Make Ahead Creamy Chicken Pot Pie with Roasted Root Vegetables

Did you see my Wordless Wednesday picture and video of the vehicle that became an ice sculpture when large waves from Lake Erie were breaking over to a parking lot on a freezing cold day? Click here for the picture and video. Well good news! The owner got his car out of the frozen ice with little damage! Click here for the story and there is a link to a few pictures. And if you click here for a short video of them freeing the vehicle! Just a little winter fun in the snow belts!

Chicken pot pie ready for the freezer - 2

Today’s recipe is one of my favorites – Chicken Pot Pie! Especially with the cold winter weather we are experiencing! I remember when my husband and I were first dating we had dinner with his brother and wife. What do you think I ordered? Well it was Chicken Pot Pie and his brother was rather surprised! Unfortunately ordering Chicken Pot Pie in a restaurant can be hit or miss. There are so many ways to make this dish and it can be high in calories and fat. For this recipe I made a large batch in order to freeze a few meals. It took me an afternoon since I cooked the chicken and use fresh vegetables – except for the peas. (I like to roast the vegetables in the oven.) This recipe is a babied dish – an afternoon dedicated to taste tests and adding more of certain ingredients until it is just right! If your time is limited you can always substitute a rotisserie chicken and use frozen vegetables.

Chicken Pot Pie Crustless

There are a lot of options when it comes to the crust. A great option is to use puff pastry – just slice, place on a tray and bake. Topping with a biscuit is another nice option. The thickening agent for this recipe is a can of condensed cream of chicken – but substituting potato starch could also be used among other options.

When cooking the chicken the herbs add a lot of flavor. One way of making a herb pack is to use cheesecloth or a loose tea bag (my method) to add the herbs. As always, the vegetable ingredients are approximate. When stirring the vegetables if there isn’t enough variety to the color – just add more of the missing color (vegetable)!

Chicken Pot Pie stovetop

This made 1 large pot pie, 2 individual medium-sized servings plus 6 smaller pot pies for the freezer – some of them will be served with puff pie topping or with no crust!

Chicken Pot Pie out of the oven

Chicken Pot Pie ready for the freezer

Chicken pot pie almost gone

Chicken Ingredients:
4 – 6 Chicken Breasts or 5-cups shredded
A few slices of Sweet Onion
Seasoned Salt
Pepper, freshly ground
Herb pack of: Thyme and Rosemary
Bay Leaf

Vegetable Ingredients:
Olive Oil
1 cup Sweet Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, chopped
2 cups Carrot, chopped and roasted
1 cup Red Potatoes, chopped and roasted
1 cup Butternut Squash, chopped and roasted
2 cups Green Beans, chopped
1 ½ cups Sweet Peas

Sauce Ingredients:
2 cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
4 cups Low-sodium Chicken Broth, Plus More If Needed
½ cup Sherry
1 cup Half-and-half
Bay Leaf
1 tbsp Herbed Poultry Seasoning Blend
Seasoned Salt And Fresh Pepper, to taste

Crust Ingredients:
Unbaked Pie Crust or
Puff Pastry Crust or
Biscuit Topping

Directions:
Shredded Chicken Preparation:
In a large skillet add water to cover the bottom. Add chicken, herb pack, bay leaf, seasoned salt and pepper. Add more water if needed to cover the chicken. Cover and cook the chicken until it is tender enough to shred. It took about an hour. Shred the chicken using two forks or your favorite method!

Vegetables Preparation:
If desired, roast the vegetables in the oven (carrots, potatoes, and butternut squash) to bring out their flavors. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shake vegetables in olive oil, place on a pan and bake until tender – stirring at least once.

Pot Pie Preparation:
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion and celery. Cook for a few minutes. Add vegetables and herbs. In a separate bowl mix together condensed cream of chicken with some of the chicken stock. Then add to the soup pot with more chicken stock. Cook for about 30-minutes, covered. Add half-and-half and cook for about 30-minutes, covered. Add cooked, shredded chicken, sherry, and warm through for about 30-minutes, covered. Remove cover and simmer while preheating the oven and preparing the pie pot pans. If it becomes too thick add a bit more of the half-and-half – but don’t make it too thin either!

Baking Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Roll out the pie crust and prepare your chosen pot pie pans. For freezing it is nice to use individual pot pie aluminum pans that can be frozen and then placed in the oven when needed or microwave safe bowls. Divide chicken pot pie mixture across the pot pie pans, add remaining dough to top and cut little vents. Bake for about 30-minutes. It can be best to cover the dough to foil so they do not get too brown especially when freezing since they will need to be reheated in the oven. If desired prepare an egg wash and brush the dough topping before baking.

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