• Chef Kelly Unger

A Tale of Two Pies - Chicken Pot Pies, that is

This class was always a favorite Winter classic. And while it is technically Spring, the cold damp weather we are having makes me crave Chicken Pot Pie. In class we made both versions and tasted them side by side. Both are equally delicious, it just depends on what you're looking for in terms of calorie load. Roasting the chicken in the oven is used for both methods. You can choose to saute the vegetables or roast them and then choose whether you are going to encase your pot pie filling in pie dough or top it with one layer of savory crumble. Have fun and enjoy!


A Tale of Two Pies

1. Double crust pie baked in cast iron pan

2. Casserole style with oat crumble topping

Two ways to prepare filling

1. Roast vegetable Preparation

2. Stove top Preparation

For both preparations, roast chicken breasts:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a sheet pan lined with foil and season both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and Herbs de Provence if using. Roast chicken for 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Allow chicken to rest at least 10 minutes and until it can be handled. Remove chicken skin. Remove meat from the bones and tear into bite size pieces, placing torn pieces on pan drippings to soak up while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Roasted Vegetable Preparation

Roasted meat from 2 large chicken breasts torn in bite size pieces

1 large onion, diced

2 large potatoes OR 1 large potato + 1 large sweet potato/ equal amount butternut squash, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 -3 ribs of celery, diced

1 cup frozen peas, rinsed with warm water to thaw

½ bunch parsley, chopped

Optional – fresh greens available (Swiss Chard, spinach, etc.) chiffonade, or parsnips or kohlrabi, diced

Olive oil for sautéing

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups Chicken broth

Optional – Herbs de Provence

½ cup milk, cream or cashew milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes, carrots, squash if using, on a sheet pan lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then spread out into a single layer. Roast vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Vegetables need to be just fork tender and not overcooked.

Sauté the onions in olive oil until just browned, add celery (and greens if using) and cook over medium heat until tender. Reduce heat to medium/low. Sprinkle onions with flour, stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in chicken broth, then add cashew milk. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium/high and bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.

When sauce is thickened, pour chicken and its juices, roasted vegetables and thawed peas and parsley into sauce and stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more Herbs de Provence if preferred and more milk or broth if sauce is too thick. Turn heat to low and allow filling to heat through.

Stove Top Preparation

Roasted meat from 2 large chicken breasts torn into bite size pieces

1 large onion, diced

2 large potatoes OR 1 large potato + 1 large sweet potato/ equal amount butternut squash, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 -3 ribs of celery, diced

1 cup frozen peas, rinsed with warm water to thaw

½ bunch parsley, chopped

Optional – fresh greens available (Swiss Chard, spinach, etc.), parsnips or kohlrabi, chiffonade

Olive oil for sautéing

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons flour for sauce

2 cups Chicken broth

Optional – Herbs de Provence

1 cup milk, cream or cashew milk

In a large soup pot, sauté onion in olive oil until golden brown, add celery (and greens if using) and cook until tender over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium/low. Sprinkle with flour, stirring to coat and cook for 1 minute. Using a whisk, whisk in broth until smooth, then add milk, stir to incorporate. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a light boil. Stir and add all vegetables, stir to incorporate evenly, season with salt and pepper and Herbs de Provence if using. Return mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender. Add chicken and parsley, stir to incorporate and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Double Crust Cast Iron Pan Chicken Pot Pie

1 recipe chicken pot pie filling

2 - 9” pie crusts

Take your pie crusts out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before you are ready to unroll them. You may want to roll the crust a little thinner with a rolling pin to make it stretch easier. You want the pie crust to be just warm enough to unroll and manipulate while still being cool to the touch. Try not to let the crust become warm.

Lightly oil a cool 12” cast iron skillet and unroll the bottom crust into the pan, pressing it into the shape of the pan, making sure the crust comes up the sides of the pan as much as possible, it likely won’t reach the top. Add filling carefully and immediately unroll the top crust, working quickly, place on top of filling and roll down the side edges over the top crust and crimp or pinch the edges as best you can. Add 4 or 5 vent holes/slits with your knife. Put into the 400 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden browned. Remove and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Casserole Style Chicken Pot Pie with Oat Crumble

1 recipe chicken pot pie filling

1 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 stick salted butter, melted – if using unsalted butter then add 2 pinches of salt

Optional but recommended - ½ cup chopped walnuts or almonds for oat crumble + 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

To make the oat crumble: in a medium bowl, combine 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup flour, melted butter, nuts and herbs if using and stir with a fork to create a well combined crumble.

Place filling in lightly greased casserole dish and top with oat crumble. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until crumble is golden browned. Can be served immediately.

Terms and concepts

Chiffonade – ribbon cut for greens

Roasting chicken – allow 30 minutes min at room temp prior to roasting, allow 10 minutes min after roasting for meat to rest.

Testing for doneness of chicken – press with fingers for firmness, look for clear juices.




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