I made my mom’s chicken pot pie for the first time recently.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is NOT a recipe you can come home from work and throw together. It’s a labor of love, and you’ll probably want to reserve it for a weekend or a lazy day at home. But oh my, is it worth it! Whenever my Nana comes up to visit, she always requests my mom’s chicken pot pie. It’s nourishing, comforting, and tastes even better the next day.
1 whole chicken, 3 – 3 1/2 lbs
1 bay leave
1 tsp dried thyme
Butter or olive oil for pan-frying
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 cups chicken stock (you’ll make this with the whole chicken; no need to buy any)
4 tbsp EACH butter and flour cooked together to form a roux
Salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Poach the chicken for 30 minutes in a 4 qt pot, with enough water to barely cover. Allow the chicken to cool in the liquid. Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the liquid. Take the chicken off the bones and set aside. Replace the bones in the cooking liquid and add 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp dried thyme. Cover and simmer for 1 hour – this will provide you with the chicken stock (plus lots extra for the freezer!)
Shred the chicken, then cover and set aside. Heat a bit of butter or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the onion, celery, and carrots until browned. Put the fresh parsley and chicken broth into the saucepan. In a small separate pan, prepare the roux. Bring the vegetables and stock to a simmer, and thicken with the roux. Add shredded chicken and season liberally with salt, pepper, and thyme to taste.
Place in a deep baking dish (a large pie plate works well). Roll out the pie crust into a circle and gently place on top of the chicken mixture. Lightly crimp the edges and make decorative cuts on top for ventilation. Bake on top of a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 425, or until crust is lightly browned. Serves 6 generously.