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Saturday, February 25, 2012

(freezable) mini chicken pot pies

There is something about snowy weather that makes me want to hunker down and spend the day in the kitchen (and the night on the couch!). With having nearly no snow all winter, the snowfall that has recently happened made me want to cook some comfort food.


And what better comfort food than mini chicken pot pies.


I loved pot pies when I was younger, and then we had a falling out. This past fall I wanted to make my own, and all the recipes I found were for the regular pie-sized pot pies. I used a couple various recipes to create my own that were mini, and that could be frozen. As we are always on the go during the week, these are perfect to take out of the freezer and pop in the oven for a really good meal.

Here's the recipe, followed by a how-to:

(Freezable) Mini Chicken Pot Pies

What You Need:
1 package of pie crust (I used Pilsbury already made, but you could make your own)
1 stick of butter
1 cup of diced onion
1 cup of diced carrot
1 cup of diced celery
2 chicken breasts, shredded or diced
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of milk
cornstarch, as a thickening agent
parsley
salt and pepper, to taste

mini disposable pot pie tins (I found them at Meijer in the kitchen section)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Melt butter in large pot, and add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook for a couple minutes, until translucent. 
3. Add shredded/diced chicken. Sprinkle flour into pot and stir. Cook on medium-heat for a couple minutes, while stirring constantly.
4. Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot, while stirring constantly. (Original recipes I looked at used heavy cream, which is something I don't normally have on hand. I used milk, and a touch of cornstarch which worked just fine and is probably far healthier.)
5. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it cook for a couple minutes to thicken. 
6. While the mixture thickens, I get the pie crust and mini pot pie tins ready (detailed and shown below).
7. Season the mixture with parsley, salt, and pepper. 
8. With the "bottom" crusts in the tins, pour in the mixture evenly between the six tins. 
9. Place the "top" crusts on top of the mixture. Cut two small vents in the top crusts.
10. Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
*If planning on freezing, let the open tins sit in the fridge to cool them down (you don't want moisture trapped before they go in the freezer). Once the pies cool, place the tops on and freeze. When re-heating from the freezer, cook for about 45 minutes in an oven at 375 degrees F, or until bubbly.*

The great thing about this recipe is that it's very adaptable! I love the mini pies, but you could easily make one large one. And freezing them is absolutely perfect. They freeze well, and keep well for quite some time. 

It takes a bit of time to do, but having these as a go-to during a busy week makes me so thankful!

How-to:


The cast of ingredients.

All the veggies chopped. The great this about the recipe is you can add what you'd like. I had a partial bag of frozen veggies that I added to the onion, carrots, and celery.

Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the butter and let them hang out.

Cook the chicken.

And then shred it up.

Add the shredded chicken, along with the flour.

Add the broth and milk (and cornstarch, or heavy cream if you use it instead of the milk) and let it hang out and thicken up.

While the mixture thickens, deal with the pie crusts. There are 6 tins packaged for around $3, and I used pre-made pie crusts. You can always make your own too.

The package comes with two crusts. I make one for the bottom of each tin and one for the top of each tin. I do not have a scientific way to do this, but I roll one crust thinner. I use the tin to "trace" on the crust. To make the bottom crust, I place the bottom of the tin on the crust and trace each one. All six will fit on one sheet, with some leftover.

Place each bottom crust in their respective tin.

Now onto the tops. Flip over the tin to use to trace the top crusts. You will have to use all the crust bits to have enough for all the tops.

With the bottom crusts in place and the pot pie mixture complete, start filling!


With all tins full, I crimp the edges of the top crust before placing them in each tin.

Make sure to make two little vents for while they cook.


Put in the oven for 30 minutes in an oven at 375 degrees F.


And complete. Packed full of veggies and topped with a flaky crust. I can't wait to pop one of these in the oven next week!



3 comments:

  1. Yum! Im definately going to try and make these one day. I've always wanted to and they're so simple!

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  2. Question, why is cooking time shorter when it is frozen and do you have to thaw them before you bake them

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heather!

      I recently made a batch of these and actually had them last night for dinner. I updated my recipe just a bit in terms of temperature and bake time.

      I bake mine in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes right away if I plan on freezing them. If you plan to eat them right away, I would bake more like 40-45 minutes, or until you can tell the top of the pie dough comes out clean.

      When I pull the mini pot pies out of the freezer, I don't thaw them. Last night I baked them on 375 for about 45 minutes.

      I hope that helps!

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