After Thanksgiving I had a bunch of turkey to use up. However, after several trips to and from the fridge munching on bits and pieces, I didn’t quite have enough to make this recipe (which makes two 9″ pies). So I followed the directions for making the chicken it calls for, only I used less. The flavor of this pie is the best I’ve had! This has earned a permanent place in my recipe library. The fact that it makes 2 pies is great, you can freeze one to bake another night.
This recipe comes from The Best Chicken Recipes which is a fabulous hard bound book FULL of wonderful recipes. I checked it out from the library, but have to return it, so I’ve already ordered my own copy. :)
One of the things mentioned in the book is that you can certainly make your own pie crust, and they do offer a savory pie dough recipe for you to use, but they also offer advice on store bought doughs. Since you will need crust to go on top of each pie, you don’t want to buy those preformed pie crusts, you want the rolled out doughs, like Pillsbury. This isn’t a product endorsement, I just happen to really like their dough and it’s easy to work with.
The only issue with using the store bought dough is that you cannot place round precut dough into a 13×9 pan, you must make two 9″ pies. One 9″ pie was plenty for our family, hence why I froze the other. If you prefer to make one 13×9, you will probably want to make your own crust.
If you are interested in freezing your other pie, check my tips at the end of the recipe.
One more note: This recipe uses vermouth. I buy a bottle of dry Vermouth for $5.00 at the local wine shop here in town. It lasts me a long time and works great for cooking, you can use it as a substitute in any recipe calling for dry white wine. In fact, I bought it originally because Julia Child suggested it in her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 celery ribs, sliced 1/4″ thick
2 medium onions, minced
3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup dry vermouth
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 16-oz bag frozen peas and carrots
5 or 6 small red potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled (this is my addition because 1) I like potatoes in my pot pies, and 2) I didn’t use as much as meat as was specified in the recipe)
ground black pepper
1 savory pie dough
Preheat oven to 375 F. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add celery, onions and a teaspoon of salt, cook until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about one minute.
Gradually whisk in the vermouth and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the broth, cream and thyme. Add the chicken, partially cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover completely, and cook until the thickest part of the breast registers 160-165, about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer chicken to cutting board and set Dutch oven aside, covered. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite sized pieces (I cubed mine). Return chicken to sauce with the peas and carrots. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour mixture into 13×9 baking dish, or evenly split between two 9″ deep dish pie plates. If you are like me, you only have one. I used a pie plate and a large bowl. I used a liquid measuring cup to scoop out the chicken filling and separate it evenly between the bowl and the pie plate. Roll out your pie dough and place it over the dish and crimp the edges tightly. Do not cut any slits in the crust. However, it may split on its own while cooking.
At this point, the pie can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to one month. If freezing, don’t thaw before baking. Increase baking time to 1 1/4 hours for refrigerated, and 1 3/4 hours for frozen.
Place the pot pie on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the filling is hot and the crust is golden, about 1 hour. Let cool ten minutes before serving.
I placed the bowl of leftover filling into the refrigerator until after dinner. Once I had cleaned out my pie plate, I lined it with plastic wrap so that there was plenty hanging over the edge on both sides.
I laid another layer of plastic wrap going the other way, again with plenty hanging over. Next I poured the filling into the pie plate and carefully folded the plastic wrap overhang over the top of the pie filling. I placed the entire thing in the freezer. Once frozen I removed the frozen filling from the pie plate, wrapped it in foil and labeled it with the date.
When I pulled it out 3 weeks later, I did struggle a little releasing the plastic wrap from the bottom of the frozen filling, but it came out after running a bit of hot water over it. Then I popped the frozen filling into the pie plate, covered with a crust and baked.