Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • Whole wheat flour helps the bottom crust stay crisp, despite the high liquid content of the filling.
  • Lightly poached chicken intensifies the meatiness of the stock, while remaining juicier and more tender after baking than leftover roast chicken.
  • Gelatin adds body to the filling while a blonde roux thickens and adds flavor.

When it comes to making dinner, by virtue of my dessert-oriented profession, I gravitate toward what I like to call "secret pastries"—savory meals that ultimately hinge on making a fantastic dough. It's a category that includes dishes such as ravioli, quiche, empanadas, and pizza, as well as my personal favorite: chicken pot pie.

Of course, no matter how amazing the pastry, all the time and effort that go into chicken pot pie will be wasted if you start with a mediocre filling. You know the sort: loaded with overcooked chicken swimming in a watery sauce.

How to Get the Filling Right

Fortunately, the same steps that ensure the chicken stays tender and juicy will also guarantee a super-flavorful filling. It's as simple as giving up on pot pie as a vehicle for leftovers. Sure, we all remember how fantastic that roast chicken was the night before, but if it was perfectly cooked then, it will always beovercooked in a chicken pot pie.

Rather than using leftovers, the ultimate chicken pot pie starts with tender, juicy chunks of chicken that are ever so slightly underdone. Not raw, but around 135°F (57°C), a temperature that ensures the chicken won't be ruined by additional cooking but instead will end up perfectly done when the pie is baked. To do that, I'm fond ofDaniel'stechnique forcold-poached chicken, only I use chicken stock in place of the water in his method. On top of that, I throw in onions, celery, and carrots, along with a small amount of garlic and herbs.

I do this because I end up using the poaching liquid in the pot pie itself, so the more I can reinforce the chicken flavor in each step, the better. In short, I'm making an incredibly intense chicken stock by using chicken stock instead of water, doubling down on the underlying flavor.

Because the stock is reinforced with additional aromatics and meat, it doesn't matter as much whether that chicken stock is store-bought orhomemade, so don't hesitate to use whichever makes the most sense to you.

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (1)

In either case, unless that stock is so collagen-rich that it turns solid in the fridge, it's nice to go ahead and bloom a little gelatin to fortify things down the road. A small amount of gelatin can go a long way in creating a more luxurious mouthfeel in the finished product, without forcing you to use excess flour and other thickeners that can dull the flavor of the sauce.

With the poached chicken and concentrated stock ready to rock and roll, the filling itself is fairly straightforward. I start with equal parts butter and flour by weight to make a light blond roux, which strikes the perfect balance of toasty flavor and just enough thickening power for a sauce that coats each nubbin of food.

When the roux is pale gold, I add a mix of diced onion, celery, and carrots. (Unlike my usual pastries, secret pastries are fairly forgiving of adaptations, so those vegetables can be swapped for whatever you prefer, including shallots, leeks, and even butternut squash.) I keep cooking and stirring until the vegetables have slightly softened, then stir in a splash of dry white wine and the fortified stock. From there, I cook only until the stock begins to bubble.

Off heat, I stir in salt, pepper, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce (as a wee umami bomb) to establish a baseline for the seasoning. It's good to get the seasoning going early, since the flavor of the sauce is harder to judge when it's chock-full of undercooked chicken and frozen peas.

At this stage, the sauce should taste slightly more intense than ideal, as its flavor will be diluted by the volume of ingredients added in the next step: those aforementioned frozen peas, along with diced pimento pepper, the reserved bloomed gelatin, and the poached chicken (shredded or diced into bite-size bits).

Full disclosure: I don't even like pimento on its own, but it does something magical in chicken pot pie, adding a vibrant color and smoky sweetness that make the whole dish pop. If you're not keen on buying a whole jar of the stuff, most fancy supermarkets include pimentos in their salad or olive bar, so you can load up on exactly how much you need, down to the gram.

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (2)

Choosing the Right Pastry

Once the filling is made, what happens next is a deeply personal affair, a decision that can split families and destroy friendships, or, perhaps, inspire newfound love. I speak, of course, of that long-standing rivalry between Team Biscuit...

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (3)

...and Team Pie.

