After a two week holiday in warm and sunny Florida, my husband and I returned to our home in New Hampshire where we were greeted with 30 inches of snow on the ground. When temperatures are below freezing and it is snowing outside, who wouldn’t like A Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie. Moist, tender chicken and colorful vegetables are mixed in a creamy, flavorful sauce and served with a flakey herbed pastry alongside for a comforting meal. This warm and satisfying dish will make you forget about the nasty weather just outside your door.
Upon returning home from a vacation, my cupboards can be pretty bare. Add a snowy day to the situation and I need to prepare a meal from ingredients that I have on hand in my refrigerator, freezer and pantry. For this delicious chicken pot pie, I poached boneless, skinless chicken thighs that I had in my freezer in a flavorful broth made from fat-free canned chicken stock and herbs from the windowsill. I used pearl onions and tiny green peas from my freezer, carrots and a couple of potatoes from my vegetable baskets stored in my root cellar in the basement. For the savory pie crust wedges that complete the dish, I used pie crust dough that I had in the freezer.
Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie
Recipe serves 2 generously, adjust accordingly
Savory Pie Crust Wedges
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- a single pie crust, your favorite recipe or a ready-made refrigerated crust
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt flakes or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
Roll the pie dough between plastic wrap until it is 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the dough with herbs, sea salt, and pepper and roll until 1/8 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet and brush with a little cream, if desired. Cut the crust into wedges with a pastry cutter and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown, then cool on a rack. Can be made ahead of time.
Poaching liquid made with 2 c. chicken broth, 1 bay leaf, a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley, 2 cloves garlic, smashed, and 1/2 c. white wine and water, if needed.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 8 oz. boneless chicken breasts, may be used)
- 1/4 c. cream
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. flour (I use Wondra)
- 2 small carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 c. frozen pearl onions
- 1/2 c. frozen baby peas
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Put the ingredients for the poaching liquid into a small pan that will hold the chicken in a single layer, then add the chicken thighs. Add water, if necessary, so that the chicken is covered by one inch of liquid. Bring to a simmer over low heat, simmer the chicken uncovered for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes until the chicken is opaque throughout. Cut a piece in half and if pink inside, return to heat and simmer for 2 additional minutes. Let chicken cool in broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove from the broth, cut into bite size pieces and set aside in a bowl.
Add the carrots, potatoes and pearl onions to the broth and cook until barely tender. Strain the broth into a bowl, adding the vegetables to the bowl with the chicken.
Heat the butter in a pan and then add the flour. Whisk until blended and cook for about 2 minutes until you have a blonde roux. Slowly pour in the reserved broth, whisking until smooth and simmer until thickened. Add the chicken, vegetables, frozen peas, cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Gently stir until everything is heated through. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin with a little milk or cream. Ladle into bowls and serve with the savory pie crust wedges.
The deconstructed chicken pot pie is very different from the store-bought frozen chicken pot pies that you might have grown up eating. My husband and I both love the fact that the savory pie crust wedges stay crisp and flakey by being baked separately and served on top. Of course, you could put the filling into a casserole dish, top with the savory pie crust and bake in the oven until the crust is golden.
This warming and savory pot pie is a complete meal in a bowl. The dish is pure comfort food that made us forget about the cold and snow for a little while. Now if only the temperatures would warm up enough to melt all the snow on the ground…that would be really comforting.
I would love to know what your favorite comfort dish is that makes you forget about the miserable weather outside your door in the winter.