Everyone would love to know how to make a good chicken pie recipe or as most call it “chicken pot pie”. I consider the pot pie to be an “all American” food. These recipes were originally made in “pots” which established the name for the recipe as various types of “pot” pie recipes. These pots were probably made of iron or the dish could have been made in iron skillets. Either way they were baked over the open fire. This was a staple food of the long wagon trains traveling across the country heading west.
There are many aspects to making a good pot pie. Back in the early days of the wagon trains they were made with whatever ingredients were available. Today knowing how to make chicken pie recipe or turkey pie seems to be the favorite of most people but back then the dish might have contained wild meat and anything available. The crust was either made with dough for a biscuit recipe or sour dough which was usually carried on the wagon train for making bread.
Throughout my life I have seen and heard of all kinds of ways of how to make a chicken pie recipe. Mom used to make what she also called chicken pot pie in a large stock pot on top of the stove. She would simmer a couple of chickens until the meat fell off the bones. After removing the bones she would add celery, potatoes, carrots, onions and peas. After the vegetables cooked until tender she would add a lot of drop biscuit dough by the spoonfuls; the biscuits would cook and rise to the top. Ladles of the chicken, vegetables and biscuits would be placed in bowls for serving.
It took me many of my younger years to figure out just what the difference was between a chicken pie recipe and chicken pot pie; I gave up. These two terms are used so interchangeably that for the most part mean the same, regardless of the ingredients or what they are made in. Both usually contain vegetables with the chicken and some type of dough. I think because of the size of most recipes and for convenience they are usually baked in casserole dishes. Although these do look very appetizing, I do like the presentation when baked in pretty pie dishes and even in small individual serving dishes. The individual servings are nice when serving to guests because these recipes are more likely to spread when cutting and serving while hot.
When I was quite young (maybe 11 or 12) sometimes I was permitted to visit my friend’s house. I was always amazed at their food! They ate so differently from our old fashioned country family. One time I was offered a little chicken pot pie made in one of those little aluminum disposable pie pans. I do not know if they still make them but I thought it was so good. Of course when I got home I asked Mom if we could get some of those. Mom said “Do you realize how many of those “little things” it would take to feed all of us?” That answer meant NO! It is funny but today I would not think of eating one of those pies even if I could get them. Nothing tastes as good as “homemade” to me.
A chicken pie recipe can be made with a top crust and bottom crust or only with a top crust. Many people tell me they like the convenience of only doing a top crust. Personally I like both especially if the pie has a thick filling. Sometimes I do make the individual serving size with only a top crust; usually made with puff pastry. These make a beautiful presentation and are delicious too!
A single top crust chicken pie recipe can easily be made by using an easy biscuit dough recipe. The recipe below is easy to make; roll the biscuits out and cut or add a little more milk and make drop biscuits for the crust. It is easier and faster if you like to use refrigerated biscuits from the grocery. Easy filling can be made by using canned chicken, canned mixed vegetables and canned soups such as cream of chicken or cream of mushroom (Do not dilute). Use your imagination and experiment.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
FOR FILLING melt butter in skillet; add onion and sauté until tender not brown.
Stir in the biscuit mix, pepper and thyme; add chicken broth and milk.
Cook and stir until mixture thickens and is bubbly; cook and stir another minute.
Add chicken and vegetables; heat until bubbly, reduce heat and keep warm.
FOR TOPPING combine biscuit mix, water and butter.
Turn out onto surface lightly dusted with biscuit mix.
Knead 10 to 12 strokes to form dough; shape into ball.
Roll dough 8 inch circle; cut with biscuit cutter.
Transfer hot filling into a 2 quart casserole baking dish.
Place biscuits on top of filling; bake about 20 minutes until browned.
Let casserole stand 10 minutes before serving; serves 4 to 6.
Make a delicious chicken pie recipe to serve two adult servings.
About Cream Pastry
If you need to cook the chicken cover chicken with water in saucepan.
NOTE: I use 2 to 4 pieces of chicken; 2 legs and 2 thighs OR 1 whole chicken breast.
Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until thoroughly cooked about 1 ½ hours.
Remove chicken pieces to a plate and cool.
Combine potatoes and carrots in a saucepan; add chicken broth to cover.
Cook 5 minutes; add green beans and cook 2 minutes longer.
Drain vegetables saving broth; measure broth adding enough to make 1 ½ cups.
Melt butter in a large skillet; add onion and celery sautéing 5 minutes until tender.
Stir in flour and paprika; slowly add the broth stirring constantly 2 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat; stir in the chicken, lemon juice and vegetables.
Taste to test seasoning; add more salt and pepper if needed.
Spoon mixture into 2 individual casserole dishes (2 Cup size).
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F degrees.
