I used to make pot pies all the time and a few years ago I stopped. I have no idea why. Maybe it was early onset dementia? Oh wait, that wasn’t it. It was definitely those crazy demanding corporate work hours. Pot pie just didn’t seem like a weeknight dish. When you look at the prep and cook time of many pot pie recipes, it seems that you’d have to be June Cleaver to serve it up on a weeknight. Working 60+ hours a week, this wasn’t going to work for me.
But a life without chicken pot pie just seems so, so sad. Luckily, it’s a dish with so many possible shortcuts that tailoring it for ~30 minute weeknight cooking was completely doable (unlike lasagna. If anyone out there can make lasagna in ~30 minutes, please share your secrets with me and I will name my first child after you in return). First I substituted in store-bought rotisserie chicken, which is always asking for more uses any way. Weeknight chicken pot pie is the perfect vehicle for rotisserie chicken to shine. Use whatever parts of the chicken you like. I always find white meat to be dry so that’s what I use. Covered in gravy goodness, it becomes juicy and tender. Magic!
Next, get to know a brand of frozen puff pastry or pie crust. I don’t know about you, but I’m not the type to make my own on a day that doesn’t begin with an “S.” Pre-made frozen is perfectly acceptable and works out so well. Plus, it’s easy to have on hand and you don’t have to worry about it spoiling.
Lastly, since the chicken and vegetables are already cooked through, the only limiting factor is the puff pastry or pie crust. To solve this, I just crank the temperature on my oven a bit higher (somewhere between 400 and 425) and the pot pie is golden, bubbly, and lovely in 15 to 20 minutes. None of that 1 hour of baking nonsense in our weeknight kitchen operations. So go on and make some pot pie, any day of the week.
- Frozen puff pastry or pie crust, large enough to cover baker – 1
- Butter – 1 tbs.
- Onions, diced – 1 (P)
- Flour – 2 tbs.
- Chicken stock – 2 cups
- Milk, any type – 1 cup
- Any type of meat from rotisserie chicken, chopped up – ½ of chicken (P)
- Frozen vegetables – 2 to 3 cups (8 to 12 oz)
- Egg – 1
- Thaw frozen puff-pastry / pie crust according to package instructions
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Melt butter in a >3.5 quart Dutch oven over medium-heat. Add diced onions with a dash of salt and saute for ~3 minutes
- Add flour and then stock and milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the mixture starts to thicken, ~5 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add in chicken and frozen vegetables
- Transfer into a baker, like a 9×9 Pyrex, and cover with puff pastry / pie crust (if it’s too big, trim with scissors). Pinch edges close
- Beat egg with 1 tbs. water and brush onto puff pastry. Make a few slits with a knife and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden