This dish is very popular with kids at the bakery. Poaching the chicken and using the poaching liquid for the required stock gives an extra dimension of flavor. If you are short on time, buy a roast chicken and shred three firmly packed cups, and use 2 1/2 cups canned stock. You will need ovenproof bowls or ramekins that each hold about 1 1/2 cups of filling.–John Barricelli

LC Cheater’s Guide To Chicken Pot Pie Note

Chicken pot pie isn’t exactly something that you just sort of toss together on a whim at the very last second on a Tuesday night. It’s a labor of love, and this insanely rich recipe is no exception. A labor of love, this soothingly subtle-flavored yet exceptionally comforting version is perhaps best saved for when you can undertake it in stages. A few hints that just may minimize the labor and maximize the love…

No ramekins? No problem. Simply reach for a 3-quart gratin or casserole dish. Although of course if you prefer individual portions, you needn’t limit yourself to ramekins. Any smallish ovenproof vessel will work. (Finally, another use for those French onion soup bowls!)

You do, of course, realize that if you don’t have the time nor the inclination to make your own pâte brisée pastry for the crust, you won’t be damned to hell? Simply substitute your favorite biscuit dough or store-bought puff pastry, yes? Just keep an eye on the crust and if it turns golden brown, loosely cover it with foil for the duration of the baking time.

This is exactly why everyone is always lecturing you to toss a second chicken in the oven while you roast one for dinner. Leftover roast chicken is like money in the bank. Uh, make that filling in the pot pie.

Four bowls filled with chopped chicken and vegetables all topped with golden crusts

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

5 from 1 vote
The ultimate comfort food—creamy chicken and vegetable filling sitting beneath a thyme-infused pâte brisée crust. Poached chicken remains succulent, while a creamy sauce and loads of veggies add a decadent touch.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories720 kcal
Prep Time2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time4 hours


For the herbed pâte brisée

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling

  • One whole chicken
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 1/2 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, (or substitute fresh pearl onions, peeled and parboiled)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or other herb, (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Pinch nutmeg, (optional)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash


Make the pastry

  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and thyme. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream, a little bit at a time, until the dough just comes together. You may not need quite all of the water. The dough should not be wet or sticky. If the dough is too dry and does not hold together, add a little more water.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide in 2 and wrap each half in plastic wrap, shaping them into flattened disks. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the filling

  • Rinse the chicken. Place it in a large saucepan or small pot, just large enough to hold the chicken comfortably, and add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and skim the foam that is floating on the top of the water. Add up to 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot with a large slotted spoon and let cool. Pull the meat from the bones and shred it. Discard the skin and bones.
  • Strain the stock through a fine strainer. Measure 2 1/2 cups and set aside. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining stock for another use.
  • In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the red onion, mushrooms, carrots, and parsnip, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the brandy and simmer until evaporated. Add the flour, stir to blend with the butter, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the 2 1/2 cups reserved chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has reduced to the consistency of a thick white sauce, 7 to 12 minutes. Add the peas, pearl onions, thyme or other herb, if using, parsley, nutmeg, and shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick silicone baking mat.
  • Roll the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut rounds slightly larger than the diameter of your ovenproof bowls or ramekins. Place the rounds on another baking sheet and set aside in the refrigerator.
  • Ladle the chicken mixture into the ramekins. The mixture should come all the way up to the top of the bowl so that the crust doesn’t sink into the filling and soak. Top each bowl with a round of dough, tucking the excess around the edges of the ramekins. Brush with the egg wash. Use a knife or scissors to cut a vent in the crust. Set the dishes on the prepared baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the cooking, until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.
The Sono Baking Company Cookbook

Adapted From

The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 720 kcalCarbohydrates: 64 gProtein: 12 gFat: 46 gSaturated Fat: 29 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 147 mgSodium: 463 mgFiber: 6 gSugar: 10 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 John Barricelli. Photo © 2010 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This is the best chicken pot pie ever. It takes awhile to prepare, but to save time you can make parts of it ahead, and take the shortcut suggested of buying a chicken already cooked. I couldn’t find frozen pearl onions at my store, so I bought them fresh, and parboiled them to make peeling easy. If you don’t like thyme, you can easily substitute another herb. The pastry yields enough for two batches, so you can freeze one for the next time—and there will be a next time, trust me. I didn’t have ramekins large enough to use, so I substituted for my onion soup bowls, which were the perfect size. My husband said these were the best he ever had—true, delicious comfort food.

This pot pie recipe is easy to follow, with a couple of suggestions: Allow more time for the carrots and parsnips to soften, and less time for the mixture to thicken. In spite of a long list of lovely root veggies, herbs, and aromatics, the sauce needed a flavor bump, so I added a dash of nutmeg. The thyme-infused crust and nutmeg help the dish immensely, and you still taste an abundance of cream and onion. One note: You only need to shred meat from about half of the chicken–I found that was enough for me.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Batter-Fried Chicken

Proof that it doesn’t take buttermilk or an insufferably long overnight brine to make insanely tender, crazily crisp, gosh darn perfect fried chicken.

1 hr 30 mins

5 from 1 vote

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m so glad I stopped by to see what’s cookin. We are having a roasted chicken for dinner tonight and the leftovers will be perfect for this. I’ll even boil the carcass for stock after dinner. I haven’t made CPP for years and this recipe sounds so good to me on this gloomy, chilly day. I’m just smackin my lips in anticipation!

  2. 5 stars
    These were amazing! I will definitely be making them again. To make things a little easier, I substituted frozen mixed veggies for fresh; I also sauteed a few chicken breasts (cut into small cubes) in italian seasoning and then used chicken stock instead of boiling a whole chicken. They turned out delicious and creamy, and the crust was flaky and amazing!

    1. Damian, using a pastry cutter will give you the same results. It will jut take a bit longer than in a food processor.I’ve even used two knives to cut in the butter. Basically anything sharpen that will reduce the butter chunks to the consistency of coarse crumbs.