Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Chicken in Every Pot (Pie)

So I guess Herbert Hoover never really promised a chicken in every pot; at least that's what the Herbert Hoover Library says, but wherever the phrase originated, it hits home with me.  We have had an unusually warm winter so far in northern Illinois -- temperatures in the high 40s and even low 50s.  What?  In January?  Our snow-thrower has been gathering dust in the garage.  Last night, however, was predicted to be the beginning of a real Midwestern winter.  We expected to wake up to at least a couple of inches of snow.  Well, still no snow, but I used that weather forecast as an excuse to warm up and fatten up last night with chicken pot pie.

I make my pot pie using an Ina Garten recipe as the starting point.  But where she adds pearl onions, I add potatoes.  I also add thyme and use less salt and butter.  If you'd like her original recipe, you can find it at the Food Network site.

The filling is ready!
This pot pie is the real-deal comfort food -- warm, creamy, rich, and tasty.  Be warned, though, it is not for a quick dinner.  I started a little late last night (maybe 5:30), and we didn't eat until around 8:30.  I also missed half of the Chicago Bulls game because I was in the kitchen.  Even so, it is always worth the trouble for this delectable pot pie.

Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Ina Garten, 2005

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion (about 1 onion)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced potatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen peas

For the pastry:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, diced
1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and rub with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through.  Set aside until cool enough to handle, then dice into bite-sized pieces.

Put carrots and potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until partially cooked.

Make the pastry.  Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.   Add shortening and butter and mix with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour and the pieces of fat are no larger than peas.  Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, adding only enough to make the dough hold together.  Place dough on lightly floured board and knead a few times into a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the thyme.  In a large pot, melt the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Saute onions over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  (This will be very thick.)  Add the hot chicken stock to the flour mixtures and whisk until all the flour is incorporated.  Simmer over low-medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is very thick (about the consistency of potato soup).  (If your sauce is not thickening sufficiently, you can whisk in a tablespoon or so of Wondra flour.  Be sure to use Wondra to avoid clumping.)  Add freshly ground pepper to taste and the heavy cream.  Stir well.  Add chicken, carrots, potatoes, and peas.  Heat over very low heat while you roll out the pastry.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out dough into a rectangle to fit over a 9x13 pan.  Spray pan lightly with vegetable spray (like Pam). 

Spoon filling into pan and place dough on top.  Fold under the edges of the dough for a slightly crimped edge, or press down to allow it to hang over the sides.  Brush dough with egg wash.  Cut three slits in the crust.

Place pan on baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.  Allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

If you let it set a while before serving, it is less runny.  I can never wait!
Printable recipe


  1. Well no snow...until today! Yum I loooove chicken pot pie! That sounds really good today. My favorite potatoes are from Ina Garten, I think she may be a pretty good cook. :-) I might have to try this.

  2. That looks delicious!! =D Haven't had much snow in NY either, same mild temps but a lot of rain today, bleech!

    Marilyn (visiting from EBT)

  3. Yum! Absolutely one of my favorite thing to make and eat!
    Laura - EBT

  4. Looks SO good! I've never actually made chicken pot pie before, so I think I will be trying this recipe SOON!!! Thanks for the recipe!
    from Blogging Buddies

  5. Looks yummy! - I grew up in PA Dutch country so this was a staple at our house.

  6. Mouth wateringly delicious!Reminds me of what my mum used to cook!Im thinking the pastry is looking particulary Pro!!!

  7. Oh my, hubby loves chicken pot pie. I will put this on my "surprise hubby" dinner list.

    Thank you for sharing.


  8. Ooh..this looks good! It has been cold and rainy/snowy here..this looks like it needs to be made this week!

  9. Looks absolutely delicious! I love pot pie - thanks!

  10. Thanks for sharing! Looks absolutely delicious! :)
    We're having a terribly cold month of January up in Montreal so this meal is definitely going to warm us up!

  11. That looks like a fabulous winter warming meal. And while you're having a warm winter, we're having a cool summer. We're all wondering when we'll be able to wear summer dresses without freezing. If things don't improve I'll have to make some winter warming meals like your chicken pot pie!

  12. Yeah...I pinned this recipe. Looks AMAZING.


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