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When discussing, rating, and dreaming of classic comfort food, the Chicken Pot Pie has gotta be high on your list. It’s just gotta be. Tender chicken and veggies in a creamy gravy, all tucked into a pastry crust and baked up to bubbling perfection. On a chilly rainy or snowy day this pie is the tops.
Here’s a seemingly random but actually related side note: though it’s been a very long time since we’ve watched the late 90’s TV show ‘Just Shoot Me’, my husband and I remember this bit very clearly, and we love it. We sang the ditty many, many, many times while making and eating these mini Chicken Pot Pies. Watch the quick clip above and you will understand.
Getting back to the comfort food, I remember as a teen buying little 4″ diameter frozen chicken pot pies (Swanson? Marie Callender?) that held about three tablespoons of chicken and gravy and yet took upwards of an hour to bake.
Waiting that long as a hungry teen for a store-bought, teeny, supposed convenience food was never worth the wait.
However, if you’re baking up a frozen homemade chicken pot pie, you know it will be worth the bake time, definitely worth the wait.
This recipe makes six individual chicken pot pies, and I have included directions for freezing some or all of the pies. They will be great to have on hand for a future dinner, with nothing to do but bake them up.
The filling is the classic mix of chicken breast, carrots, celery, and onion. Peas are also a classic ingredient and they’re listed as optional here (because we have only one pea fan in this house. Me.)
The crust is tender and flavored with poultry seasoning for a pronounced savory flavor. Sea salt flakes are gorgeous scattered across the tops!
Chicken Pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie!
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Note: You will need 6 mini aluminum pie tins (5-inch diameter) for the pot pies.
- 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (or a blend of 1 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, and a dash each of ground black pepper and ground nutmeg)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached, plus more for rolling out dough
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1-1/2 cups butter, cold
- ice water
- 2 carrots (about 7 ounces) peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 celery ribs (about 7 ounces) chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion (about 7 ounces) diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 1-1/2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3 cups cooked and chopped chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
Make the dough:
Combine the all-purpose and whole wheat flours and the poultry seasoning in a large bowl. Slice the cold butter into small, 1/4-inch cubes. Work these into the flour using a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse. Add 1/2 cup of ice water to the mixture and use a spoon to toss the mixture together. Add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, and after each test the dough: it should hold together when you squeeze some in your hand. Once the dough has reached this stage do not add any more water.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it gently 4-5 times. Divide the dough into 2 portions, flatten each of them into disks, and wrap the disks in plastic wrap. Chill the dough disks in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine the chopped carrots, chopped celery, diced onion, peas (if using), diced garlic and parsley. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the vegetable mixture. Stir to coat the veggies with the melted butter and cook them over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the 1/3-cup of flour over the top and stir into the mixture. Cook the mixture for 1 minute more, and then slowly add in the chicken stock and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer it, stirring frequently until the liquid has thickened a little, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chicken, salt and pepper. Set the mixture aside to cool.
Take one dough disk from the fridge. Use a knife or bench scraper to cup the dough into 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into an 8-inch circle. Fit each circle into a mini aluminum pie tin, pressing the dough over the bottoms and up the sides of the tins, and allowing excess dough to hang over the sides.
Check the temperature of the filling: it should be lukewarm or cooler. (Any warmer than this and it will start to melt the butter in the dough as you fill the pies.) If the filling is not yet cool enough, loosely cover the dough in the tins with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you wait.)
Once the filling is cool enough, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Move the rack to the lower half of the oven. Have a large baking sheet ready to set the pies on.
Assemble the pies:
Add a generous cup of chicken-vegetable filling to each of the pie shells. If you still a little filling left, divide evenly between the pies.
Take the second dough disk from the fridge and divide it into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion out into a 6-inch circle.
Place a dough circle on top of one of the pies. Trim the edges to be just slightly larger than the overhang of the bottom crust. Roll both the lower and upper crust edges under, all around the pie to make a thick edge. Firmly crimp the edge all around onto the edge of the tin. Cut a few slits in the top crust for venting. Repeat these steps for the other 5 pies.
(*Note: if freezing pies, skip the next step and refer to the Freezer Directions at the end of the recipe.)
Beat together the egg plus 1/4 cup water. Brush this egg wash over the tops of the pies using a pastry brush. Sprinkle a few Maldon sea salt flakes over each pie. Place the pies on the baking sheet and pop them into the oven. Bake the pies for 30 minutes, until the crusts are nicely browned and the filling is bubbling. Serve the pies immediately.
Wrap the assembled pies in a few layers of plastic wrap and set them in a single layer in your freezer. Once they are frozen solid you can stack them, and keep them in the freezer for up to one month. When ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 400° F, and move the rack to the lower half of the oven. Unwrap the frozen pies and place them on a baking sheet. Beat together an egg plus 1/4 cup water. Brush this egg wash over the tops of the pies using a pastry brush. Sprinkle a few Maldon sea salt flakes over each pie. Bake the pies for about 50 minutes, until the centers are cooked through and bubbling, and the crust has browned. (If the crust is browning too quickly, you can tent the top with a piece of aluminum foil.)
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