So first off I have to give mad props to my roommate for coming up with this title. My idea had diverged into an obscure reference to flight of the conchords (making a pot pie…for one) but thankfully she reigned me back in. Do you get it? Flying Solo? Individual Chicken Pies? Flying? Chicken? Solo? Individual? Yeah?!? Yeah. Tis great. ANYWAYS I love chicken pot pies. They always bring me back to my childhood years (yikes, I’m like, an adult now…) and how amazing chicken pot pie nights were. We used to buy the Marie Calendar’s pies and they were legit. They were frozen so you had to bake them for around 30-40 minutes and those minutes would just creep by. It was like torture. When they finally came out of the oven they’d be golden brown and bubbling. The crust was my favorite part so I’d peel that off the top and set it aside to eat later. My parents always harassed me and tried to get me to eat my pie like a “normal person” but I was a rebel and always saved the crust for last. Well, nothing has really changed. I’m still a huge fan of chicken pot pies. But I had never considered making my own before, that is, until I stumbled across this recipe on chaos in the kitchen. It was so simple! And it looked so good! However, the recipe was for a whole pie and even I don’t love pot pie that much. So I decided to half the recipe and make individual pot pies instead. They were glorious.
So first things first, you gotta cook a piece of chicken. Surprised? I hope not. I cooked my chicken in a frying pan with 1/2 cup water, some olive oil, salt, and pepper. I covered the pan with a lid once things really got going and let it cook for about 5 minutes each side. You can cook your chicken however you want. You could ever use leftover chicken OR if you’re feeling really crazy, turkey. After my chicken was cooked I chopped it up into bite size pieces so it would be properly distributed in my pies. Then I dealt with the onion/gravy situation. Apparently I’m really into rouxes this week as this is the second one I’ve used this week. This one is different from the one we used for the broccoli soup though. Here the butter is melted as per usual, but before the flour is added, onions and garlic are sautéed in the butter. Use about 1/8 cup butter and melt it in a nice little pot then add in the onions and garlic. Once those have cooked down pretty well add two tablespoons and two teaspoons of flour.(I knoooww, it’s weird but necessary, I’m sorry) Once it’s all stirred together let it come to a bit of a simmer and cook until it starts turning golden brown. At this point it will looks and smell awesome, I had to resist the temptation to eat some. When it hits that golden stage it will also have thickened a bit and thats the cue to add milk and stock.
What you’ve got on your hands now are the beginnings of your gravy. Its going to be quite soupy still so you gotta cook it down more. Crank up the heat to medium-high(don’t go all the way to high or it will burn) and keep a close eye on it. Let it come up to a heavy simmer/light boil and stir constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. You’ll know when its ready as it will thicken quite a bit. It will cook down a bit which is fine. Make sure you test it often so it doesn’t get too gloopy. Once your gravy/roux/thing is all thickened and ready it’s time to add your peas,carrots, and chicken. I used a frozen peas and carrots mixture I have, but feel free to use fresh or different veggies. Stir it all in and cook it for a little while longer to make sure everything is well combined and thick. At this point I also seasoned my mixture with a little salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Yum.
At this point the filling is done and ready to be put into yo pie! I made a double crust pie (i.e. crust on the bottom and on the top, not like those rip off jerk pies with crust only on the top) and…I used store bought pie dough. I KNOW! I’m sorry! But I had it leftover and all you do is unroll it’s ready to use. So yeah. You can make your own but the store bought stuff also works fiiiine. ANYWAYS, I lined my little ramekins with dough and parbaked them so they wouldn’t get all soggy from the gravy. My oven was preheated at 450 and I threw them in for just 5 minutes. Make sure you give them a good poke prebaking with a fork so they can let out steam while baking and not get all poofy. Once baked I added in my filling, made little top crusts, gave them a slash so they didn’t explode, and threw them in the oven.
They baked for about 30 minutes and smelled great the whole time. Ironically, while I waited for them to bake I watched Biggest Loser. Talk about an emotional show! They work out, they cry, they work out more, they vomit, they cry, they get weighed, they cry, I cry, the end. During the credits I thought for about two seconds…should I really be eating chicken pot pie? Its crust (flour and butter) and gravy (butter, butter butter) alone probably contain around 80 million calories and frozen peas and carrots probably aren’t enough to counteract that. Then I thought about the crust again and how butter and flaky it would be. And of course how the gravy would be thick and delicious and creamy. And how the peas and carrots and chicken would be chunky and delicious. And thats how I forgot about Biggest Loser and devoured a DELICIOUS pie!
I let them cool for as long as I could stand, so like two seconds, then grabbed one and hunkered down for a taste. The crust was golden and crisp and I could barely contain my squeals of delight as I broke through. I, of course, set the top crust aside and set in on the filling and DIED. It was thick and creamy and delicious. The chicken was still moist and delicious and the peas and carrots were perfect. I felt like a kid again!
So yeah. It was good. Totally worth it and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It tasted, dare I say it, better than the marie callendar’s pies! So good! So good. Also it was definitely a good idea to parbake the bottom crusts first. Even after being full of gravy and baking for 30 minutes it was still crispy and delicious, not soggy and nastay. I’ve got 3 pies left and I’m actually so excited to eat them. Going to be so delicious. Also I had some dough left over which is great for baking with sugar and cinnamon on it. My dad always used to do it and I fondly remember eating sugary weirdly shaped pie crust scrapes from quite a young age. It’s good. Do it.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
Adapted from Chaos in the Kitchen
Makes 4 servings
- 1 chicken breast or 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/8 cup butter
- 2 tblsp + 2 tsp flour
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup chicken stock, I used my turkey stock
- 1/2 cup carrots and peas, if using frozen then make sure to thaw them first
- 1 9″ pie crust, either store bought or made
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 450º.
To prepare bottom crust, roll out dough till about 1/2” thick. Cut and fit into ramekin. I did it pretty haphazardly and it worked out alright. Just cut it and try to fit it in and press it in as well as possible on the sides and bottom. You can use a bunch of scraps if you want, just make sure you press them together and maybe use a little water to attach them to each other. Just make sure you have enough dough left over for the top crust. Store unused dough in the fridge. Once dough is in all the ramekins, place ramekins on a baking sheet and place sheet in the middle of the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Once slightly browned and puffy remove and let cool.
To make filling: melt butter in a medium pot. Once butter is melted, add onions and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir together until completely incorporated. Let flour, butter, onions, and garlic cook until golden brown and bubbling. Add milk and stock and stir. Bring to a soft boil and let cook till thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Add chicken, peas, and carrots and continue to cook and stir until hot and thick. Remove from heat when ready.
Place filling in the prepared bottom crusts, dividing it equally amongst each pie. Cover with top crust and slash top crust for ventilation. Bake for around 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool (preferably for 5-10 minutes, lord knows I couldn’t wait that long), and enjoy!