While I’ve been really into making cakes lately, I could not forget about making something suitable for Pi(e) Day (3/14) in a few days!
I was originally very unsure of what I could make. This time of year is a little bit awkward as there’s not much fruit in season besides citrus. I’ve already made two variations of citrus pies (see here and here) so making a third seemed a bit over-the-top. I did think about making a tart but that didn’t feel like a real pie so I decided to save that idea for later. It wasn’t until my aunt (Hi Auntie Kathy!) sent me an idea for a Stargazy Pie that I realized that I was completely neglecting the realm of savory pies. In fact, this is the first all-savory pie I’ve made on this site. These hand pies were half sweet/savory so I don’t think they really count. While the Stargazy Pie seemed a bit too ambitious at this moment, Chicken Pot Pies are something that I have perfected over many, many iterations, but I had previously never formally written down my recipe.
When I was younger, I loved Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pies. If I recall correctly, there was a Marie Callender’s somewhere on I-5 that my family would sometimes stop at on the way back from Disneyland. Occasionally, my parents would buytheir frozen Chicken Pot Pies, which were tasty, but I was always a little dismayed by the lack of vegetables in them. Later, there was a period of time when my mom would make her version of Chicken Pot Pie except, the crust would always be baked separately so it was like a giant cracker.
When I was in college, Kristen, Popo and I came up with something that is similar to the recipe below. Our “ultimate Chicken Pot Pie” had a sauce that wasn’t too creamy or thick or gloopy, had a ton of vegetables, was seasoned with Herbs de Provence, and only had a top crust to prevent any soggy bottoms. Instead of making it into one large pie, we made them personal-sized to ensure an even crust-to-filling ratio.
I made them even smaller for this recipe (ramekin-sized) because I adore mini foods but you can of course bake them in whatever shaped oven-safe bowls you have or even just make a full-sized pie. The only note of caution I have is to make sure you don’t burn your mouth when eating these because they will be HOT straight from the oven!
Happy Pi Day!
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Yields: Nine 6-ounce ramekin pies or one 9-inch pie
You know me and my zeal for homemade crust, but store bought would also work in a pinch. Or, puff pastry!
If you choose to make a full-sized pie, there is no need to cut the dough into 9 pieces. Instead, fill the pie pan with filling and top with pie crust. Crimp the edges, cut a X on the top to allow steam to escape and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
One single pie crust
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup carrots, ¼-inch dice
1 cup Yukon Gold potatoes, ¼-inch dice
1 cup onion, ¼-inch dice
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1½ teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup frozen peas
Flakey sea salt and pepper for garnish (Optional)
Flour a work surface and roll out the pie crust into a 12” square. Cut into nine approximately 4”x4” pieces. Place on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Heat olive oil and butter in a 12” skillet at medium-high heat. Add carrots, potatoes, onion, mushrooms, garlic, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper and cook for about 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are par-cooked. Stir in flour until it is absorbed by the oil and butter. Add chicken broth and milk and stir until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken and peas and set aside.
Evenly fill ramekins with filling. Top each individual pie with a square of pie crust. Tuck the edges under to create a cap for the pie. With kitchen shears, cut a X on the top to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Place on a large sheet pan and repeat with the remaining ramekins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before eating. Best if eaten immediately but leftovers can be chilled and reheated for another meal.