Single-Portion Servings for a Classic Comfort Food
Chicken pot pie is a comfort-food classic, but it isn't very portable. You can take leftovers to work in a lunch container, but you're likely to end up with a container full of stew and sodden crust. This recipe for individual miniature chicken pot pies is a much better idea. You can enjoy them straight from the oven as your evening meal, but the individual pies are also perfectly suited for lunches and light meals on the go. Unlike many recipes, this one avoids cream soups in favor of a scratch-made filling.
Total Time: 40 minutes | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6
- 1/4 cup butter or oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup whole milk, half-and-half, or evaporated milk
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
- 2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots mixture
- 1 1/2 cups cooked leftover or rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded
- 4 9-inch pie crusts, frozen or homemade (a double batch of your favorite recipe)
- Heat your oven to 400F. Thoroughly grease the cups of a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan, and set it aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour, mixing it thoroughly until no dry flour is visible.
- Add about 1/4 cup of the broth and whisk vigorously until it forms a thick paste with the flour. Slowly whisk in the remaining broth, and then the milk. Add the seasonings and stir for another minute or two until it just begins to thicken. Taste the filling, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Chicken broth varies in its saltiness, so you might not need more.
- Stir in the frozen vegetables and the chicken, and then remove the filling from the burner and set it aside while you prepare the crust.
- Cut 3 of the crusts in half and re-roll them lightly into smaller rounds. Press one round into each cup of the muffin pan, leaving a slight rim of pastry around each edge. Divide the remaining crust into six equal wedges, and re-roll those into rounds as well to create the pie tops. Make a small slash in the center of each round, to vent the pies.
- Divide the filling between the dough-filled cups. Lightly moisten the edges of each bottom crust with water, and place a top crust over it. Press the dough together gently to seal them.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the pies are golden brown and the filling inside is bubbly. Remove from the oven, and let the pies cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of each pie and gently lift or tip them from the pan. Serve hot, if you'll be eating them immediately, or let them cool for 30 to 40 minutes and then refrigerate them for later use.
- This is an excellent use for leftover rotisserie chicken, or leftover roasted chicken from a family meal. You can also buy packages of cooked chicken at the supermarket, giving you a handy shortcut for this kind of recipe.
- You can use this recipe to prepare 12 smaller pot pies in a standard muffin pan, if you prefer. The process remains the same, but it takes slightly longer to make up the pies because there's more rolling and cutting involved. Reduce your baking time to 15 to 20 minutes.
- If you have your crust ready but lack time to make the filling, a good quality store-bought chicken stew makes a perfectly acceptable substitute. Many supermarkets make it fresh in-house, so it's a healthy alternative to the usual "quick and easy" recipes calling for canned soups.
Fred Decker is a trained chef, former restaurateur and prolific freelance writer, with a special interest in all things related to food and nutrition. His work has appeared online on major sites including Livestrong.com, WorkingMother.com and the websites of the Houston Chronicle and San Francisco Chronicle; and offline in Canada's Foodservice & Hospitality magazine and his local daily newspaper. He was educated at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.