Despite my husband’s lack of enthusiasm for cold weather approaching, he does excited for the presence of chicken pot pie at the dinner table during the fall and winter seasons. In fact, I’ll quote him,
“Yessss, pot pie is back!!”
This may be one of my favorite recipes of all time, and it tops the charts for comfort food on a cold day. It is also my go-to recipe for using up Thanksgiving leftovers (swapping out chicken for turkey, of course). I even use the leftover gravy from Thanksgiving in addition to the roux and chicken broth gravy base to this dish (about one part leftover Thanksgiving gravy and one part gravy made from this recipe). Homemade leftover gravy on Thanksgiving cannot and will not be wasted in this household! I purposely make too much because no one should be without gravy on Thanksgiving! Besides, I certainly want to have leftovers of both turkey and gravy to use in this pot pie recipe. The real winning factor with this “Thanksgiving Leftovers” theme is that the filling can be made and then frozen in a baking dish. Then all you have to do is pull it out of the freezer, thaw overnight and whip up the biscuit topping, which seriously takes two minutes max.
Cheers to comfort food!
CHICKEN POT PIE
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
BAKE TIME: 45 minutes
POT PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS
- 14 chicken tenderloins, cooked and shredded
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) of unsalted butter
- 2 onions, chopped (red or yellow, your preference)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cups flour
- 5 cups of chicken broth
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes (or 1 teaspoon of chicken base)
- 4 large red potatoes chopped, peeled or unpeeled-your preference
- 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen crinkle cut carrots or 2 cups sliced fresh carrots (whatever you have on hand)
- 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen peas
- ¼ cup of heavy cream
BISCUIT TOPPING INGREDIENTS
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
Marinate chicken tenderloins in buttermilk with some salt and pepper for 30 minutes. You can either grill or bake them. If weather is permitting, I prefer grilling because it’s one less pan to clean up. Heat grill on high until it reaches 400 degrees so that chicken doesn’t stick. Transfer chicken to grill and then lower heat to medium high and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before shredding it. If you’d rather bake the chicken tenderloins, preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.
Sauté onions with butter, salt and pepper until translucent and onions are softened. Add flour and stir constantly for about five minutes to cook out the flour flavor. You’re making a roux or a thickener for your sauce. Now add the chicken broth about ½ cup at a time to slowly incorporate it into your roux. If you add it too quickly, you’ll get clumps in your sauce. Once you’ve poured in all the broth, add the chicken bouillon cubes, chopped potatoes and carrots. Bring to a boil (while you’re waiting for it to boil, continue to stir now and then so that bits of your thickened sauce don’t stick to the bottom of the pan). Once it’s bubbling, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
While your potatoes and carrots are simmering, gather the biscuit topping ingredients. (See note about biscuit topping quantity below.)
Make biscuit topping. Stir melted butter and milk. Add dry ingredients and mix.
Almost done! Once potatoes and carrots are fork tender, turn off the heat and add the shredded chicken, frozen peas and heavy cream. Transfer pot pie filling evenly among your baking dishes. Distribute the biscuit topping . . . generously (I prefer this biscuit topping over the traditional pie pastry any day).
Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes.
Let cool for five minutes and enjoy!
Note about biscuit topping: The biscuit topping makes enough to cover an 8 x 8” baking dish. The chicken pot pie filling makes about one 9 x 12 inch pan and one 8 x 8 inch pan worth or three small pans. A triple batch of biscuit topping is necessary if you plan on baking the full recipe of pot pie in one sitting. I have a family of four, so what I usually do is freeze about half or one-third of the filling in a baking dish.
Note about freezing half of the filling: If I anticipate a busy or lazy day (I wish for lazy, but usually bank on being busy), I can pull it out of the freezer, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and just make the biscuit topping for an ultra comforting meal with minimal effort. However, the baking time changes slightly because the filling will be cold from refrigeration. Cover the chilled filling (without biscuit topping) in the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then add the biscuit topping and bake uncovered for an additional 40 minutes.
I totally meant to snap a shot of this recipe beautifully plated, but I sort of gobbled half of my helping before I remembered. You get the picture, right? I’ll get better at blogging eventually. Note to self: Remember to take pictures of delicious dishes before devouring.