This pot pie uses the chicken thigh meat I cooked in my recent chicken fest. I thought about just making a chicken and biscuits casserole, but I haven’t made a pot pie in a long time and settled on that instead. My pot pies must have a double crust, not like those pseudo pies with just a top crust. I can see why you’d use just a top crust if using a deep casserole dish, but it’s just not a pie to me without a bottom crust. It’s more of a chicken cobbler, if there is such a thing.
The star of this pie is the buttermilk crust, which is pretty much a butter crust that uses buttermilk for the water that brings the dough together. I’ve seen some buttermilk crust recipes that don’t use butter, and some that riff on vinegar pie crusts, but I’m just doing a regular butter crust with the addition of whole buttermilk. It will be a little sticky and shaggy, like my favorite biscuit dough, but in the end, I find the moist doughs handle well. This one was easy to roll, came out crisp and flaky, and the egg wash made it gorgeous to look at.
Buttermilk Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: 1-2 tablespoons sugar (better in a dessert pie)
1 cup cold butter (2 sticks) cut in small cubes
1/2-3/4 cup whole buttermilk, depending on your humidity
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
- Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar if using.
- Cut in cold butter. I like to use my fingers to do this, which leaves little shards of flattened butter cubes and flour, but you can use a pastry cutter or food processor.
- Stir in buttermilk until the dough holds together but is not overly sticky. I had to use a little more than the 1/2 cup, but not quite as much as 3/4 cup.
- Knead the dough lightly into a fairly smooth ball, cut in half, and shape each half into an 8 inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.
- This dough handles well after refrigeration, not turning into a hard block that you can’t roll out easily. I have no trouble with cracks or tears in this dough, and it rolls out easily to a large circle.
- Roll each disc to a circle about 2 inches bigger than your pie dish. My dish was one of the old Pyrex® 9.5 inch dishes.
- Fit one crust into your dish, leaving the overhang. I prefer to trim the overhang of the bottom and top crusts together.
- Fill the crust, then add the top crust. You can see in one image that I folded the top crust in quarters and then unfolded it on top of the pie. The dough really handled well for folding.
- Trim the overhang evenly and to your liking, and crimp as you desire. For a savory pie, I don’t really want the fancy crimped edge, but prefer to roll under the overhang into high, fat edge.
- Forgot to say to brush the crust with egg wash!
- I baked my pie at 400° for about 45 minutes until the crust was browned and the interior was hot and bubbly. If your crusts are still very cold, and/or your filling is cold, yours might take longer, in which case you might lower the temperature to 375° after the first 15 minutes.
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
Let’s just assume that you have precooked some chicken to use in such a pie. Poached chicken breasts would work as well as the thigh meat I used.
*Note that I made 3 cups of gravy, but I only used 2 cups in the pie. The remaining gravy can be served at the table.
3-4 cups cooked chicken, roughly cut in bite-sized pieces
2 cups carrots, cut in small dice, simmered for 5 minutes in the chicken stock
1 medium onion, cut in small dice
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk or half and half
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Combine the cooked chicken, carrots (note instruction to cook carrots above), and frozen peas in a large bowl.
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent.
- Stir flour and seasonings into butter/onion mixture, stirring until all lumps are removed. Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes to cook out raw flour taste.
- Slowly pour in chicken stock and milk, stirring continuously. Stir over medium heat until thickened.
- Add gravy to filling mixture, one cup at a time, until you feel the filling is at the right consistency, without being soupy. As noted, I used 2 cups of the gravy.
- If your chicken mixture was made ahead and has been refrigerated, you might need to warm it in the gravy a little before adding the frozen peas. You don’t want to add a super hot filling to the crust, nor a very cold one.
- Follow the crust directions above to fill and bake the pie.