Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

The Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe  This is definitely a more labor-intensive recipe than some others (allow yourself at least 2½ hours from start to finish), but it is well worth it. If you’re short on time, use an already prepared rotisserie chicken, and cook the vegetables for the pie in 2 cups of store-bought chicken stock. Best of all, this pie can be made as a single pie, or as individual pies as pictured.

Makes one deep-dish 10-inch pie, 6 to 8 slices

One 4- to 5-pound chicken
5 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch slices (reserve ½ cup for pie, and the top and bottom tips for cooking chicken)
5 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch slices (reserve ½ cup for pie, and the top and bottom tips for cooking chicken)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup ½-inch cubed potato
½ cup ½-inch cubed yellow onion
1 stick salted butter
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken)
1 cup heavy cream

1 recipe Traditional Pastry Piecrust dough for a 10-inch double-crust pie
½ cup heavy cream (to glaze the top crust and crimped pie edges)

To prepare the filling, in a large pot with a strainer, immerse the chicken in cold water with the carrots and celery including tips, reserving ½ cup carrots and ½ cup celery for later use. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the pot over medium-high heat. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium and place a cover on the pot. Boil the chicken for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (use a meat thermometer to check the temperature), periodically skimming off any fat or residue. Another indicator that the chicken is done is that the leg pulls apart easily. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth.

Remove the celery and carrots and discard them so that only the chicken broth remains. Set the broth aside. Allow the chicken to cool, and then pull it apart into small bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and any bones and unwanted pieces.

Measure out 2 cups chicken for the pie, and reserve remaining chicken for another use.While pulling the chicken apart, bring the broth to a boil and add the ½ cup carrots and ½ cup celery, the potatoes, and the onions, allowing them to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the pulled chicken.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and whisk constantly for approximately 1 minute, or until the paste becomes a golden brown (be careful not to overcook the paste—you want it to be golden brown, not deep brown).

Add ¼ cup of the chicken broth, continuing to whisk constantly. When the chicken broth has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining ¼ cup chicken broth. Add the heavy cream and continue whisking as the sauce thickens and the cream is incorporated, making sure to scrape the sides of the saucepan to prevent burning.

Whisk until the cream has reached a thick consistency and is free of any clumps. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will be thick. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Mix the cream mixture into the chicken and vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Set the chicken filling to the side while you prepare the pie shell.

To prepare the pie shell, divide the ball of dough in half, setting one half to the side. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 12-inch circle. Fold the circle in half, place it in a deep-dish 10-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate.

Spread the chicken filling evenly across the bottom of the pie shell.

To prepare the top crust, roll out the second half of the dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 12-inch circle. Fold the dough circle in half and place it over the filling, with the straight line of the half circle running down the middle of the pie. Unfold the circle so that the entire pie is covered.

Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie together to seal in the filling, and then use a fork to puncture the top of the pie 5 or 6 times. Brush the top of the pie and crimped edges with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish.

To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue baking for 45 minutes, or until the middle of the pie is hot. Allow the pie to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Cooked Chicken Pot Pie can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. An uncooked pie can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrap the pie tightly in plastic wrap and store it in your freezer. For best results, thaw the pie in the refrigerator before baking as instructed.

Note and Tips:
I first started selling these pies at small farmers’ markets in Vermont and quickly discovered just how many people share my appreciation for them. To this day, we still have a hard time keeping them stocked at the store.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
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