I can’t tell you how long it has been since I had a chicken pot pie! The ones I remember from my childhood were the frozen supermarket brand. This dish requires planning and a bit of effort, but the results will beat the pants off the stodgy supermarket pot pie from days past. Don’t be put off by the moderate rating, it is primarily due to time and prep work but anyone can do it!
*This recipe must be frozen prior to baking, otherwise the sauce will still be too soupy. Hence the need to plan ahead!
You will need 6 disposable aluminum mini-loaf pans (should hold approximately 2 cups).
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
S & P
2 TBS vegetable oil
5 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 5 1/2 cups water + 5 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon, this is what I had on hand)
2 TBS butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs with greens, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
2 (15-ounce) boxes ready made pie crust
1 egg, beaten, plus 1 add’l egg when ready to bake
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, do not thaw
Assembly: Season chicken breast liberally with kosher salt & pepper. Heat 1 TBS oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until well browned, about 2 1/2 minutes each side. Add broth and bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Place chicken on a plate and strain broth into a bowl.
Melt butter with remaining 1 TBS oil in now empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook carrots, celery, onion until lightly browned and softened, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium, add flour and stir to combine, cook 1 minute. Add broth, milk and thyme. Simmer until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, shred chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Toss with lemon juice and add to broth. (Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, since I used the bouillon I did not need additional salt, just a bit more pepper for my liking. Use your tongue to guide you.) Transfer filling to bowl and let cool while you prepare the crusts.
Unwrap and unroll the pie crusts. Place one crust on the counter and brush with some of the beaten egg with a pastry brush. Place the second pie crust on top and press gently. Using a aluminum pan turned upside down, cut out 3 pastry toppings from the double-thick pie dough. Repeat with 2 more pie crusts. Set aside.
Return back to the filling, which will still be hot, and add the frozen peas.To speed the cooling process, use a ladle to evenly distribute the filling among the 6 aluminum pans. Place 1 piece of pastry over the filling in each pan and use a fork to seal the edges. Using a paring knife, cut 3 stem vents in each crust. Tightly wrap each loaf pan in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
When ready to serve: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 400 degrees. Unwrap frozen pot pies and place on rimmed baking sheet. Brush crusts with 1 beaten egg, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until crusts are golden brown, about 35 minutes more. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Dig in and moan and groan as you are eating because it is that good!