pie dough (8 ounces butter cut into 12 ounces of flour, a half cup of ice water or just enough to bring it all together).  If you’re making these ahead of time, cool the filling completely before finishing the pies.  Fill your shells, put a dough lid on them, and bake at 425 for a half hour or till the crust is golden brown, or an hour at 375 if baking it cold.  Brush it with egg wash toward the end  for a gorgeous finish.

Pot pie 3@440

45 Wonderful responses to “Chicken Pot Pie!”

  • yd

    Do you remember where you found those dishes? I’m not sure which I’m craving more right now – the pans or the pie.

  • carri

    These look like the real deal! I love to make pot pies with the leftover gravy and potatoes from a nice sunday chicken dinner…sometimes I use pastry dough instesd of pie crust…a real kid pleaser.

  • Erin

    You read my mind. I roasted a chicken last night and am combining the leftover chicken and veggies for my own pie. This is my favorite part of roasting a chicken.

  • GeofW

    Love the pans! After mastering the 3-2-1 crust this summer I did a huge batch of pot pies at the first hint of a chill in the air. Still have one or two in the freezer. As with anything else, they’re far superior to the processed stuff.

  • Matt W.

    I have to ask a dangerous question – if I want to use my stock and milk, for a nice creamy flavor, how should I go about it? 2:1 stock to milk?

  • Jonathan LaCour

    Chicken pot pie is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. I make mine with stock and roux as well. I use a small dice of onion, celery, and carrots for the veg. Leftover roast chicken is always used.

    The absolute key to take a pie to the next level is fresh herbs. I use thyme and sage, and a copious amount of celery leaves cut from the stalks I dice for the pie. The celery leaves should go in just before the crust is put on top of the pie.

    The smell of a chicken pot pie cooking reminds me of my grandmother in her kitchen in Mississippi. Its love in pie form.

  • Vivian

    This is some serious comfort food. Love the pans as well. Have stock in the freezer and leftover roast chicken in the fridge, will definitely make this soon.

  • Rick Gordon

    I made the recipe from Ad Hoc the other day and it was great. Just like one of the other comments I’m also interested in the loop handled dishes for pot pies – who made them and where can they be had?

  • Allan

    Rachel Ray has taken over your soul…. Pot pie and roast chicken…
    OMG !!!

  • Karin

    Making one tonight as a matter of fact. I have taken over your stock in the oven concept and do almost nothing else now. Threw it in the oven last night for pot pie filling today.

    I make dinner once a month for our local parish priests and the only dinner request from the senior priest is my pot pie. It’s taken on a life of it’s own up at the rectory!

    Anyway, just another way to prove the point that a frozen (tasteless) staple is really all too easy to make.

    But your crust, maybe in my next life!

  • Bob

    Okay, Michael, you’re just gonna have to put the pot pie dishes on OpenSky, and nobody will get hurt …

  • Churchyard

    Oops. By golly, I did make stock. But I made it all wrong, ’cause I’m too stupid to cook: I put in leftover raw chicken, leftover BBQ chicken, and leftover bone-in ribeyes that had been grilled over pecan. Allowed it to steep on the stove for six hours at 180 degrees.

    It’s so knee-buckling-swoon good that it probably won’t last to make anything else — I might try the consomme route.

    …but pot pies made with smokey-flavored beef/chicken stock just might be worth it, too… and I might add those peas… I used to like ’em…

  • Bob R.

    Amazing timing, we made the Ad-Hoc pot pie last night and it came out wonderfully. Perfect savory crust, and sauteing the veggies individually/blanching the celery resulted in perfectly cooked morsels. For dessert, the Coconut cake, with icing that was equal parts meringue and heaven. Have not been disappointed yet, short ribs are next.

  • Sarah

    Much as I make roast beef in order to have roast beef sandwiches, so will I roast a chicken just to turn the leftovers into chicken pot pie. Sadly, mine never turn out as pretty as the one above.

  • Elliott

    What is the deal with all the chicken posts in the blogging world? Why are is the food world suddenly “tasting like chicken”?

  • Kristine

    You’ve reminded me that we’ll be having turkey pot pie this weekend from the leftover Christmas turkey. Btw, I received Live to Cook for Christmas and have made the Chicken and Dumpling Soup and the keftedes (twice, with lamb and beef). All I can say is WOW. And his tips and techniques are priceless. Between Ratio and LTC, I’m set. Thanks to both Michaels.

  • Danielle

    Had an amazing chicken pot pie at a restaurant called Bizou in Charlottesville, Virginia a few weeks ago during the “Blizzard of ’09.” Excellent crust, and inside were crispy leeks, parsnips and other good things in a delicious cream sauce that was light enough to call elegant.

    Now I’m back in Cleveland, and the snow appears to have followed me home.

  • Michael Franco

    There’s not an episode of Mad Men that doesn’t bring RIP to mind.

    I love homemade Chicken Pot Pie… the unsung hero of sixties comfort food.

    Now I’ll make one of these golden brown beauties and watch a couple episodes of Mad Men. Thanks for the reminder.

    I’m in the mood for a Manhattan!

  • MelissaD

    Yum – we do make chicken pot pie now and then for dinner just as you describe. I make stock when I can from the chicken and veggies and also use milk or half & half. I often add leeks, carrots and fresh herbs from my garden in my recipe and my family likes having potatoes and fresh peas.

    It’s cold, damp and very foggy today in central Calfornia and I think I just figured out what we’re having for dinner tonight!

  • Rhonda

    I second Michael Franco. Always think of you when I watch that show.

