If you’re looking for a comforting, easy, nutrient-packed dish with an indulgent touch, look no further, this Easy and Nutritious Chicken Pot Pie is what you need. It has a creamy but light filling, the smell and flavour feed your soul and the crunchy puff pastry topping is perfect to kill any cravings without giving up on a super nutritious meal. Whoever you make it to on one of those cold autumn or winter days will love you forever.
Oh! And it goes without saying that it is doable, you can prepare the filling in advance and on top of that it is perfect to reuse any leftover rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey and vegetables that you may have almost abandoned in your fridge.
When I lived in the UK, one of the things that I always always always ordered when having lunch in pubs was pie. UK is famous around the world for not having great food but they really do have some dishes that are literally to die for: fish and chips, Scotch eggs, chips, sweet potato fries, pies of all kinds, Sunday roast, burgers and sweet treats in general, the repertoire of cakes and biscuits they have is delicious and endless. But back to the pies, one of my favourite ones was Chicken Pie.
When the weather gets cold is when I feel most nostalgic about my life in Oxford and a few weekends ago, while I was in the Pyrenees with the fireplace lit, I felt like it was about time I made pie. I tried to remember the flavours of my favourite British chicken pie, and it’s from my memory that today Chicken pot pie was born.
What’s Chicken Pie or Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pie is a classic Anglo-Saxon savoury recipe. It consists of a creamy chicken and vegetable filling either topped with a crunchy pastry (like puff pastry or shortcrust pastry), or covered by pastry all around: top, bottom and sides. I personally equally love both versions as long as the pastry has a crunch and the filling is really tasty.
In the United States it’s also a very common dish (I imagine the English brought it with them when they went to those lands) and they often use the term pot because everything is made in “one pot”. This pot can be a casserole, an oven-safe skillet (what I used), a baking dish or ramekin-like pots.
Some Notes on this Chicken Pie Ingredients
This chicken pot pie recipe is very versatile which makes it perfect to use anything you may have hanging around in the fridge. So if you don’t have one of the veggies the recipe calls for, just replace it with what you have or omit it. If you have turkey instead of chicken, then use turkey (or even heura would work great if you’re vegan). Some notes as usual to give ideas:
- Vegetables for the sofrito: I have used carrot, celery, onion and garlic (the base of an Italian sofrito by the way). I often don’t have celery, and what I do then is simply omit it and add extra onion. Sometimes I have leek, and when I do I use it in combination with the onion.
- Herbs: in the recipe I indicate thyme because I love how it goes with chicken and soups, but you can use sage, oregano, rosemary and even tarragon if you like. For a touch of freshness and flavour, I also add some chopped fresh parsley at the end.
- Flour: it binds the sauce and makes it creamy.
- Chicken broth: a chicken pie must always require a spoon to eat it in my opinion, so we need the broth to get a sort of creamy soup. If you are vegan or vegetarian, substitute it with vegetable broth.
- Milk: it enriches the filling giving it an extra touch of creaminess without being heavy. You can substitute it for more broth if you want or your favourite non-dairy milk for cooking.
- Chicken: it’s an ideal recipe to use leftover rotisserie chicken or chicken from having made chicken broth. If you don’t have leftover chicken, you can always prep some chicken in no time: season chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 220ºC for 20-25 minutes (you can also add any spices you like). You can also make it in a skillet or even boil a couple of large chicken breasts.
- Kale: I always like to add an extra green touch to my dishes if I can (and if it makes sense in the recipe). Since the day I started to develop today’s recipe I had kale in the fridge, I added it on and we loved it. You can omit it, or use fresh spinach, any type of collard greens or Swiss chard instead. If you use chard, separate the leaf from the stalk, finely chop the stalk and add it to the sofrito vegetables.
- Puff pastry: It’s what makes this a pie. You can make homemade shortcrust pastry or a portion of my quick flaky pastry if you prefer.
- Egg: it’s needed for the puff pastry egg wash. It gives the pastry that precious shiny golden colour. If you have leftovers, use it to make an omelette or carbonara.
- Extra virgin olive oil: needed to be able to sauté the vegetables.
- Salt and black pepper:seasoning is a must.
You will see that I have not added wine to the sauce, which makes the recipe really suitable for the whole family. I used to believe that cooking alcohol evaporates the alcohol itself. Well, it turns out that nope, 5% remains in the “best case”. That 5% distributed among all the portions is not that much, but there’s still alcohol. Since this dish is so so so good, I really wanted it to be suitable for the whole family. That being said, if you want to add 50 ml of white wine to the veggies before adding the flour, I won’t say no ;).
