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!
Want a vegetarian option? Check out my veggie pot pies that I made with TODAY.
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!
|2cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
|1/2cup unsalted butter
|1bulb fennel, diced
|1medium white onion, diced (about 2 cups)
|1tbsp fresh thyme sprigs, finely chopped
|1 1/2tbsp sage, finely chopped
|Fresh cracked black pepper
|4cloves garlic, finely chopped
|1/2cup all purpose flour
|1/2cup dry white wine (if you want to skip alcohol, sub an extra 1/2 cup of chicken stock)
|2cups chicken stock (add 1 tsp chicken bouillon for extra flavor - optional)
|1/2cup whole milk
|1 1/2cup frozen peas
|2 1/2cups cooked chicken breast, cut into cubes or torn into pieces
|1sheet puff pastry, thawed
|1 tsp flaky sea salt, for topping
|11-12 inch cast iron skillet (I used my Staub cast iron skillet)
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!)
For the chicken, cook it however you would like. I boiled chicken breasts for this recipe in seasoned chicken stock, then tore them up into large chunks before adding to the filling. You can also use leftover chicken or turkey.
For the squash, you can add it raw to the filling if it's cut into smaller 1/4 inch cubes. It will cook while baking in the oven, submerged in the filling.