Let’s talk about the King of Comfort foods for a minute. Chicken Pot Pie. Is there anything better? I have to admit that I actually never had this growing up. My mother’s idea of comfort food was slow cooked beef stomach (mondongo) in broth, filled with cilantro and garbanzo beans. It wasn’t till I went to college that I was introduced to this culinary delight. The experience lingers with me today as I can remember each bite as if it were my first.
Eating a chicken pot pie is like taking a step back to a simpler time. It’s nostalgic, vivid, and joyful. It’s a dish that ticks all the comfort boxes and that is the very reason the mighty Chicken Pot Pie is a timeless classic.
Today we are turning this classic comfort food into a freezer meal that will knock your socks off!! The first step is making the pie crust.
We are going to be using a very basic pie crust recipe. Salt, flour, chilled butter, and ice cold water. Nothing too complicated. The secret here is ice cold water and chilled butter. When combining our ingredients we want the mixture to be mealy (check out the video to see what I’m talking about). This really helps with the flaky quality of the dough. After the dough is made we will refrigerate it for at least 3 hours while we prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Our next step is the filling. In this step we will cook the chicken and the vegetables. However you cook your chicken it’s important to not overcook it. Chicken breast tend to dry out very fast and get very tough. Personally I like to cook my chicken sous vide because they come out perfect 100% of the time without fail. If you plan on baking your chicken, you might want to consider cooking your chicken to an internal temp of 150F – 155F so that when you cook your pot pie your chicken will be perfectly tender and juicy. I like to use the Thermapen MK4 to monitor the temperature of my chicken.
When it comes to the vegetables I like to keep it simple. Peas, carrots, and celery (you can add whatever vegetables you have to really bulk it up). I simply toss the vegetables in boiling lightly salted water till they are tender but still have a nice bite. I don’t want them to be mushy. After all my vegetables have cooked I’ll let them drain and cool completely. I do not want any added water to this filling…
The last step to making this pot pie is the gravy. Making a fresh chicken pot pie is one thing but turning it into an awesome freezer meal is something completely different. We want a gravy that doesn’t split on us during the reheating process. To make this happen we are going to be using a combination of thickeners. This will add to the binding properties of our gravy giving us some extra staying power on the reheat. The two binders that we will be using are AP flour and rice flour. If you happen to have some xanthan gum in your cupboard this makes an excellent binder as well (just don’t use too much, i like to use 1/8th tsp for every cup of liquid in my recipe)
To make the gravy, in a small pot add the rice flour, the milk, and the chicken stock together and on a medium heat slowly begin to warm the mixture. In a separate pot saute the onions in butter. Once they are soft add the AP flour and cook on a med/hi fire stirring to ensure that it doesn’t burn. After 5 minutes of cooking add the warmed chicken stock/milk mixture and mix well. Cook till your gravy has thickened up quite a bit.
Now all you have to do is roll out your pie dough, fill it with chicken and vegetables, smother it with gravy, and top it off with more pie crust. Be sure to make a several. One for tonight and a few for later!!
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Chicken Pot Pie
- 5 cups AP flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon salt kosher
- 1 lb butter unsalted
- 1 cup water ice cold
- 2 lbs chicken
- 2 lbs Celery diced small
- 2 lbs Carrots diced small
- 1 lb peas
- For the crust (This recipe makes 3 – 9 inch pies). In a food processor chop up your frozen butter with some of your ap flour. Add this to the remaining crust ingredients and slowly add your water till your dough just comes together. Once you have a dough ball wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Keep chilled at all times
- Cook your chicken how ever you like. For the seasonings, all you need is a little garlic salt and pepper for your chicken. Once cooked dice or shred your chicken
- In a pot of boiling slightly salted water cook your vegetables till they are just tender. After you blanch them remove them from the pot and spray with cold water to cool them down and to stop the cooking process. Let your vegetables drain very good.
- Combine your diced chicken and your well drained vegetables into a bowl (this will be your filling for your pot pie). Set aside.
- In a small pot combine the milk, chicken stock, and the rice flour. Heat on a medium heat stirring occasionally.
- In a separate pot melt your butter and add your onions. Cook till translucent. Add your ap flour and cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat to cook out the flour taste. After 5 minutes add the seasonings and mix well.
- Next add your heated up chicken stock and milk/ rice flour mixture to your roux stirring continuously as it thickens (this will happen very quickly)
- Once it gets thick then set aside to cool (you want it cool before you pour it on your pot pies)
- Roll out your crust for the top and the bottom and form your pan. Add your chicken mixture and your gravy. For every cup of chicken/vegetable mix I add 1/2 cup of gravy but in this step you can add as much or as little as you want.. try not to make the crust too thick or too thin. 1/8 inch is on track…
- Once you are finished place your pot pie in a freezer friendly container.
- Preheat your oven to 450f Take your frozen chicken pot pie and place on a greased non stick cooking pan. Bake (from frozen) for 1 hour. This will ensure that you have a flaky, crispy top and bottom crust every time!!
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