Tips and Tricks to Make the Most Perfect Chicken Pot Pi
The recipe is very simple but there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- When you add the broth, do it little by little. At first it’s important to do it like so while constantly stirring so that the flour does not make any lumps. Later, doing it progressively is important in order to control the thickness of the filling.
- Let the filling cool down once it’s done before layering the puff pastry on top (and if you’re making the pie in an oven-safe pan like me, let the pan cool down a bit too), this will allow you to handle the puff pastry properly. If it’s all too hot, the heat softens the puff pastry which becomes super stretchy and you can easily tear it apart.
How to Make Chicken Pie Ahead and How to Store It
You can prepare the filling up to 3 days in advance. Let the filling cool completely and store it in an airtight container or even freeze it if you see that it will take more than 3 days before using it. When it’s time to serve it, just place the filling in a casserole or oven-safe pan, cover it with the puff pastry, egg wash and bake it.
If you have pie leftovers, separate the puff pastry from the filling in order to store it. Put the filling in one airtight container and the puff pastry in another one. The puff pastry is going to lose its crunch and the only way to get some of it back is by either reheating it all together in the oven or, alternatively, you can heat the filling in a saucepan and toast the puff pastry on a pan pan for a few minutes on each side, it works quite well.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Can I add other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, etc..?
Totally! Use whatever you have on hand and like, even green beans would do. For vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, cut the florets into very small pieces so they can cook in the oven and fit in a tablespoon. Add them to the filling 5 minutes before adding the chicken and let them cook during those 5 minutes (same for other sturdy vegetables). If you’re using courgette, sauté it first with the rest of the sofrito vegetables.
Can I serve it in individual pots?
Of course :). You can use clay pots, mini cocottes without the lid, ramekins, small pans… whatever you have and prefer. Simply divide the filling into the individual containers and cut the puff pastry into portions (this pie serves 4-6 people).
I don’t have an oven-safe pan, what can I do?
No problem, you can cook the filling in a regular pan and then transfer it into a baking dish. It can be rectangular (keep in mind that the filling should be about 3 cm high) or circular with about 23 cm in diameter. Cover the baking pan or tin with the puff pastry and voilà, an incredible Chicken Pot Pie ready to go.
Looking for More Cosy and Comforty Flavourful Recipes?
Here you have some ideas:
- 30-Minute Healthy Tortellini Soup
- 30-Minute Chickpea Aubergine Curry
- Gnocchi with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
If you make this Easy and Nutritious Chicken Pot Pie recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Easy and Nutritious Chicken Pot Pie
- 60 g celery - finely chopped (about 1 medium-sized stalk)
- 130 g carrot - finely diced like the celery (about 3 medium carrots)
- 75 g onion - finely chopped (about half medium-sized onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 3 sprigs of thyme - or the aromatic herb of your choice (rosemary, oregano, sage, tarragon…)
- 30 g flour
- 450 ml chicken broth - at room temperature
- 250 ml milk
- 300 g chicken - roasted or leftover from having made stock or broth, shredded
- 25 g kale - just the leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley - chopped
- 1 sheet of puff pastry - if you use frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight
- 1 egg - beaten
- Black pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coat the bottom of a skillet (ideally a cast iron one with 23 cm in diameter) with olive oil. Heat over medium heat and add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic with the leaves of the thyme sprigs. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the onion is translucent.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste, add the flour and stir for 1 minute so that the flour is evenly distributed and slightly toasted.
- Still over medium heat, add a cup of broth and stir well so that the flour does not clump. Add another half a cup, stir and add the milk. As it thickens, add the remaining broth little by little, stirring constantly until you obtain a creamy-like texture, more or less liquid to taste. At first the filling may look very liquid but as we heat it and stir it, it will thicken, be patient. I always end up using the 450 ml of broth and the consistency resembles the one of cream.
- Remove the pan from the heat (or turn off the heat) and add the chicken, kale, and parsley. Mix well to evenly distribute it, taste it and adjust seasoning.
- Let it cool down so that the puff pastry is manageable when we put it on top of the filling on doesn’t get too soft. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC.
- Top the filling with the puff pastry (if your pan is not oven-safe, transfer the filling into a medium-sized baking pan or into a pie pan about 21-23 cm in diameter). If your puff pastry overhangs around the edge, fold it inwards so that the edge is thicker.
- Brush the puff pastry with the egg and bake for 30-35 minutes until the puff pastry is golden. Keep in mind that the edges brown before the centre does, but the centre will end up rising and getting golden-brown too. Serve it and crush the puff pastry in front of your diners. Enjoy!
- It serves 4 people as a main or 6 as a starter or as a main if there’s a big or heavy starter.