This chicken pot pie includes chicken, potatoes, butternut squash, and peas coated in a creamy, dreamy, herbed gravy, then tucked inside the perfect pie crust. Sub in your leftover Thanksgiving turkey for a serious leftover upgrade.
Happy day after Thanksgiving!! I am happy to see that you all survived the cooking, eating, and dish washing of the holiday. This year, it was just my boyfriend and I, so instead of spending the whole day in the kitchen we went out for a full turkey dinner. The food was great but the one thing I am missing is leftovers. However, since most of you will have leftovers, I must share this recipe for chicken pot pie with you.
It’s the best chicken pot pie I’ve ever had and can easily be adapted to work with your leftover turkey. The worst part about having turkey left over is that it tends to get even drier when you reheat it. Sure it’s great for sandwiches, but not so great if you are looking to make another hot meal. That’s where this recipe comes in to play. By reheating the turkey in the gravy while inside this pie crust, the meat doesn’t dry out. Since I didn’t have leftovers to demonstrate with and I typically make this as a chicken pot pie, I am writing this up as a chicken pot pie recipe. However, I will make all the notes so that you can easily substitute in your leftover turkey instead of making fresh chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
When it comes to making a chicken pot pie, the most important part is the gravy. If it’s too thick the pie can become gummy. Too thin and you have a soggy crust that falls apart with insides running all over the pan. If there isn’t enough flavor in the gravy, the whole dish will taste bland – even with bacon in it. I started creating this chicken pot pie recipe three years ago and I’ve done multiple combinations of stock, 1% milk, 2% milk, half-and-half, and heavy cream. Only in the last year or so have I finally unlocked the secret to getting perfect gravy every time. By sticking to a combination of chicken stock and half-and-half, the flavor is balanced and the gravy turns out wonderfully.
If you are worried about the fat content, you can use the fat free version of half-and-half. I usually use the regular half-and-half, as I prefer the fat over the additives, but accidentally picked up the fat-free one when I made this pie on Tuesday. I didn’t even realize it until I made coffee on Wednesday morning, but the gravy still turned out perfectly balanced, creamy, and delicious even as leftovers on Wednesday night.
For this chicken pot pie, we are using a double crust – crust on both the bottom and top of the pie. Here is my recipe for the perfect, no fail, pie crust. The recipe will make two pie crusts, it’s fairly easy, and only needs 30 minutes of chill time in the fridge to be ready to go. If you don’t have time for homemade, store bought pie dough will work as well. Just make sure that you get enough for two pie crusts.If making the pie crust from scratch, make it first and let it chill while you make the filling.
To start, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop up your onion, mince the garlic and taragon, cube the potatoes and squash, and start the boiling water to steam your veggies.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray it with cooking spray and lay out your chicken* in a single layer. I used one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, but the legs and thighs will work as well. If your chicken is thick, you can sliced it in half horizontally to make 2 thinner pieces and speed up the cooking process. Sprinkle on 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Place the chicken in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. The chicken needs to bake until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The total cook time can vary from 20 – 25 minutes.
*If you are using leftover turkey, you can skip this part regarding making the chicken. However, you will still need your oven on to cook your bacon for 10 – 15 minutes and to bake you assembled pie.*
While the chicken cooks, place the squash and potatoes together into your steamer basket and put it over the boiling water. By steaming instead boiling, the vegetables retain more of their shape and flavor. They won’t become water logged and turn into mashed mush. Start checking with a fork after 10 minutes, removing them from the steam once they are fork tender, placing them into a large mixing bowl.
After the timer on the chicken* goes off, add the bacon to the pan and return it to the oven for 10 more minutes. By adding the bacon after the chicken starts cooking, they both cook more evenly, the chicken get a little bacon flavor, but absorbs less of the bacon grease.
*Again, if you are using turkey leftovers, bake only the bacon. The turkey will not need to be warmed before being mixed into the gravy.
While the chicken and veggies cook, it’s time to start your gravy. Heat a medium to large skillet over medium heat then add the butter. Once it has melted about half way, add your onions. Cook three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. By this point the butter should be fully melted. Add the flour and whisk to incorporate. For the next 3 – 5 minutes, cook the flour and butter stirring constantly. The flour needs to cook completely in order to lose any gummy flour taste and the butter will begin to brown, but you don’t want it to burn. After 3 minutes you should notice the color starting to develop. When it starts to look a light brown, begin incorporating the chicken stock about 1/2 a cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Once the stock is in, add the half-and-half, tarragon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil to thicken and cook for about 3 minutes once boiling.
