On a crisp fall day I always look forward to making my family’s favorite comfort foods for us all to enjoy. Hearty soups and stews are typically on our weekly menu during the colder months, using all of the fresh, seasonal produce I can find. Root vegetables, winter squash, and mushrooms are now readily available at the farmer’s market and it’s a great time to use them in those cold weather recipes that have been lying around dormant since last winter.
Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that I only make a couple times a year, but it’s so good that I always wonder why it has taken me so long to make it again! It’s a great one dish meal with a nice warm stew simmering beneath a flaky crust. It’s hard to go wrong with such a delicious combination! This time around, I decided to make my classic chicken pot pie recipe with a gluten-free crust and seasonal veggies. Boy, were we happy with the results!
DISCLAIMER: This post is looong. Sorry about that. I wanted to walk you through step-by-step and even included some pictures (I actually had a ton more that I left out:) which will hopefully help my fellow visual people. If you’re good at reading directions and don’t like lots of talk and pictures, feel free to scroll to the bottom where the recipe is. I promise, there is an end!
With this pot pie, I made everything from scratch, even the chicken broth. Trust me, it’s much easier than it sounds. I usually make my own broth when making soups because it tastes so much better, plus it’s typically cheaper to buy bone-in chicken, which is needed for a good broth. However, there are many short-cuts you can take in this recipe. You can use leftover chicken or turkey (think Thanksgiving leftovers) and some store-bought broth for the filling and then you’d just skip the first step. The broth, crust, and filling can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.
If you’re in a pinch, you can even use a pre-made crust from the store. (Shhh, I never said that) See, easy-peasy 😉
So, are you ready to make a totally from-scratch Fall Harvest Chicken Pot Pie?! You can do it!
Let’s get started!
Step one–Preparing the chicken and broth: Making your own broth is really very simple. Many people like to boil chicken bones leftover from dinner, but I always boil raw chicken so I can use the boiled meat in the dish. It’s important to include any vegetables and herbs that will help flavor the broth. It’s not even necessary to peel or skin the veggies (many of the nutrients are in the skins) just give them a good rinse and coarse chop and throw them in there with the chicken. Since all the nutrients and flavor are pulled from these vegetables, they will need to be discarded at the end.
Put chicken and veggies in a large pot or stock pot and fill with water, just until it reaches the top of the veggies. Put the pot on the stove and heat on high until it reaches a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for about an hour, while you prepare the dough and filling.
See, I told you it was easy. You’ll have homemade chicken broth in no time!
Step Two–Make the crust: Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the butter and palm shortening until the mixture is crumbly and the fat is well integrated into the flour. Palm shortening is similar to regular shortening, but it’s made from palm oil which is derived from the fruit of certain palm trees. It is non-hydrogenated and has no trans-fats. It’s essentially a similar product without all the bad stuff. Definitely a better alternative. This is the brand I used.
Next you mix in an egg and almond milk/water a spoonful at a time, just until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you need it later.
Step Three–Making the chicken filling: Begin by prepping your veggies. One of the vegetables (actually it’s a fruit:) I included was butternut squash. It’s such a delicious addition, but you could certainly use another squash or vegetable all together if you wish. I didn’t need the full amount of squash, so I made some butternut squash soup with what I had leftover. Love 2 for 1’s!!
I included a few photos of how I cut the butternut squash in case you want to add it, but are not sure how to prepare it. Just cut off both ends so that it stands flat and use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outer skin. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the pulp. From there just cut it into 1″ cubes.
Clean and chop up the rest of your vegetables. I used some new veggies that I found at the market, including rainbow carrots (which are just so pretty!) and a white sweet potato (very tasty!) Really, any veggies can be used here or the equivalent of regular carrots and sweet potatoes/regular potatoes.
Once your veggies are chopped and ready to go, check on your chicken to see if it’s done. Broth should be golden, the chicken fully cooked, and the veggies tender. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the pot and season the broth. Most people like to leave the broth plain and season the dish it’s added too, but I like to do both. You can choose which you prefer. If you want to season the broth, stir in a generous pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Separate chicken from the vegetables and let cool. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken meat and discard along with all the vegetables that flavored the broth. Chop the chicken meat into chunks and reserve at least two cups for the filling. I like more vegetables and less meat so feel free to add more meat if you’d like. You can freeze or refrigerate any leftover chicken for another meal or use it to make some chicken salad for lunch tomorrow!
Add a couple of tablespoons of butter to a large pot or dutch oven. Some veggies take longer to cook than others, so we’ll need to add them gradually. Start off by sautéing onions and garlic for a few minutes over medium heat until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add squash and carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Add potatoes and mushrooms. After they have sautéed for 2-3 minutes, add homemade broth, peas, and seasonings, to taste.
