I tried Ina Garten's chicken pot pie and it's definitely worth the hype. It is the ultimate comfort food and contains everything you need in a one-dish meal. Silky and decadent, the sauce is perfect. Add the heartiness of the chicken and the sweet snap of the peas and every bite will warm your soul, I promise.
Everyone knows Ina Garten is Queen when it comes to the kitchen. In my opinion, the Barefoot Contessa can do no wrong. Every recipe I’ve braved of hers has been exquisite and I always receive compliments and requests for the recipes. I have found that sometimes her recipes are a little too sophisticated for everyday cooking. I have followed this Pot Pie recipe to a T and it is straightforward and easy enough. She even lists it on her website as “beginner” level but I have some tips to make it a simple weeknight meal that adults and kids will devour. This recipe will easily make it into your go-to meal index and will become a weeknight staple.
3 whole chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 5 cups chicken stock
2 chicken bouillon cubes
3⁄4 cups (1 1⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
2 cups medium-diced carrots (4 carrots), blanched for 2 minutes
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas (2 cups) (not defrosted)
1 1⁄2 cups frozen small whole onions (not defrosted)
1⁄2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
HOW TO MAKE INA GARTEN'S CHICKEN POT PIE
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Separate the meat and discard the bones and skin. Dice the chicken into 3⁄4 inch cubes. You will have 4 to 6 cups of diced chicken.
- In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and dissolve the bouillon cubes in the stock. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and sauté the onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add the hot chicken stock mixture and simmer over low heat for one minute, stirring constantly, until thick.
- Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper, and the cream. Stir in the chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and parsley. Spoon into a 10 x 13 x 2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish and place the dish on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil.
- Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on top of the chicken and vegetable mixture and cut the pastry to fit the dish. Cut 3 slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is browned and the stew is bubbly and hot. Serve hot.
LOOKING TO LIGHTEN IT UP
This recipe is a hard one to lighten up, as it is meant to be a hearty, stick-to-the-ribs kind of meal. I would suggest using a fat-free 1⁄2 and 1⁄2 or milk in substitution of the heavy cream. Don’t worry the sauce still turns out as luscious as ever.
TIPS TO EASE UP THE RECIPE
There are so many ways to ease up this recipe. I have made many versions of this pie and the best tips to simplify and save time I’ll list below:
- Chicken: Buy a Rotisserie chicken and shred it up instead of cooking the breasts as the recipe indicates. This is a huge time saver and easier for clean up. One less pan is always a good thing!
- Pillsbury Pie Crust: The recipe calls for puff pastry, which is flaky, rich and delicious. The only problem is sometimes puff pastry can be a little finicky. Buy the 2 pack of Pillsbury frozen pie crust and thaw them out. Fill one to the top with the pie filling and carefully take the other one out of the foil pan and place it on top of the filled crust. Seal the edges like you would any pie and make 4 slits in the top with a butter knife to let steam escape. This way you have a top and a bottom crust. Just follow the package instructions for baking instructions. (Note: this recipe will fill two pie crusts)
- Carrots: Don’t blanch them! I have found they cook to a perfect al dente when just adding them to the sauce mixture once the sauce has come together. It is a time saver and makes for easier clean-up.
- Onions: Skip the frozen small whole onions. They are tasty but I find that kids do not especially enjoy them and it will cut back a little on cost by omitting them. The chopped onions provide enough flavor as it is.
A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS....
Broth: The quality of broth does matter. Ina suggests homemade broth for this recipe but a lot of us do not have that on hand. I would suggest getting a quality broth in your local grocery store. The broth provides so much flavor to this recipe, it is important to add a good, flavorful one for the best results.
Acidity: One other thing that I found to be very important and the recipe does not call for this; I suggest you add a splash of acid (e.g. red wine or apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon) as the very last step for the filling. Just stir in about a teaspoon of the acidity of your choice. This is an important addition anytime you are making something that is rich. Any cream sauce especially benefits from this trick, it is the last-minute touch that completes this savory filling beautifully.
INA DOES NOT DISAPPOINT....
Queen Ina has once again proven her greatness in the kitchen. Whether you make this recipe for Sunday Dinner or turn it into a weeknight favorite, I guarantee your guests and family will be asking for seconds.