Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mixing Up the Chicken Pot Pie

Personal Chicken Pot Pies with Butternut Squash & Spinach
This idea was born out of Thanksgiving leftovers.  After a few days of eating the same-old, I made a pot pie filling and threw in the turkey with the roasted butternut squash and spinach I had served on the holiday table, then topped it with pie dough and baked.  Sounds weird, I know, but it's incredibly good.  So good that I've roasted whole chickens and butternut squashes a few times since just to have the pie all over again.

Chicken, Butternut Squash & Spinach Pot Pie
The squash is a nice change from the carrots that often feature in pot pies.  And the idea of spinach in the filling may wrinkle noses, but it's a nice contrast for the richness, and the taste and texture are surprisingly mild.  Joe really loved it.  After this, I'm not sure we'll ever go back to ol' peas-and-carrots chicken pot pie again.

Chicken Pot Pie
Flour is stirred into the cooked onions, carrot, and celery, and then chicken stock is added to make the creamy sauce.  The chicken, butternut squash, and spinach are added.  Rounds of dough are cut for the pie tops, and holes are made in the top to let steam escape.

This thrown-together recipe makes a lot.  As in a 10-inch deep-dish pie plus two individual pies.  You can eat them for days, freeze them, or halve the recipe.  It's nice to be able to pull a homemade pot pie out of the freezer on a hectic day, far better than anything you can buy from the frozen section.

Chicken Pot Pie with Butternut Squash & Spinach
Pate brisee
4 cups shredded meat from a roasted chicken
3 cups butternut squash (peeled, diced, and roasted)
5 oz. spinach (if frozen, thawed and squeezed dry)
2 yellow onions, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock (homemade from the roasted chicken carcass is great)

Place the oil and butter in a saute pan with high sides, or a large pot, over medium-low heat.  Add the onions, celery, and carrot and cook until the onion translucent.  Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir, cooking for 1 minute.  Add the stock a cup at a time, stirring to prevent lumps.  Bring the mixture up to a simmer.

Turn off the heat and add the shredded chicken, squash, and spinach, and stir.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out the pate brisee, and cut rounds to fit the tops of your pie pans.  Use a variation of large and small pie dishes, casseroles, and ramekins; or just 2 large pie dishes.  Ladle the chicken and vegetable filling into them.  Cover with the rounds of pie dough.  You can keep the pies cold in the refrigerator while the oven preheats, to maintain flakiness in the crusts.

Place the pies on a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment for easy cleanup.  Cut slits or holes into the pie tops to allow steam to escape, and brush the dough with cream or milk.

Bake the individual pies for 45 minutes and the deep-dish 10-inch pie for 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  If the crusts brown too quickly -- and mine didn't -- cover loosely with foil.  Let the pies rest for 20 minutes to set the filling before cutting and serving.


  1. Ooh! I absolutely love it! I love dishes that are the result of leftovers. What a great way to recycle :-) The flavors are absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with us and for giving a little shake to the world of chicken pot pie.

  2. Chick pot pie is something I surely need to make, as it's a fav of my boyfriend's!

  3. I still haven't baked chicken pot pie...yours looks so delicious.

  4. the squash sounds like it was a nice addition to that pot pie!! I do love pot pies, and its certainly a good time of year for them!
    Keep warm and keep the comfort food coming!


  5. We love pot pie around my house so I was so excited to read about this creative twist on one of my favorites. I love butternut squash, and I can only imagine how great it would be in a flaky and creamy pot pie. Thank you for sharing this tasty recipe with me. Have a Sunday full of laughter, love and plates of good food!

  6. I've been wanting to make some pot pie for the longest. This looks sooooo good! Thanks for sharing.


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