If you already have cooked chicken, chicken pot pie filling doesn't require much additional work. If you don't, pan frying chicken breasts would be quickest, poaching/baking chicken would be most hands off, and buying a rotisserie chicken would be easiest.
Conveniently, cooking 1 pound of poached chicken legs results in 2 cups of cooked chicken, which is just the right amount for chicken pot pie filling. Poaching chicken also results in homemade chicken stock, which makes the filling even more flavorful.
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
Ideally, you should use chicken pot pie filling to make chicken pot pie. If you don't want to bother spending the additional hour to bake a pot pie, you can eat chicken pot pie filling by itself - I've definitely stolen a few forkfuls.
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 3 potatoes, diced
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 2 cups of cooked chicken
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of parsley
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and oil. Stirring frequently, cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is golden brown.
- Add the potatoes and chicken stock. Cook, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Turn off the heat once the potatoes are cooked. Stir in the frozen peas and cooked chicken.
- Add seasonings and salt to taste.
- You can make chicken pot pie immediately, or store chicken pot pie filling in the fridge for a few days.
- Oil: Used for cooking the onion. Any sort of oil (canola, vegetable, olive) is okay. Can substitute butter. If you want to add flour, keep a 1:1 ratio of oil to flour, and add up to 4 tablespoons of oil.
- Onion: Required for chicken pot pie. Adds sweetness and depth. Any color onion (red, white, yellow) is okay. Milder onions may not be as flavorful.
- Chicken stock: Used for cooking the vegetables and adds flavor. Since most of the stock evaporates, substituting water would be okay. Substituting up to half for milk, half and half, or cream would result in a creamier filling.
- Cooked chicken: Substituting any sort of diced, cooked meat (turkey, pork) works. Adding up to 1 cup of bacon or kielbasa sausage makes a meatier filling. For a vegetarian option, omit the meat, and double the vegetable quantity.
- Salt: Seasons the chicken pot pie filling. I used 1/2 teaspoon because the cooked chicken and homemade chicken stock were both unsalted.
- Spices: Add up to 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add up to 1/2 teaspoon of each of the following spices: parsley, thyme, rosemary, celery seed.
- Mustard: Add up to 1 teaspoon of mustard.
- Garlic: Add up to 4 cloves of garlic, minced. Cook at the beginning with the onion.
- Wine: Add up to 1/4 cup of white wine or sherry.
In general, you want 4-5 cups of filling to make one chicken pot pie (9 inch diameter). I use 2 cups of meat and 2 cups of vegetables. Baking chicken pot pie doesn't cook the filling anymore, so make sure all of the vegetables are cooked.
- Potatoes: Adds substance and helps thicken the filling. Use up to 3 potatoes (1 and 1/2 cups). 1 potato = 1/2 cup. If omitting, you may want to use flour to thicken.
- Celery: Use up to 2 stalks. 1 stalk = 1/2 cup.
- Carrots: Use up to 2 carrots. 1 carrot = 1/2 cup.
- Mushrooms: Use up to 1 container (8-10 ounces), which comes out to about 1 cup after cooking.
- Frozen vegetables: I used 1 cup of frozen peas. Frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, carrots) work as well.
Step by Step Photos
Start by prepping the vegetables. Dice the onion. If you have hard vegetables (carrots, celery, potatoes), dice into fairly small, even pieces so they cook at the same time.
Frozen vegetables don't need thawing. For convenience, I poured out 1 cup of frozen peas (half of a 12 ounce bag) into a separate container. If you're using 2 cups of frozen vegetables, there's no need to use a separate container.
Heat a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and oil. Stirring frequently, cook for 5-7 minutes until the onion is golden brown. I added salt, pepper, and parsley now because the chicken and stock I used were unsalted.
If you want a thicker chicken pot pie filling, add in flour now (1 tablespoon per 1 tablespoon of oil). Continue cooking for an additional 3-5 minutes to toast the flour.
Add the potatoes and chicken stock. Other hard vegetables, such as carrots and celery, should be cooked alongside the potatoes. Softer vegetables, such as mushrooms, can be added halfway through the cooktime.
Cook, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender. You should cook with the pot uncovered so that the liquid can evaporate off. Are the vegetables all soft? If not, add 1/4 cup additional liquid at a time, and continue cooking.
Once all of the vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Stir in the frozen peas and cooked chicken. This prevents dry, overcooked chicken and cools down the chicken pot pie filling. If you're making chicken pot pie immediately, the filling should be around room temperature so it won't melt the pie crust.
You can also store chicken pot pie filling in the fridge for a few days and assemble the pie later. Since you've already done all of the hard work, the rest will be a piece of