To be honest, I don’t have many signature dishes — but after making this recipe, I think I’ve landed on a classic to add to my small repertoire. This is just soooo… good!
The creamy gravy, chunks of rotisserie chicken, golden flaky crust and tender, flavor-filled vegetables — yum! This dish is way better than frozen pot pie or anything pre-made you can get at the grocery store…I promise.
I got my inspiration for this one from Ina Garten (a.k.a., the Barefoot Contessa) who calls it French Chicken Pot Pie. If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed I’m on an “Ina kick” right now, after borrowing her cookbook, Make It Ahead from the library. [Check out my healthier version of her Salty Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.]
This recipe isn’t the “quick and easy” type I usually share — it does take a bit of time to make; nor is chicken pot pie considered a low-calorie dish. But we’re taking a little detour here, my friend, because this Company Worthy Chicken Pot Pie is so good, I HAD to share it with you!
Why you’ll want to make this chicken pot pie recipe
- It’s perfect to make ahead or to make in stages. I prepped the veggies and cut up the chicken the first day and then assembled and baked the pie the next day. The recipe makes enough for two 9-inch pies, so you can freeze one for later.
- There’s no canned soup in the sauce or bag of frozen mixed vegetables. We’re making a simple roux with flour and half-and-half for the sauce. And except for the frozen peas, the vegetables are fresh.
- It’s excellent for using up leftovers. I used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to save time and effort. You could also use leftover chicken or turkey.
- The crust is made with puff pastry, so you’re not fiddling with making a pie crust.
- Your family is going to love it!
Let’s take a look at some ingredient substitutions
I wasn’t able to find Ina Garten’s French Chicken Pot Pie recipe online, only in her cookbook. But here are the substitutions I made from the original recipe — just in case you want to follow hers more closely. My version is below in the recipe box:
- Chicken: Ina calls for two whole chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on. She then roasts it in the oven for 35 minutes before discarding the skin and de-boning it. As mentioned, I used a rotisserie chicken.
- Cremini mushrooms: The original recipe calls for 8 oz. of mushrooms, but I substituted more carrots since I’m not a fan of mushrooms. You could add potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli or any other vegetable of your choice.
- Cream Sherry: The original recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of this liqueur. I substituted a much smaller amount of vanilla extract (yup!) — based on an online recommendation. You won’t taste vanilla in the final dish, but I think it adds depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Heavy cream: I used heavy cream this time, but will switch to half-and-half or even whole milk next time. Making this simple swap shouldn’t compromise the taste and will save calories. Also I cut the recommended amount from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup and used more chicken broth.
- Bell’s Seasoning Mix: This is a New England product with limited distribution, so it may not be available in your area. We get it in small yellow boxes at the grocery store and the ingredients are rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, marjoram, thyme and pepper. I only used 1/2 teaspoon (though more could be added). Get creative and play with adding some of these spices if you can’t get Bell’s Seasoning Mix.
How to prepare leeks: Leeks collect dirt in between their layers and require a good wash before using. I sliced them into rounds and added them to a bowl of cold water. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, then shake the bowl slightly to dislodge any remaining dirt. Remove them from the water with a slotted spoon instead of pouring them in a colander. Doing this eliminates the dirty water from “washing” over them. See more at How to prepare leeks for cooking.
If you truly want to make this company-special, you could use individual ramekins. In that case, you’ll be trimming the puff pastry to fit each dish. Also, reduce the baking time to 30 to 40 minutes.
You’ll need to assess the amount of filling vs. what will fit a traditional pie plate. I ended up using two fairly deep 9-inch round cake pans (use what you’ve got!).
- Large pot or Dutch oven
- Pie pans or ramekins
- Baking sheet to catch any drips
Company Worthy Chicken Pot PieCourse: Dinner
This is classic comfort food — made special. A simple puff pastry tops a rich blend of vegetables and creamy sauce. Don’t skip the tarragon!
Rotisserie chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 5 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks) — see note above for how to prepare leeks.
2 cups carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems discarded and sliced, optional (I omitted these and added more carrots.)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups good chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Bell’s seasoning mix, optional
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (no need to thaw)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, such as Pepperidge Farm — defrosted
1 extra-large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- Heat the butter in a medium pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and carrots and saute over medium-high heat for about 5 to 8 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms (if using) and the tarragon and cook for 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken stock and vanilla extract, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until the mixture is slightly thickened.
- Add the half-and-half or heavy cream, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the frozen peas and chicken, taste for seasonings and then pour into the pie plate(s).
- On a lightly-floured board, roll each pastry into an 11-inch square. Fit the pastry on top of the pies, trimming any excess from the edges and crimping the edges with a fork to seal them. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Make three 1-inch slits in each pastry for steam to escape.
- Refrigerate each pie for at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Place on a sheet pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Serve hot.
Make ahead tips
You can prepare and assemble the pot pies completely, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day before baking. You can also freeze the pies (unbaked) for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then bake.
Now I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a favorite chicken pot pie recipe? Are you going to give this one a try? Let me know in the comments or tag @honestandsimple on instagram.
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