This homemade chicken pot pie recipe takes the classic and elevates it to gourmet. It makes a delicious addition to your winter comfort food lineup, with oven roasted chicken, hearty root vegetables, and a creamy tarragon herbed gravy all tucked inside a homemade double pie crust. Read on for my tips and tricks for getting it right the first time. Also check out the changes I’ve made as this recipe has evolved in my kitchen over the years.
There is nothing like digging into a hot bowl of homemade chicken pot pie on a cold winter day. The aroma of tarragon, bacon, chicken, and vegetables fills the room as you break through the tender flaky crust. The smell is heavenly and the taste is comfort food at it’s best.
From the all butter pie crust to the tarragon gravy, this version is homemade completely from scratch. No condensed soup or canned biscuits here! Yes, it does take a little more effort, but the flavors in your bowl make it all worthwhile.
This recipe was originally shared three years ago today. While the end results are still pretty similar, the method to get there has changed over the years. The new method requires fewer dishes, cuts down on the active cook time, and slightly improves the flavor. Which are always a good things.
Roasted Vegetables vs. Steamed or Boiled Vegetables
My original method for this homemade chicken pot pie called for steaming the potatoes and butternut squash. Unlike boiling, steaming helps the vegetables retain their shape and prevents them from getting mushy. However, it also requires digging out and cleaning my steamer basket and an extra pan.
Instead I now roast the vegetables in the oven alongside the chicken and the bacon. The potatoes, butternut squash, and chicken all go in for about the same amount of time. While you can use a baking sheet for this step, I prefer to place the chicken and veggies in a five quart oven safe stainless steel saute pan. With the pan drippings left behind, the same pan can be used to make a richer, more flavorful gravy.
I separate the bacon so that the chicken and vegetables roast, instead of frying in bacon grease. (Although, I’m sure that would taste great too!)
Homemade Tarragon Gravy
When it comes to making a homemade chicken pot pie, the most important part is the gravy. It’s the part that makes all the flavors meld together and can truly make or break the end result. I’ve chosen tarragon for this chicken pot pie because of how well it compliments the chicken, bacon, and peas. My first introduction to tarragon was a few years back, in a chicken pot pie in Chicago. To this day, it’s still my favorite herb for this dish.
Our tarragon gravy needs to be seasoned just right, but more importantly it needs to have the right consistency. If it’s too thick the pie can become gummy. Too thin and you will have a soggy crust with the filling looking more like chicken pot pie soup than chicken pot pie.
To get this perfect gravy consistency and flavor start with a classic butter and flour roux, then add a combination of whole milk and chicken stock. The whole milk adds a richness to the dish and it’s also what I keep on hand in my fridge. The previous version called for half & half, which totally works, but is no longer a staple in my kitchen so I am less inclined to use it in my everyday cooking.
Don’t keep whole milk on hand? Use a concentrated low sodium chicken stock like Better Than Bouillon with all milk. Instead of adding 1 1/3 cups of whole milk and 1 1/3 cup of stock, use 2 2/3 cups of low fat milk with 1 1/3 tsp of Better Than Bouillon. It won’t change the texture much and it’s always better to use what you have on hand.
Chicken Pot Pie Crust
Our homemade chicken pot pie calls for a double crust, which means crust on both the bottom and top. My recipe for Millie’s Perfect Pie Crust hasn’t failed me yet and includes instructions for making it by hand, with a stand mixer, or with a food processor. It comes together quickly, but it’s best to make the crust first and let it chill while you make the filling.
My post on pie crust should cover all of your questions about making homemade pie crust, including tips to rolling it out evenly without tearing. I like to fold both edges inward to create a more rustic looking edge on my chicken pot pie. Alternatively, you can crimp them with a fork or pinch them with your fingers if you prefer.
While not necessary, I’m partial to decorating the top crust with leaf shaped cutouts, done freehand with a knife. If you don’t have a steady hand, a cookie cutter works too, or you can skip them all together. The egg wash gives you the shiny, golden finish – so don’t skip it! What’s more important is to cut four one inch slits in the top crust to allow the pie to vent. Do this after the egg wash to prevent tearing or resealing of the crust.
If you prefer not to use homemade pie crust, you should be able to find store bought pie dough in the refrigerator section at your local grocery. I’ve never used it, so I can’t recommend one, but make sure that you get enough for two pie crusts. Follow the instructions on the package for rolling it out, but still follow my steps on crimping the edges, adding the egg wash, and including the vent holes.
Baking Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie should generally be baked, uncovered, in the center of a 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes. The internal temperature should be bubbly, reaching 160 degrees, and the top should be golden brown.
This recipe fits comfortably into a 10.25″ cast iron skillet, but it can also squeeze into a 9″ pie plate. Since the filling comes right up to the edge, there is a potential for it to bubble over and make a mess. Make things easier on yourself by placing a baking sheet on the rack below your chicken pot pie to catch any drips, no matter which size pan you use. We all know it’s 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.
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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
With oven roasted root vegetables, juicy all-white meat chicken breast, and a tarragon gravy wrapped up in an all-butter pie crust, this homemade chicken pot pie is a dish of wholesome goodness that will warm you from the inside out on a cold winter day. It’s comfort food at it’s finest.
Leftovers can be kept for up to three days in the fridge. For longer storage, wrap in foil and place in an airtight container in the freezer. Reheat in a 350 degree oven or heat smaller portions in the microwave.
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Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Roast the Chicken, Vegetables, and Bacon
- 1 lb chicken
- 1 cup butternut squash - chopped
- 1 cup Yukon gold potatoes - chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 strips of thick sliced butcher's bacon
Make the Gravy
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup onion - diced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons minced tarragon leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 pie crusts
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- If making homemade pie crusts, do that first so they have time to chill while you make the rest of the pie. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Lightly oil a 5 quart oven safe saute pan. Chop butternut squash and potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Place chicken, butternut squash, and potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Bake chicken the chicken and vegetables until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees - about 20 - 25 minutes for 1" thick chicken breasts.
- Place the bacon on a separate baking sheet. Cook about 15 minutes, or until the fat has rendered and bacon has reached the desired level of crispiness. Once done, drain on paper towels until needed.
- While chicken, vegetables, and bacon are cooking, dice onion, mince garlic, and chop tarragon.
- Once the chicken is done, rest on a cutting board. Reserve the vegetables in a small dish until needed.
- Drop the heat on the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the 5 quart saute pan, melt 1/3 cup of butter over a medium flame. 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 and whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the the whole milk and tarragon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes longer, whisking constantly.
- Chop chicken and bacon into bite sized pieces. Add chicken, bacon, roasted potatoes and butternut squash, and frozen peas to the gravy. Stir gently to coat evenly and leave over a low flame to keep warm.
- Roll out the first pie crust to a circle large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 10.25" cast iron skillet or 9" pie pan. Gently place the first crust in the bottom of the pan, being careful not to tear it.
- Roll out the second pie crust so that it can cover the top of the pie pan.
- Pour the chicken, vegetable, and gravy mixture into the pie pan and cover with the second crust.
- Use a sharp knife to trim away excess crust from the sides of the pie as needed. Leave it longer for a more rustic, folded over look, or trim it close and crimp the edges together with a fork.
- Extra bits can be used to make decorative shapes for the top of the pie if desired.
- In a small bowl beat the egg and water together. Carefully brush the egg wash onto the top pie crust using a basting brush. Cut four 1 inch slits into the top crust to vent the steam.
- Bake the pie in the middle of a 350 degree oven for 30 - 40 minutes. To prevent spills, place a baking sheet under the pie to catch any drips.
- 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.