  • Chris L.

    My wife makes the best homemade chicken pot pies, and occasionally turkey pot pies too. She uses prepackaged stock (I know, I know, but we both work and just haven’t found time to make our own…YET!) and thickens with a roux and all that good stuff. We usually have a couple the day she makes them, and she freezes the rest for eating later on. Great topic for today!


    I’ve never been a pot pie girl. They always are too gooey and heavy. But maybe I’ll give it another whirl since I do love a roasted chicken and one can only have so much soup and stock in their life.

  • Jon

    I love pot pies. It has become a yearly ritual for my Mom to send me home with turkey pot pie after Thanksgiving. All the leftovers including the stuffing thrown into the pie crust is perfect and makes clean up easy.

  • Matt W.

    Making one big pie instead of smaller ones came out really well, but please add me to the people hoping you sell those little pans (tins?) in your OpenSky store!

  • Susan

    I love chicken pot pie. I saute the vegetables first then make a bechemel sauce and use both milk and stock right in with the veg’s. I add the chicken and some herbs and top it either with a pie crust or more often, make my biscuit dough seasoned with herbs and make it a cobbler instead. Good food for a cold winter night.

  • Victoria

    These look simply grand. That crust! Like Laurie Colwin, I love comfort foods for dinner parties. I’m having dinner for eight on Saturday and serving meatball goulash. Sounds awful but is wonderful. It’s a Delia Smith recipe and was my favorite new recipe in 2006. I will make a cucumber salad with sour cream, homemade spaetzle (the Hungarian way – just tossed with butter, not sauteed), peas, and Craig Claiborne’s linzertorte for dessert. We will drink cabernet franc with it. It’s for people who will have been skiing all day, and I am sure it will hit the spot.

    I use your oven method to make chicken stock all the time now. What a GREAT idea.

    I can’t decide if I need to get a second copy of Ratio so I have one in the city and one in the country or if I should just download it to my Kindle. Then I will have it with me everywhere. It is a miracle of a book. I still cannot get over the texture of the lemon curd.


    Chicken pot pie ain’t the real thing unless it has peas in it, IMHO. But if you make your own and use real peas, it would bear no resemblance to the frozen kind.

  • Bruce Wood

    Pot pies have become a cornerstone of our business. We are now making upwards of 120 a week. (this on an Island of 9000 people!) We also started making tourtiere at Christmas and will continue to do so, as well as venison and mushroom pies with locally grown shiitakes and a smoked tofu and veggie pie for vegetarians.

    Bruce Wood
    Bruce’s Kitchen
    Salt Spring Island

  • beth aka confusedhomemaker

    We love pot pies at our house. All different kinds, it’s such a versatile dish & like a warm sweater on a cold day it just warms you. The crust on yours looks heavenly.

  • FelisLachesis

    I made one of these last night (With Matt W’s help) and OH MY GOODNESS Best Pot Pie EVER!

    When making the roux, I was actually surprised that it was as thick as it came out. Usually, my roux comes out quite buttery. This had the consistency of cookie batter, and it thickened up the stock wonderfully.

  • Charles Curran

    Does a blooger that lives in Cleveland tends to blog more Sept-May ( winter in Cleveland) ?

  • Sonja @ ActiveFoodie

    I just made chicken pot pies this week, and I am enjoying one right now, but I must say….my pies don’t even hold a candle to these beauties! What a gorgeous dish!

  • allen

    Cooking vessels, I use cast iron skillet or small ramekens and freeze some to cook later for an easy meal.

  • Jan

    For a different dish, tuck away the green herbs and try a North African twist with cumin, cinnamon, a hint of clove or cardamom. Live on the edge and toss in a bit of diced dried apricot. Not better than the classic, just a different yum.

  • zak822

    I have to ask. Does this pie have a bottom crust? It’s not clear from the instructions, and I don’t bake much. The whole crust thing is sort of a mystery to me.

    I used to love the gooey bottom crust on the big-name frozen pot pies. So I thought I’d ask.

  • yd

    Yes. Mine did (made it last night – his blog has this amazing ability to influence my meal schedule), and it turned out wonderful.

    I used some left over mushroom cream soup thickened with a roux and seasoned primarily with a variety of mushrooms and worcestershire. I got the consistency right with a little bit of chicken stock and filled with broccoli and roast chicken from the same source as the stock.

    The crust (top and bottom, egg washed toward the end) was made with 50% wheat, 50% AP flour and butter – all in all, it tasted awesome.

  • Dave

    So, Roast chicken is an easy consistant dinner item in our house, at least twice a month I season some chicken and throw it in the oven on top of a bunch of veggies and voila, dinner later!

    BUT, I have never made pie dough .. period. So, I was reading Ratio and then this recipe popped up on my daily feed and I was inspired. I spent a chilly Saturday afternoon taking the leftovers (roast chicken and veggies) from my friday night dinner and putting it into a good stew ready for ‘pot pie-ing’. Then I set-out to make a pie crust.

    I was felt after reading Ratio, this recipe, and then referencing
    Jeff Smith/Alton Brown/Nigella Lawson (the Holy trinity) I felt I was ready to
    make this undertaking.

    And voila it turned out! woot!

    Thanks Michael Ruhlman for giving that nudge needed. ‘Pot Pie’ of some description has been added to the houshold menu.

  • luis

    Made it last week Bittman’s way. Bittman did it on the Today show without the crust. Not the same thing but still delicious and very nutritious. He used chicken breast that he boiled for ten min… I finished my dish in the wok then made sauce afterwards.