I have mastered the art of the rustic pie crust. By that, I mean I have no clue what to do with the edges. That's okay because chicken pot pie has a really loose filling, so cutting the pie makes everything spill out anyways. Regardless of presentation, chicken pot pie makes a wonderfully filling meal with tender chicken and vegetables enveloped by a buttery, flaky pie crust.
Chicken Pot Pie
- 4-5 cups of chicken pot pie filling
- 1 box of refrigerated pie crusts
- egg wash (1 beaten egg)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If you haven't already, make chicken pot pie filling, and let cool. This takes about 30 minutes if you have cooked chicken.
- Press the bottom pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Pour in the filling.
- Cover with the top crust, and seal the edges.
- Brush the top crust with the egg wash.
- Cut several slits in the top crust to let steam escape.
- Cover the edges of the pie with a foil shield. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil shield, and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
- Let cool for at least 10 minutes, and then serve.
- Chicken pot pie filling: Fully cooked and seasoned chicken and vegetables. See here for more details.
- Refrigerated pie crusts: Any flaky pastry works. See below for discussion on pie crusts and other pastries.
- Egg: Brushing the top of baked goods with egg increases shine. See here for a side by side comparison (cream on left, egg on right). Alternatives include milk and/or sugar, which help browning.
You can use 1 or 2 pie crusts. For pie crust recipes, 1 cup of flour is roughly 1 pie crust. Fortunately, since pie crust contains so much butter, messing up a recipe results in a more crumbly, but still tasty pie.
I chose recipes which use the fewest number of ingredients, and I do not include any recipes that use shortening because I never have shortening. Sugar and salt can be omitted for a less flavorful pie crust.
- Refrigerated pie crusts: Easiest, most convenient option, but slightly less tasty. Each box contains 2 individually wrapped pie crusts. Simply follow the instructions on the box, bring to room temperature, and roll out to use.
- Homemade butter pie crust: For the most buttery, flakiest pie crust, I use this recipe from SeriousEats. If you do not have a food processor, you can try this recipe from SmittenKitchen. Forks work okay in place of pastry blenders.
- Coconut oil pie crust: For a vegan, flaky pie crust, you can use solid coconut oil.
- Slightly better for you (healthy?) pie crust: Pie crust consists of simple carbs and fat, so it's not really healthy even with modifications. For whole wheat pie crust, you can substitute up to half of the flour for whole wheat flour. For lower fat pie crust, you can substitute up to half of the fat with milk.
- Oil pie crust: For an easy vegan pie crust, you can use plain vegetable oil. When I last made oil pie crust, I couldn't roll out the dough, so I plopped it on top of the pie instead.
- Melted butter pie crust: Instead of dealing with solid butter, you can make melted butter pie crust, which has a more "cracker-like" texture.
Here is a chicken pot pie made with homemade all butter, no equipment pie crust. Using two forks, I could not break the butter down into sufficiently small pieces, so the finished pie had some large chunks of butter.
Alternatively, you can top chicken pot pie with other pastries.
- Biscuit: Store-bought biscuit tubes would be the easiest. Homemade biscuit toppings are basically pie crust with additional liquid and leavening, such as these vegan biscuits or these butter biscuits. Just as with pie crusts, 1 cup of flour makes roughly enough biscuit topping to cover 1 pie (9 inches).
- Puff pastry: Homemade puff pastry is very labor intensive, but you can use store-bought. Cover the chicken pot pie with 1 puff pastry sheet, which is half of a standard puff pastry box.
- Phyllo: For a lower fat option, you can use phyllo dough. Homemade phyllo is very labor intensive, but you can use store-bought. Cover the chicken pot pie with 5-8 phyllo sheets, which is about half of the standard phyllo box.
All chicken pot pie toppings have roughly the same bake time. Chicken pot pie bakes at temperatures from 350-450 degrees.
If baking a large chicken pot pie in a dish or pie pan, it takes 30-45 minutes. If baking mini chicken pot pies in muffin tins or ramekins, it takes 20-30 minutes.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you haven't already, make chicken pot pie filling, and let cool. This takes about 30 minutes if you have cooked chicken, so plan ahead!
If you are using 2 pie crusts, press the bottom pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan. Pour in the filling. If you want pretty edges on your pie, you should tear off the excess pie crust.
If you do not have a pie pan, you can bake chicken pot pie with just a top crust. Here is a picture of chicken pot pie made with a homemade vegetable oil pie crust in a 9x13 baking dish. The liquid spills out, so some parts of the pie may be drier.
Cover the filling with the top crust.
Seal the edges. I am not very good at making a fluted edge. For an easier, neater approach, I would suggest removing excess crust and making a forked edge. Here is a guide with more details on making decorative pie edges.
If you do not tear off any extra pie crust and try to make a fluted edge, your pie will have thicker edges. To make this less noticeable, you can press the pie crusts together.
Prepare an egg wash by beating 1 egg in a small bowl. You will need about 1/4 of the egg. I usually save the rest of the egg for scrambled eggs. You can apply the egg wash with a pastry brush (pictured above) or with your fingers.
Brush the top crust with the egg wash. Cut several slits in the top crust to let steam escape. I tend to make the slits large because I'm scared of pie explosions, which would be a lot like this potato explosion, but messier.
Do you care if the pie crust edges are too brown? If so, prepare a foil shield. Get a square piece of aluminum foil about the size of the pie. Fold it in quarters, and tear out a quarter circle as shown above. After unfolding, you should have a large square with a circular hole in the center.
Unfold the aluminum foil, and gently place on top of the pie. To prevent excessive browning, the aluminum foil should be on for about half of the bake time. You should apply it now because it's easier than trying to cover a piping hot pie.
Put the pie in the oven for 15 minutes. Note that the crust is still quite pale. Remove the foil shield - the foil won't be hot, but the pie will.
Put the pie back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Let the pie cool for at least 10 minutes, and then serve. Cooling makes the filling less molten and the crust easier to slice.
Chicken pot pie is best the day it's made because the crust is buttery and flaky. Leftover crust becomes soggier. You can re-crisp the crust using an oven or toaster oven, which takes 10-15 minutes at 300 degrees.
Here is a picture of a different chicken pot pie, which is the neatest pie I've ever made. I'd like to say that practice helps you make prettier pies, but honestly, I'm not so sure that's how it works.