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (4)

Let us cast aside the false dichotomies that divide us! In the realm of secret pastry, we're all on the same team. Besides, the true definition of pot pie (or, as Merriam-Webster would have it,"potpie") says only that it must be covered with pastry, a requirement easily satisfied by any dough. The choice between a pie dough and a biscuit dough is simply a matter of personal preference and available time, as each method requires the filling to be handled in a different way. Continue on for my individual double-crust chicken pot pies or try my buttermilk biscuit topping.

Making the Pie Dough

A chicken pot pie topped with a crisp and flaky double crust is time-consuming, but it's as elegant as it is rich, befitting a special occasion. That beauty is more than a surface treatment, as my whole wheat pie crust will bake up flaky and crisp even along the bottom. That's due to the whole wheat flour, which also gives the crust a heartiness that can stand up to the meaty filling.

The only way to keep that layered dough flaky and light is to cool the filling until it's no warmer than 50°F (10°C). The process can be sped along by cooling it in an ice bath, or spreading it into a large baking dish to increase its surface area before chilling it in the fridge. Or, you can turn the cooling process into a make-ahead asset, since the filling can be prepared and refrigerated a day or two in advance. (As can the dough, which needs to be rolled and relaxed about two hours before use.)

Once the dough and filling have been prepared, assembly is fairly simple. Line your baking dishes with a layer of dough, fill each to the top, and top with another piece of pastry, trimmed to size. (Here, I'm using six two-cup ramekins.) Crimp the edges with a fork to seal the top and bottom crusts together, then brush with an egg wash.

If you're feeling fancy, the dough for the top crust can also be cut into thin strips and woven, following the steps in my lattice tutorial.

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (5)

If you're topping with a solid sheet of pastry, cut a few vents in the crust to help steam escape—it won't have any trouble slipping out of a lattice on its own.

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (6)

Place the pot pies on a half sheet pan, and bake at 400°F (200°C) until the filling is bubbling-hot and the crust is golden brown, about 75 minutes. This is considerably longer than it takes to make the biscuit-topped pot pie, but the cold filling and extended bake time are absolutely vital to getting the crust crispy along the bottom and sides.

The filling will be at a boil when the pot pies come out of the oven, so do give them a chance to cool. Aside from being dangerously hot, the filling will be fairly runny when it's above 200°F (93°C), so letting it cool will give it a chance to thicken up as well. That's why I don't recommend baking chicken pot pie in a pie pan, as the filling won't be thick enough for clean slices until it's just about lukewarm.

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Regardless of how it's topped, this secret pastry is one of my favorite comfort foods once the weather turns cool, and easily customized with whatever vegetables and seasonings you love best.

September 2017

Recipe Details

Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Active90 mins

Total7 hrs

Serves6 servings


For the Crust:

  • Flaky, tender, and nutty whole wheat pie crust

  • Additional whole wheat flour, for dusting

For the Chicken:

  • 2 quarts (1.9L)homemadeor store-bought low sodium chicken stock

  • 4 1/2 pounds (2kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken legs, thighs, and breasts

  • 1 large onion, diced (about 8 ounces; 2 cups; 225g)

  • 2 large carrots, diced (about 8 ounces; 1 1/3 cups; 225g)

  • 2 large celery ribs, diced (about 5 ounces; 3/4 cup; 140g)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 1 bay leaf

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 ounceunflavored gelatin (4 1/2 teaspoons; 15g)

  • 1/4 cup (55ml) reserved chicken stock, cooled

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter(8 tablespoons; 115g)

  • 4 ounces all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon; 115g)

  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 7 ounces; 1 2/3 cups; 200g)

  • 1 large carrot, diced (4 ounces; 3/4 cup; 115g)

  • 1 large celery rib, diced (4 ounces; 3/4 cup; 115g)

  • 1/2 cup (115ml) drywhite wine

  • 1 quart (900ml) reservedchicken stock

  • 5 ounces frozen peas(1 heaping cup; 140g)

  • 3 ouncesdrained and diced pimento peppers (1/2 cup; 85g), or more to taste (see notes)

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (7g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 1/4 ounce fresh thymeleaves (about 1 teaspoon; 7g)

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7ml) Worcestershire sauce

  • 28 ounces poached chicken, from above (4 cups, shredded; 795g), or more to taste

For the Egg Wash (optional):

  • 1 large egg, straight from the fridge

  • 1/2 ounce heavy cream(1 tablespoon; 15ml)

  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight


  1. For Crust: Prepare a double batch of flaky, tender, and nutty whole wheat pie crust as directed. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a thin sheet, around 3/16 inch thick, using as much flour as needed to prevent sticking along the way. Transfer pieces to a half sheet pan, cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours before using.