When the broth is thoroughly heated, mix in your potato starch/broth slurry, which will make the mixture thick and stew-like. Check seasonings and adjust accordingly.
You can make 4-6 individual or 1 large pot pie. Scoop your filling into the oven-safe dish(es) and prepare the crust to put on top.
Step four–Putting it together: Begin by making an egg wash for the crust, which will be 1 egg mixed with a splash of water. This will be the “glue” that adheres the crust to the sides of the bowl. It also makes a shiny golden crust. You can omit it, if you wish, and use water to seal the dough. Just keep in mind that the crust will not develop the golden sheen that the egg wash provides.
If making individual pot pies, cut the dough into enough even pieces for each dish. Take each piece and shape into a round, flat disc. Roll each dough out a little larger than the rim of your baking dish. I like to roll onto a piece of parchment paper, which is cleaner and helps the dough not to stick. You can also pick the dough up on the parchment paper, flip it onto the baking dish, and peel the parchment paper from the dough. Then you don’t have to worry about it possibly tearing. Use a little flour if the dough begins to stick to the roller.
Brush on the egg wash and use some to adhere the dough to the dish, if needed. Cut a few slits to allow steam to escape and then sprinkle some coarse salt and pepper on top. Place the pot pies onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown. Allow dishes to cool slightly before serving.
It’s a meal you can happily serve to your loved ones because it’s full of natural and healthy ingredients. Your family and friends will be amazed by by your awesomeness:) You can’t buy this in the freezer section of the grocery store! Hope you enjoy it!
- (See Notes Below For Alternatives)
- 2-3 lbs. chicken with the bone (I used split chicken breasts)
- 1 large yellow onion, unpeeled and quartered
- 2 large carrots, unpeeled and roughly chopped
- 2 stalks of celery with leaves, roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and smashed
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp of dried
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1-2 bay leaves
- Water to cover, about 2 quarts
- 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1)
- 3/4 teaspoons Xanthan Gum, can omit if your flour mix already contains it
- 1/2 teaspoons salt (decrease by 1/4 tsp if using salted butter)
- 1/4 cup cold unsalted grass-fed butter or unsalted dairy-free butter, such as Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup cold Palm Shortening
- (you can use an extra 1/4 cup butter, vegetable shortening, or cold coconut oil if you don’t have palm oil)
- 1 egg
- 4-5 tablespoons ice cold plain almond milk or water
- egg wash–1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water
- 2 tablespoons grass-fed or dairy-free butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 minced garlic cloves
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup crimini mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 4 cups homemade chicken stock from recipe above or store-bought
- 1 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Potato Starch
- mixed with a cupful of broth from the pot*
- Place chicken with all the vegetables and spices in a large pot. Fill with water just until it covers the chicken and vegetables. Place pot on the stove and turn heat to high and bring water to a boil. Once it reaches a steady boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour or so, until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables are soft. Remove chicken and vegetables from the pot, reserving the broth for the filling. Discard vegetables and allow chicken to cool before removing the meat. Separate chicken meat from the skin and bones. Dice up chicken and reserve at least 2 cups for the filling. You can add more if you like more meat or save the remaining chicken for another meal.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, xanthan gum, and salt. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter and shortening until well incorporated into the flour and mixture looks crumbly. Stir in egg and add milk/water 1 tablespoon at a time, just until dough comes together. Do not add too much liquid or dough will be really sticky. Shape dough into a flat, round disc and cover with plastic wrap. Place into the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. When onions begin to turn translucent, stir in diced squash and carrots. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes and then add potatoes and mushrooms. After a few more minutes of cooking, pour in chicken broth and stir in peas, cubed chicken, and herbs. Let liquid come to a boil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add potato starch and broth mixture to the chicken filling and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. You can make one large or 4-6 individual pot pies, depending on the size of the dishes. Scoop filling into your baking dish(es). If you’re making individual pies, cut dough into even sections, one piece to top each dish. Make egg wash by whisking 1 egg with a splash of water. On a piece of parchment paper or lightly floured surface, roll out crust to be slightly larger than the rim of your baking dish. Use extra flour, if needed, to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Place the rolled-out crust on top. Allow dough to overlap each edge, adding egg wash to help it stick to the sides. Trim dough if needed. Brush the tops of the crusts with egg wash and make a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape. You can sprinkle some extra sea salt and pepper on the tops, if you’d like. Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes or until crusts are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.
- *If you don’t have potato starch, you can use cornstarch to thicken by combining 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1 cup plain almond milk or cooled broth.
- 1. You can also use leftover chicken or turkey and store-bought broth instead of making it from scratch.
- 2. You can use a pre-made pie crust as well.
- 3. Chicken, crust, and filling can be made the day before to save time.
- 4. Use leftover chicken broth and butternut squash to make butternut squash soup!