Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to Bake Chicken Pot Pie, a Comfort Food Favorite

As summer swiftly turns to fall, our cooking choices start to change. Hearty comfort food that’s too hot for summer once again begins to grace home kitchens and restaurants. A classic example is chicken pot pie. The best of both worlds, chicken pot pie combines crispy pastry with rich chicken stew. While made-from-scratch chicken pot pie is time-consuming to make, this American comfort food classic is well worth the effort.

Individual sized chicken pot pie in ramekin.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Related Guides

Tips and Tricks

The Crust

A key tip to remember when making pie crust is to use chilled butter. This step is critical for a flaky crust. If the butter is too warm when added to the flour, it will mix too thoroughly, ensuring a crust that is tough and hard. To avoid this, keep the butter cold until the last possible moment before mixing with the flour. If pressed for time, a good quality store-brought pie crust will also work.

The Chicken

For the best chicken filling, roast a whole chicken beforehand. This added step, although time-consuming, will ensure a more flavorful and complex chicken filling. To roast a whole chicken, season the bird with your choice of herbs and spices (try to match the roasting flavoring profile with the filling used later), and cook. When the chicken has cooled, simply tear apart the meat from the bone and set aside. Keep the bones — these can be used to make a tasty chicken soup or broth for your chicken pot pie filling.


Chicken pot pie is a great item to freeze. Not only will the chicken filling freeze well, an entire pie keeps well in the freezer. Cooks can also choose to make smaller pies and freeze them for quick future meals. Simply take out and pop in the oven for a hassle-free meal. Any leftover chicken broth should also be frozen. A helpful trick is to freeze leftover broth in ice cube trays, especially if the broth is particularly rich. These cubes of broth can be popped out and used for easy cooking.

Chicken Pot Pie

A chicken Pot Pie by Chef Anand Sastry of Main Street Tavern.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

(By Executive Chef Anand Sastry, Highway Restaurant & Bar and Main Street Tavern)

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Executive Chef Anand Sastry has decades of experience working in some of the best restaurants in the world, including the Michelin three-star Troisgros in France and Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin in New York City. He has also worked as a private chef to King Hussein of Jordan. At Highway Restaurant & Bar and Main Street Tavern, the food is inspired by Sastry’s farm-to-table upbringing.

For Basic Pie Dough:


  • 2.5 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • .5 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1.5 sticks of butter
  • 4 tbsp ice water
  • 1 egg white


  1. Place, flour, salt, sugar vegetable shortening in a mixer. Combine for a few minutes.
  2. Then add chopped chilled butter and ice cold water mix till it forms a dough.
  3. Leave to chill for 4 hours

For Filling:


  • 5 tbsp chicken fat
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • One whole chicken, roasted and torn into chunks
  • 1.25 cup of flour
  • 2 pints of strong chicken stock
  • 4 carrots
  • 5 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • Salt, white pepper


  1. Chop up the vegetables roughly and place in chicken stock. Cook until tender. Strain the vegetables, keeping the stock.
  2. Place chicken fat and margarine in a pan and turn on the heat. Add the flour until the mixture starts to form crumbs. Very slowly, add the warm stock, a little at a time till it becomes a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl, place chicken pieces and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add the warm sauce until everything binds together. Set aside to cool.
  4. On a floured table, roll the dough into a circle (depending on the size of pie dish you have) about 1/4 inch thick. