Autumn-Inspired Chicken Pot Pie
This may come to a surprise to you, but the only chicken pot pie I grew up eating was from the frozen section of the grocery store: my girl Marie Callender had that recipe DOWN. While I have nothing wrong with Marie Callender’s frozen pies (actually a huge fan,) I wanted to make my own for a change so that I can have full control over the flavors. I typically crave chicken pot pie in the fall and winter, so I figured, why not make this a fall inspired pot pie because it would be PERFECT for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving. Such an easy dish to share!
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Please excuse the photo quality in this blog post. I ended up making this pot pie and my camera broke, so I had to use my iPhone!
For the filling, I went with fennel, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, cooked leftover chicken breast (you can of course use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!) and butternut squash. Of course, you can adjust this to whatever you prefer. The most *controversial* ingredient in here would be the squash, which you can switch for carrots or blanched sweet potatoes.
If you don’t feel like making a one-skillet pot pie, please know that you can absolutely use this filling and pour it into smaller ramekins for “personal serving pot pies.” Just roll out some puff pastry and cut a smaller crust!
Make ahead: You can 100% make the filling the day before and then assemble with the crust and bake right before serving!
Autumn-Inspired Chicken Pot Pie
- 11-12 inch cast iron skillet (I used my Staub cast iron skillet)
- Kosher salt for seasoning throughout
- 2 cups butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 bulb fennel diced
- 1 medium white onion diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme sprigs finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp sage finely chopped
- Fresh cracked black pepper for seasoning throughout
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine if you don't like cooking with alcohol, substitute an extra 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- 2 cups chicken stock add 1 tsp chicken bouillon for extra flavor (optional)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 2 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast cut into cubes or torn into pieces * see notes
- 2 tsp water
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
- Flaky sea salt for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack into the center of the oven. Heat a stock pot of water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Season with 3 generous pinches of salt.
- Blanch the butternut squash for 3-4 minutes, until slightly cooked through. Place into an ice bath or drain and run under cold water in a colander until the temperature neutralizes. Set aside.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the onion and fennel and toss them with the butter. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and let them cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the sage, thyme and garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour combines with the butter and forms a "wet sand" consistency (about 30 seconds to 1 minute.)
- Pour the white wine into the pan. Stir constantly and cook for about 1 minute, allowing the alcohol to burn off. Next, slowly pour the chicken stock into the pan, while whisking. Once combined, pour the whole milk in and whisk until combined. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper and taste to ensure the seasoning is good for you before moving on to the next step.
- Add the butternut squash, peas, and chicken to the filling and stir until combined. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed throughout (approx. 5-6 minutes.) Turn off the heat.
- In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water with a fork until combined.
- Fold a 14 oz. puff pastry sheet into a square (it typically comes in this shape, with 4 folds.) Roll it out on a lightlfy floured surface, until there are no more separate layers and it becomes one thicker piece of puff pastry. Roll until it's about 15 inches wide and long. This will give you 2-3 inches of extra runway when you drape it onto the pan (would rather have too big of a crust, than too small!)
- Drape the crust over the skillet. Trim the edges so that there is about a 1 inch border around the skillet. Fold the edge of puff pastry to form a crust. You can crimp the edges with a fork or just leave it as a rustic folded edge.
- With a sharp knife, make 6-8 slits in the center of crust. Brush the entire crust with the egg wash. Avoid getting egg wash in the slits as much as possible. Top with flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the fillig is bubbling. Check on the crust after 20 minutes and rotate it if it's not cooking evenly. If it's already golden brown after 20 minutes, cover with foil and proceed to cook another 10-20 minutes until it's extra flaky. Remove from the heat and let the pie sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before serving -- this will help the filling thicken up again! Enjoy! Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.