In your large mixing bowl, you should already have your potatoes and squash. Chop the chicken* and bacon into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl. Add the frozen peas, then pour the gravy on top and stir to combine.
*If using leftover turkey instead of chicken, the turkey does not need to be warmed prior to mixing into the gravy, it will be warmed up as the pie bakes. Use about 10 ounces of chopped, cooked light or dark turkey.*
Roll out one of your pie crusts and line the bottom of your pie pan. I prefer to use my 10″ cast iron skillet for this recipe, but a 9″ or 10″ pie pan will work as well. Be sure to place the dough into the corners of the pan to prevent tearing. Don’t yet trim away the excess crust around the edges. Gently pour in the filling mixture.
The filling won’t quite come to the top in a 10″ pan, but will completely fill a 9″ pan. Roll the second sheet of pie crust to a circle that is wide enough to cover the top of the pie. Gently place it on top of the filling. Use a sharp knife to carefully trim the excess dough from the edge of the pan. You can make decorative pieces for the top – I chose leaves, or skip it all together. Cut four 1″ slits into the top crust to all for the steam to escape. Using a fork, crimp the edges to seal.
Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of water. Using a basting brush, gently brush the egg wash over the top of the pie. Check the vents to make sure the egg wash did not seal them back together. Bake, uncovered, in the center of the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees and the top should be golden brown. I always place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips – it’s much easier to clean a baking sheet than to clean the oven. If you notice that the top is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Let the pie cool for about 10 minutes prior to serving. In all, the pie should make 8 servings, but I’ve had quite a few occasions where it’s only fed 4 people with nothing left behind! If you do have leftovers, it will keep for 3 – 4 days in the fridge, less if your turkey was more than a day old when you made this. The turkey should only be kept for a total of 3 – 4 days once it was baked the first time. It will keep up to 6 months in the freezer as well. Once it’s fully cooled, you can remove the pie from the pan, wrap it in aluminum foil, place it in a zip top bag and mark with an expiration date.
Have you ever made chicken pot pie from scratch? Do you prefer a double crust or a biscuit topping? Let me know in the comments below!
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Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 lb chicken
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 strips of thick sliced butcher's bacon
- 1 cup butternut squash - chopped
- 1 cup Yukon gold potatoes - chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup red onion - diced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons minced tarragon leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 pie crusts
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Lay chicken out flat on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Season chicken with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.
Chop squash and potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, place into the steamer basket.
Dice onion, mince garlic and tarragon. Keep separate and set aside for later.
Heat 2 inches of water to boil in the bottom of a steamer pot.
Bake chicken for 10 minutes. Then add the bacon to the baking sheet and cook 10 minutes longer or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Cook the bacon 2 - 4 extra minutes if needed.
Drop the heat on the oven to 350 degrees.
Steam the potatoes and squash for 10 minutes or until fork tender.
Chop chicken and bacon into bite sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
Add the steamed potatoes and squash along with the frozen peas to the chicken and bacon.
Heat a large skillet over a medium flame. Add 1/3 cup of butter.
When butter is half melted add the onions and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook a minute longer before adding the flour.
Cook flour butter mixture for 3 - 5 minutes stirring constantly. When it starts to brown add the stock 1/2 of a cup at a time, whisking constantly to combine.
Next add the half-and-half, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes longer, whisking constantly.
Pour the gravy into the large mixing bowl over the chicken and vegetable. Stir gently to combine, making sure to separate the frozen peas in the process.
Roll out the first pie crust to a circle large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 9" or 10" pie pan.
Carefully line the bottom of the pan with the crust, being careful not to tear it.
Pour the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie pan.
Roll out the second pie crust to a size that can cover the top of the pie pan. Gently place it on top of the pie.
Cut four 1 inch slits into the top crust to vent the steam.
Use a sharp knife to trim away the extra crust from the side of the pie pan. These extra bits can be used to make decorative shapes for the top of the pie if desired.
Using a fork, crimp the edges of the pie together to form a seal.
In a small bowl beat the egg and water together. Carefully brush the egg wash onto the top pie crust using a basting brush. Check to make sure that the slits were not sealed back together.
Bake the pie in the middle of a 350 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes.
The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees and the top should be a golden brown. If the top browns too quickly, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
Allow the pie to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.