Individual Chicken Pot Pies

I feel like I’m emerging from a coma. This week our family was hit particularly hard by a nasty little cold virus. I feel a bit like I’m whining since I know several families with young ones have recently battled stomach bugs and the flu virus, which are WAY worse, but this cold virus threw us for a loop, including making my toddler wake up every hour one night hysterically crying. Ouch.

While I made this recipe for chicken pot pies a couple weeks ago, I could really have used some of this homey, bubbly elixir this week. If only I could’ve cloned a healthy version of myself to whip one up for me…I digress.

These little pot pies are full of veggies, chunks of meaty chicken and a beautifully rich sauce, topped with a super flaky pie crust. So amazing. And made even better with antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed chicken breasts and dairy products from South Mountain Creamery.

I really like this dish for this time of year as it feels like a nice bridge between seasons, with a nice hearty feel for chilly nights, but using seasonal spring veggies in the filling, like leeks, carrots and peas.

I made this as six individual servings in 8 ounce ramekins, which would be great served with a side salad for dinner, but this could be made in a 2-3 quart casserole dish with the dough rolled out and placed on top of the filling. The crust I made turned out super flaky and flavorful, but if you’d prefer to use a rolled out, store-bought crust for the topping, that works too.


Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Serves 6

Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) South Mountain Creamery unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons leaf lard or vegetable shortening, chilled
  • 4-6 tablespoons ice cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound South Mountain Creamery boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut crosswise ¼-inch thick
  • 2 ribs celery, cut in half and crosswise ¼-inch thick
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons South Mountain Creamery unsalted butter
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup South Mountain Creamery whole milk
  • 1/2 cup South Mountain Creamery heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 beaten egg

Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter pieces and cut the butter into the flour with ten one-second pulses. Add the leaf lard or shortening and continue to pulse until the butter is about the size of peas, about 4-6 more pulses.

Transfer the flour mixture to a bowl and add 4 tablespoons of water to the mix, using your hands to work the water in to the flour, until it comes together. If needed, add additional water, one teaspoon at a time, just until you can form the dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

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Preheat the oven to 400°.

Add the chicken breasts to a medium-sized pot and cover with the stock. If you wish (and if you have them on hand), add a few aromatics, such as bay leaves, fresh thyme stems, peppercorns or other fresh herbs to the stock. Bring the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and let cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and, when it is cool enough to handle, cut in to 1/2 inch cubes and transfer to a large bowl. Strain the stock, discarding any aromatics, and set aside to stock to be used later.

Heat a Dutch oven or large pot to medium heat and add the oil. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and sauté until the vegetables are just starting to brown along the edges, about 6-7 minutes.

Add the peas, parsley, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.

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Let sauté for about 2 minutes then transfer all the veggies to the bowl with the cubed chicken.

In the same pot, over medium heat, heat the butter, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. When the butter has completely melted, add the flour and stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a whisk, slowly add in the reserved chicken broth, fully incorporating the broth into the flour mixture. Add the milk and cream and let simmer for about a minute. Add in the chicken and vegetable mix and stir to incorporate. Add in the lemon juice and stir to combine.

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Remove the dough from the fridge and slice it in six equal portions. Roll the dough out about an inch larger than each ramekin’s circumference. Divide the chicken mixture evenly in to each ramekin and top each with a dough circle and let the dough overhang the edges for a rustic look. Brush the egg wash over the top of the dough and cut a 1 inch vent or make an ‘x’ in the middle of each pot pie.

Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the top of the pot pies are lightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

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