We love it when we meet people as passionate about food and drinks as we are! To honor all of the wonderful home chefs in the world, we’ve started our Chef of the Month series. Meet Kris Wu – a wonderful woman and chef extraordinaire with an amazing homemade recipe for chicken pot pie!
Chef of the Month: Kris Wu
May’s Chef of the Month is Kris Wu, who brings us her amazing homemade recipe for chicken pot pie. Kris is not only an incredible chef, but a wonderful food photographer! Who knew photos could be so drool-worthy?!
Take it away, Kris!
Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie
original photos by Kris Wu
Quick – what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “pie!?”
I suppose this doesn’t work as well when there’s a giant photo of a chicken pot pie, does it?
Well, let me guess what your answer would have been: apple pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, and so on and so forth. From my experiences, pie is almost always associated with “desserts” and “sweet.” And while sweet pies are undeniably delectable, savory pies are just as amazing!
So, I’m going to be honest with you here, savory pies take a little more work than sweet. The filling more often than not needs to be cooked and seasoned completely before adding it to the crust, but the flavor of meaty, savory stew with buttery pie crust melting in your mouth is…well, it can’t really be described, which means you have to try this out for yourself!
Shall we give it a go? I can easily promise you that this will be the tastiest chicken pot pie you’ve ever had!
For the filling:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I prefer dark meat but white meat can be used)
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 Russet potato (or 1 small potato)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 cup frozen peas (not pictured)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- 1 egg (to wash the pie crust)
For the pie crust:
Find the ingredients and tutorial here!
Making Your Chicken Pot Pie
The most efficient way to tackle this homemade recipe for chicken pot pie is to work on the pie crust until it requires a rest in the fridge, then jump to working on the pot pie filling while the crust is resting. Don’t worry – I’ll come back to working on the pie crust for this recipe, but for now, let’s get to work on that filling.
Use leftover chicken thighs (or breasts) and cube them into 1-inch pieces. If you don’t have leftover chicken, season your raw chicken meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder (optional), then drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 F. Make sure the chicken has cooled almost completely before you work with it! Don’t throw out the leftover juice in the baking pan – we’ll use it later.
Dice the carrots, onions, and potato into 1/2-inch pieces (feel free to chop even smaller if you prefer a less chunky filling). Slice the celery into small pieces.
Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and stir to coat evenly. Allow the vegetables to cook until the onions become translucent and the carrots lighten in color, about 5 minutes. On another burner, heat your chicken broth until simmering. Add the potatoes and peas to the chicken broth and keep the broth simmering.
Make sure your carrots and celery have softened. Then turn the heat down to low and mix the flour with your buttery vegetable mix. It will get lumpy and sticky, but that’s okay!
Slowly mix the broth with the peas and potato cubes into the butter-flour-vegetable mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until the broth has been absorbed into the flour, then add the next 1/2 cup. The mix will start to become more wet with each addition – make sure that you stir until the mixture, or roux (pronounced roo), has no lumps or pockets of dry flour. Adding the liquid slowly ensures that amazing, velvety texture that makes chicken pot pie a hit! After the broth has been fully incorporated, it should look something like this:
Notice how the filling is creamy and velvety with no lumps and a nice, glossy sheen.
Divide the filling between four oven-safe bowls and set aside.
Now it’s time to start working with our pie crust! You’ll find the initial recipe for pie crust here. Take the crust out of the fridge and allow it to warm up for 10 minutes so it’s easier to work with. Place a parchment paper underneath the crust and place plastic wrap above the dough, then start slowly rolling the crust out with a rolling pin. I usually roll up and down once, then turn the parchment paper 90 degrees so that the dough now stretches left to right. Then I roll up and down once more and repeat the process until I’ve got a pie crust that measures ~ 9 inches in diameter. Rotating the dough while I roll it out gives me a more even, rounded crust. If you need to, re-adjust the plastic wrap – this prevents the rolling pin from sticking to your dough and allows you to work with the dough without using too much extra flour (which can toughen the crust during bake time).
If you’re going to bake your pot pies right away, pre-heat the oven to 350 F at this time.
Remove the plastic wrap. Divide your crust into 4 sections with a pastry cutter or pizza slicer.
Slowly peel one of the quarters away from the parchment paper.
Carefully center the section of pie crust over the bowl, then lay it over the bowl. It’s okay if there is a lot of extra pie crust over the edges.
Trim the overly long edges with your hands, leaving at least a 1/2 inch long overhang of rust on the sides.
Use a fork to press decorative indentations along the edges of the bowl. The indentations are more than just a decoration – they also seal the sides of the crust to the bowl, which will hopefully prevent the filling from bubbling out of the edges.
Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk until well-mixed. Using a pastry brush, dip into the egg and brush the egg wash across the surface of the pie crust. Be gentle! I pressed a little too hard and ended up with bristle marks on my pie crust. If you want to be extra-careful, you can always refrigerate the pot pie for 5-10 minutes before using the egg wash to make sure that the pie crust will be firm enough to not get indentations from the brush.
You can also opt to skip this step entirely–it doesn’t add any strong flavor to the pie crust. It’s simply a decorative step!
Use a sharp knife to cut vents into the center of the pie – this will allow steam from the filling to escape without compromising your pie. If you don’t make vents, the pie crust will be ruined! I usually cut 4 small vents in the center – 2 vertical and 2 horizontal.
Place the pot pies on a baking sheet with raised sides that have been lined with aluminum foil. We’ve taken every precaution to ensure that the pie filling stays put, but it’s good to take precautions just in case the filling bubbles over!
I’ve only placed 2 of the 4 pot pies on the tray because I decided to save the other two for later; if you’d like to do the same, you can cover the pot pies with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. They’ll be ready to bake for the next two days and will only require an extra minute or two from fridge to oven.
Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes, or until you notice the tops have become golden brown and the aroma is irresistible! Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for another 10 minutes before serving. Be sure to use oven mitts or potholders when handling the pot pies, as they will remain hot for quite some time.
Et voila! You’re finished!
It’s a given that homemade food tastes better than what you’ll find in the frozen section, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better this chicken pot pie tastes. The crust is buttery, flaky, and savory and the filling is unbelievably smooth and rich. It took a lot of willpower to stop after a bite or two and take a picture of the inside when all I wanted to do was gobble it up like a greedy kid!
I only lined the top of the bowl with pie crust, but you can feel free to line the bottom of the bowl with pie crust before placing the filling inside if you’d like. It’ll be a little more time-consuming: you’ll need to refrigerate the bowl lined with pie crust for 15-20 minutes before placing the filling into the bowl, and the filling itself will need to be completely cool before you do so. Keeping everything as cool as possible keeps the butter from melting and therefore keeps the layers light and flaky. If you do decide to use a double crust, let me know! I’d love to hear how it works out for you.
Thanks for sticking with me through this tutorial – now get in the kitchen and bake some pie!
That’s all, folks! If you enjoyed Kris Wu’s homemade chicken pot pie recipe, let us know in the Comments section below and stay tuned for our next Chef of the Month! HomemadeRecipes.com was founded to create an online community where foodies, epicureans and chefs can share recipes and learn new ones! We need your help, however, in creating this community where you can come, share and learn. If you love to cook, love food or have some great recipes and ideas you’d like to share with us, shoot us an email and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! We’re always looking for contributors and want to hear from you.
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