Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Mushrooms, Carrots, and Peas
Homemade double crust Chicken Pot Pie is comfort food to the max and THIS classic recipe has been a staple in our home for decades.
I was a young mom. My husband and I are high school sweethearts who married months after graduation. Our first child was born less than two weeks before I turned 21.
Believe it or not, when we first got married, I was determined to never cook. Cooking didn't appeal to me for several reasons, not the least of which was not wanting to set the expectation that cooking was "my job".
Oh... the foolishness of the young.
After our son was born, I thought, "Someone is going to have to feed this kid.", and I cracked open the Betty Crocker Cookbook, a wedding gift that had been sitting in a box with a couple other cookbooks since the wedding. I made Betty's Sweet and Sour Chicken, Lasagna, and Chicken Pot Pie.
Chicken pot pie was our favorite.
The Pot Pie recipe was easy enough, calling for frozen veggies and frozen pie crust. Being the all-the-way-or-not-at-all person that I am, I wanted to make the pastry from scratch. That, for such an inexperienced cook and baker, was easier said than done.
After several failed attempts, I came across a recipe for "Fool Proof Pie Crust" and jotted it down on a recipe card. (Yes. Hand written recipe cards. This was the olden days. You know, before internet and before we had a home computer. We had to write stuff. On paper.)
Fool Proof Pie Crust became my go-to pie crust recipe and Chicken Pot Pie became one of our family's favorite meals. It was a monthly, sometimes bi-monthly meal in our house for years and years. Our son was a super fan of the meal, requesting it every birthday and and learning how to make it himself around the age of 16, from scratch pie crust and all.
My husband and I are now empty nesters and I don't make Chicken Pot Pie nearly as often as I used to. When I do make it, we manage to eat the entire pie. It just takes us several days to do so. Thankfully, leftovers are almost as good as the night the pie is made.
This recipe is similar Betty Crocker's Classic Chicken Pot Pie with a few modifications:
- The chicken is poached in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. This technique is a simple way to infuse the meat with flavor without overcooking it and drying it out.
- The pie crust is from scratch. (Betty calls for a frozen crust.)
- It includes sautéed, caramelized mushrooms and more onions.
Other than that, the recipe hasn't changed much. It was delicious back then and it's still delicious today, especially on those days when I'm craving something comfortingly nostalgic.
My Favorite Method for Poaching Chicken Breasts
Most of the time, when I'm cooking chicken, I choose chicken thighs. Dark meat is more flavorful and moist than white meat, and more difficult to overcook. But there are certain dishes for which chicken breasts seem more appropriate. I'm not exactly sure why, but this is one of them.
Regardless of whether you choose chicken thighs or chicken breasts, this simple poaching method ensures deeply flavorful chicken that's never dry or overcooked. Here's what you do...
- Add a couple of chicken breasts to a saucepan and pour in about a cup of soy sauce and two cups of water. If you're gluten intolerant, coconut aminos will work just as well.
- Peel a knob of ginger that's roughly 3 inches long and dump it into the pan.
- Peel 5 cloves of garlic, slice them in half, and add them to the pan.
- Set the pan over medium high heat. When it begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let it sit for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, the chicken should be perfectly cooked. Here's the best thing about this method: You do not have to be super precise about the time.
It's important to let the chicken sit in the poaching liquid long enough for it to cook through, of course. But, if it sits in there longer, 30 or 40 minutes, it will still be perfectly juicy. It's virtually impossible to overcook chicken using this method because the water continues to drop in temperature as it sits.
Why sauté the mushrooms before adding them to the pot pie filling?
Yes, sautéing the mushrooms before adding them to the pot pie filling adds another step that might seem unnecessary but is soooo worth it. Sautéing mushrooms in some butter and oil is all about adding flavor. And flavor is something we're big on around here, even if it adds another step to the process.
Browning mushrooms deepens their flavor, concentrating the natural sugars and amino acids, and producing a whole new layer of flavor.
Technically speaking, this is called the Maillard reaction. It's called a "reaction" because the process doesn't just require heat - it produces heat. As it does, the proteins in the mushrooms keep rearranging themselves, creating deliciously complex flavors as they do.
The process of sautéing mushrooms requires more fat than you might feel necessary. But, don't worry. The mushrooms will suck up all the fat in the pan when you first start cooking them. But then, as they begin to brown, they will release nearly all of it back into the pan. If you allow the cooked mushrooms to drain on a paper towel lined plate, you'll end up with very little fat in the mushrooms at all.
More Family Favorite Recipes:
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Easy, Cheesy, Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
- Cuban Chicken and Rice
- Perfect BLT Sandwiches with Special Sauce
- Slow Cooker Short Rib Pasta
- Tuscan Braised Beef with Garlic Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Pasta Bolognese
- Homemade Meatballs in Marinara
- The BEST Classic Lasagna
- Creamy Chicken Paprikash
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #alittleandalot on Instagram.
- 1 ½ - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 2 cups water
- One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ recipe Fool Proof Pie Crust dough, chilled for at least 30 minutes*
- 8 ounces button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoon + ⅓ cup salted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup chicken broth
- ⅔ cup milk (whole or 2 %)
- 12 ounces frozen peas and carrots
- Place the chicken breasts in a medium sized saucepan and pour in the soy sauce and 2 cups of water. Peel the ginger and drop into the pan. Peel the garlic cloves, cut them in half, and drop them into the pan.
- Set the pan over medium high heat. As soon as the liquid begins to boil, cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and let it sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks gently in the hot liquid, roll out half of the pie crust dough on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9-inch square baking dish, pressing it into the corners and allowing about ½-inch of dough to rise above the sides of the pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and set it in the refrigerator.
- Remove the stems from the mushrooms, wipe the caps gently with a damp towel to clean, and slice them into pieces that are roughly ¼-inch thick.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil to a large skillet and set it over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the sliced mushrooms. Spread the mushrooms out in the pan, sprinkle them with about ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper, and let them cook, stirring every once in a while, until they are a rich golden brown. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and cut into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon cold water. Whisk with a fork to break up the egg. Set aside.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Add ⅓ cup butter to a large saucepan and set it over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion. Let the onion cook for about 4 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the chicken broth into the pan slowly, stirring constantly. Pour in the milk, stirring to incorporate it into the sauce. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Set the saucepan back on the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid begins to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken, mushrooms, and frozen peas and carrots. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if you like.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining pie crust dough into a 10-inch square
- Remove baking dish from the refrigerator and pour in the pot pie filling.
- Lay the rolled out crust over the top of the pie. If you have more than about 1-inch of dough hanging over the edge of the pan, trim it off. Fold the dough that’s hanging over the edge of the pan under itself so you have a cylinder that rests on the edge of the pie plate.
- With one hand on the inside of the edge, and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your outside hand to form a U or V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge. (*You'll find photos for rolling out and crimping the edges of a pie crust here.)
- Cut 5 slits in the top of the crust to form a star shaped pattern. (See image above)
- Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the top of the crust.
- Bake the pie for 45 minutes, until the filling is starting to bubble up through the slits in the top pie crust. Check the pie after its been in the oven for 30 minutes. If the crust is getting too brown, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil.
- Let the pie rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
This is a double crust pot pie, and so requires two 9-inch sheets of pie dough. My favorite go-to pie crust recipe is Fool Proof Pie Crust. It's a delicious, no-fail recipe that I've been using for decades. But, if you have a favorite pie crust recipe, feel free to use that. Or, use prepared frozen pie crust dough.
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Serving Size:⅙th of the pie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 685Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 972mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 43g