  2. For Chicken: Combine chicken stock, chicken parts, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and bay leaf in a 5-quart stainless steel pot or saucier. Cover and place over medium-high heat until stock registers about 150°F (66°C) on a digital thermometer.

  3. Adjust heat to maintain that temperature, plus or minus 10°F (about 5-6°C), and cook until thickest part of chicken registers 135°F (57°C), about 1 hour. Remove chicken with tongs, set aside on a rimmed platter, and cover loosely. Strain stock through a mesh sieve into a large bowl, discard solids, and set stock aside to cool.

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (8)

  4. For Filling: Combine gelatin and 1/4 cup (55ml) cooled stock in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain; set aside. In a 5-quart saucier, melt butter over medium-low heat, then whisk in flour. Stir with a heat-resistant spatula until roux is fragrant and a nutty blond color, about 5 minutes (it's okay to adjust the heat if this seems to be happening too slowly). Stir in diced onion, carrots, and celery and continue cooking and stirring until vegetables are slightly softened, about 7 minutes more.

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (9)

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (10)

  5. Add white wine and 1 quart reserved stock, stirring constantly until smooth; remaining stock from poaching can be reserved for another use. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it begins to bubble, remove from heat. Stir in frozen peas, diced pimentos, and prepared gelatin, followed by salt, thyme, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until gelatin has fully melted into sauce and adjust seasonings to taste.

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (11)

  6. Shred or dice reserved chicken, discarding skin and bones, then stir into filling. Transfer to a large but shallow container, such as a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, to increase the surface area and speed cooling. Refrigerate, uncovered, stirring from time to time, until no warmer than 50°F (10°C), about 1 hour. If it better suits your schedule, the filling can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days, or frozen in an airtight container for 3 months.

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (12)

  7. To Assemble: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). With a sharp knife, cut 1 sheet of chilled dough into 6 roughly equal squares. Nestle each one into the bottom of a 2-cup-capacity oven-safe dish. Cut 6 "lids" from remaining sheet of pastry with a sharp knife, using an overturned 2-cup baking dish as your guide; alternatively, cut with an appropriately large cookie cutter. Set pastry lids aside and use scraps to patch gaps in coverage along the bottom crusts, all the way to the top edge of each dish.

  8. Divide filling evenly between dishes, about 1 1/2 cups each (12 ounces; 340g), although the exact amount will vary with the specific amount of vegetables and chicken used. Top each dish with a pastry lid and gently crimp the edges with a fork to seal pastry to bottom crust.

    Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (13)

  9. For Egg Wash (if using): Whisk egg, cream, and salt in a small bowl. Brush over top crust of each pie in a thin, even layer. This will give the crust a glossy golden sheen.

  10. Transfer dishes to a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling-hot, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving, allowing the filling to thicken and reach a safe temperature to enjoy. Covered in foil, leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days and reheated to serve.

Special Equipment

Rolling pin, two half sheet pans, 5-quart stainless steel pot, digital thermometer, fine-mesh strainer, whisk, flexible spatula, six 2-cup baking dishes or other large, oven-safe dishes


If you can't find them alongside jars of pickles and olives at the store, look for pimento peppers at the supermarket salad bar.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The filling can be covered and refrigerated up to three days, or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Covered in foil, leftovers can be refrigerated up to three days and reheated to serve.

Read More

  • Chicken Pot Pie With Buttermilk Biscuit Topping
Individual Double-Crusted Chicken Pot Pies Recipe (2024)


How to keep the bottom crust of a chicken pot pie from getting soggy? ›

How to Prevent a Soggy Bottom Pie Crust
  1. Blind Bake the Crust.
  2. Choose the Right Rack in the Oven.
  3. Brush the Bottom with Corn Syrup or Egg White.
  4. Put the Pie on a Hot Cookie Sheet.
  5. Make a Thicker Crust.
  6. Add a Layer.
  7. Consider a Metal Pie Pan.
Mar 18, 2024

Can you pre bake the bottom crust of a double crust pie? ›

3. Par-bake. Bake your bottom crust until it just begins to turn golden at the edges, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights from the pie crust and return to the oven for 2 to 3 more minutes, just to ensure the base where the weights were isn't visibly wet.