MIX PASTRY DOUGH by combining flour and butter in a bowl until crumbly.
Stir in sour cream until workable pastry dough; divide dough in half.
Roll dough 2inches larger than casserole dish; cover pie and trim dough.
Pinch edges around dishes to seal edges; cut slits in top for steam.
Mix egg and milk together; brush top of pies.
Bake for 30 minutes or until crusts are golden brown.
Makes 2 hefty servings.
Combine dry ingredients; stir in milk to make soft dough.
Pat dough or roll out to ½ inch thickness; cut with a biscuit cutter.
Place biscuits on top of chicken filling.
Bake until biscuits turn brown and filling bubbles.
This recipe makes 2 deep chicken pie recipes (12 servings). I use a crispy flaky butter crust; a perfect match for the chicken filling.
NOTE: Place this chicken pie recipe on trays to bake to prevent butter crust and filling from dripping in your oven.
Add about 2 quarts of water to chicken in a large pot.
Bring to a boil; cover and simmer until very tender (about 75 minutes).
Remove chicken from pot to another pan or cutting board.
Add carrots, celery and bell pepper to the broth; cook until tender about 5 minutes.
While veggies are cooking remove chicken from bones and cut into bite size pieces.
When veggies are done add pimientos and peas.
Immediately drain vegetables through a strainer RESERVING BROTH in a clean bowl.
Measure 1 ½ cups of the broth; add bouillon cube to the broth to dissolve.
Melt butter over low heat in the pan which you used for the chicken; stir in the flour.
Add the mushroom soup to the pan and stir; immediately stir in the chicken broth.
Stir and cook over low heat until mixture begins to thicken.
Add the chicken and vegetables back into the pan; stir to blend and set off heat.
RECIPE FOR PIE CRUST for above recipe
Preheat oven to 400F degrees; lightly butter bottoms of 2 deep dish pie plates.
Measure flour and salt; cut cold butter on cutting board into tiny pieces.
NOTE: You want to keep the butter cold so handle it as little as possible; the warmth from the hands will soften the butter.
Cut the small pieces of butter into the flour mixture.
Add ice water a little at a time while stirring with a fork until it forms a dough ball.
Knead slightly with your hands on a lightly floured surface; divide dough into 4 parts.
Roll 2 parts out to fit into bottom and sides of prepared pie dishes; trim around edges.
Divide filling equally between the 2 chicken pies (Should be about 4 cups for each).
Roll remaining 2 parts of dough to fit over the tops; cut steam vents to release the steam while baking.
NOTE: I covered the tops of mine by cutting leaves with a cookie cutter from the dough; this allows for many small steam vents.
Place pie in oven and bake about 45 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.
NOTE: If edges begin to brown too much cut a circle out of a piece of foil so the center is still exposed and the edges are covered.
A Mexican version of the chicken pie recipe is made with cornmeal and more “spice” which I love.
To make filling:
Combine onions, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, cumin, turmeric, paprika and salt in a food processor.
Process to a puree; set aside.
Place the chicken and pork in a large pan; pour the puree over the chicken and pork.
Add about 1 ½ cups of chicken broth to the pan (enough to cover).
Cover with a lid and simmer until the chicken is tender; remove chicken and set aside.
Continue cooking the pork until tender about 30 minutes longer.
Remove meat from the chicken bones; cut both chicken and pork in bite size pieces.
Strain the broth from the pan and SAVE.
Put corn flour in small pan; add enough broth to make a thick sauce stirring over low heat 1-2 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the chicken and pork; make dough.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
To make dough:
Place in a bowl the flour, turmeric and paprika; cut in the lard.
Add just enough hot chicken broth to make a thick smooth dough.
Cut a 12X24 inch piece of parchment paper or foil.
Spread half of the dough on the paper leaving room on sides.
Arrange chicken, pork and sauce on the dough; cover with remaining dough.
Fold parchment over from each end overlapping slightly at center.
Turn over and place seam side down in a greased baking pan.
Bake for 30 minutes; unwrap and remove parchment paper to serve.
Serve with hot sauce.
Make this tasty chicken pie recipe with pinwheel biscuits.
Cook pepper and onion in melted butter over medium low heat until tender.
Add lemon juice and salt to pan; stir in the flour.
Gradually add the milk stirring constantly until smooth.
Increase heat; cook and stir until mixture BEGINS to bubble.
Cook and stir about 5 minutes until thickened; remove from heat.
Stir in the soup and chicken until well blended; pour mixture into baking dish.
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Roll biscuit dough out thin; sprinkle with cheese and pimientos.
Roll dough up like a jelly roll; slice with a sharp knife into biscuits.
Place biscuits on top of the hot chicken mixture; bake until biscuits are light brown 12 to 15 minutes.