Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chicken Pot Pies with Herbed Crust

Chicken pot pie is one of those comfort foods that just about everyone loves! The homemade herb crust is delicious if you have time to make your own crust. I you don't have time to make your own crust, you can always use a sheet of defrosted puff pastry cut to the size of your oven-proof dish and place it over the chicken filling.

Chicken Pot Pie with Herbed Crust

Serves 4

Crust Dough

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup cold solid vegetable shortening cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water

Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine flour and salt in large bowl.  Cut in shortening with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in enough cold water with a fork until flour is moistened. Shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in plastic food wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  (Thawed puff pastry sheets can be used instead of making your own pastry).

Chicken filling
4 large cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed (good way to use left-over rotisserie chicken)
4 cups chicken stock (I use unsalted Kitchen Basics brand but homemade is always best)
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 small or 1 large bay leaves
4 springs fresh thyme, if you have some
2 large carrots cut into ½ inch pieces
1 Small leek or onion cut into ½ inch pieces
1 or 2 stalks of celery cut in ½ inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained

Place the 4 cups of chicken stock in a stock pot. Place the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme sprigs into a square piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen twine, and add to the stock.  Bring stock to a boil. Add the chopped leeks or onions, celery and carrot and return to a  boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the vegetables are just barely tender – about 15 minutes. Remove vegetables and cheesecloth bag from the stock and set aside. Strain stock and set aside. Discard cheesecloth bag. 

Sauce for filling

4 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Cup heavy cream or light cream (half & half)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in the same stock pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour and then cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. Add the stock all at once and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add the cream and thyme and simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetables, chicken pieces and peas to the sauce and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
Roll out pastry dough to fit oven-proof dishes.  If using puff pastry, brush with an egg wash diluted with 1 teaspoon water before baking.

Spoon the filling into oven-proof serving dishes and cover with pastry, trimming excess pastry. (I use two small 2-quart Pyrex baking dishes 10 x 6 x 1.7" (25 x 15 x 4 cm) or four, 8-oz oval baking dishes). Use any remaining dough to cut out shapes to decorate. Make a few small cuts into the crust to vent.

Bake in preheated oven until crust in golden brown, for about 45-50 minutes.


  1. Okay, I overcome with JOY! Both you and Monique have started blogs and it just makes my day. I love your photography so much and look forward to seeing more of it here.

  2. Susan, I am thrilled you have started a blog! You have so many great recipes and pictures to share. This will be fun :-)


I appreciate your comments! I turned off Anonymous comments due to spam. If you need to contact me regarding a recipe, please use my email address found under About Me in the tool bar at the top of the page.