Why do you not use a bottom crust on chicken pot pie? ›

I only gave my pot pie a top crust, because I feel like the bottom crust always gets soggy. If you do want to add a bottom crust, I suggest blind baking it. What does blind baking mean? It's when you bake your pie crust without a filling in order to crisp it up.

What is the difference between a pie shell single pie crust and a double pie crust? ›

Even though a Single Pie Crust does not have a top crust, it will often have some type of topping added either as part of the pie or as it is served. Some of the common toppings used are meringue and whipped cream. Double-crust pie: A pie made with both a bottom and a top crust.

Should I bake the bottom pie crust first? ›

You do not need to pre-bake a pie crust for an apple pie or any baked fruit pie really, but we do freeze the dough to help it stay put. Pre-baking the pie crust is only required when making a custard pie OR when making a fresh fruit pie. you should probably get: Pie weights are super helpful to have for pre-baking.

How long do you Prebake bottom pie crust? ›

Line the crust with foil, parchment, or a paper coffee filter. Fill it about two-thirds full with dried beans, uncooked rice (or other uncooked grain berries), pie weights, or granulated sugar. Bake the crust in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 minutes, set on a baking stone or steel if you have one.

Should you poke holes in bottom of pie crust? ›

With docking, the holes allow steam to escape, so the crust should stay flat against the baking dish when it isn't held down by pie weights or a filling. Otherwise the crust can puff up, not only impacting appearance but also leaving you with less space for whatever filling you have planned.

How do I make sure my bottom pie crust is cooked? ›

Prebaking — baking the pie crust before adding the filling — is your answer. Bake your crust, add the filling, and bake until the filling is done. I promise you, the crust won't burn on the bottom; the filling will insulate it.

Why is my chicken pot pie so watery? ›

A watery potpie may be the result of not cooking the filling for long enough or adding too much liquid to the filling. Another possible reason for the pie being watery is if you add watery vegetables like spinach or green beans to the filling rather than potatoes or carrots, which soak up liquid.

What makes chicken pot pie unhealthy? ›

High Saturated Fat: The pastry crust in chicken pot pie is often made with butter or lard, which is high in saturated fat.

Why is my chicken pot pie too much liquid? ›

Watery filling

Water can be released from your pie filling while cooking in the oven. To avoid turning your pie into a sloppy mess, add flour to the filling or add some nuts to thicken it up, like in our Chicken and Leek Pie. This will help to absorb any excess water while it's cooking and will keep the pastry crispy.

What should be done to a two crust pie before baking Why? ›

Cold Pie + Hot Oven

As a general rule of thumb, it's always best to chill a rolled pie crust either in the freezer for 10-20 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour before you bake it. While this is an extra step, it makes all the difference in the world.

Why do you need to make slits into the top of a double crusted pie? ›

Baking a double-crust pie without vents leaves the top crust susceptible to rupturing as the building steam tries to escape. Bubbly pie filling seeks out the weakest point where you crimped the top and bottom crusts together. Remember, too, that steam isn't merely a pressurized gas, it's super-heated water vapor.

What is best flour for pie crust? ›

What kind of flour makes the best pie crust? Well, not high-protein bread flour! Use that for your chewy bagels. What you want for pie is flour that yields a tender, flaky crust, which means medium-protein all-purpose flour or low-protein pastry flour.

What can you put on the bottom crust to prevent it from getting soggy? ›

Crust dust is a 1:1 mixture of flour and granulated sugar. When baking a pie, especially a fruit pie, a couple of teaspoons of crust dust sprinkled into the bottom of the crust will help prevent the crust from becoming saturated with juicy filling as it bakes.

Why is my bottom pie crust always soggy? ›

To prevent it, you need to either create a barrier between the wet filling and raw pie dough, or ensure the pie dough browns and sets before the filling has a chance to soak it.

Should I egg wash the bottom pie crust? ›

You've spent time and effort putting the pastry together, so don't sell yourself short by skipping the final step—the egg wash for the pie crust. The truth is that cream and egg washes are a simple but vital step to improving the appearance and flavor of pies and other baked goods.

Why did my chicken pot pie come out watery? ›

A watery potpie may be the result of not cooking the filling for long enough or adding too much liquid to the filling. Another possible reason for the pie being watery is if you add watery vegetables like spinach or green beans to the filling rather than potatoes or carrots, which soak up liquid.

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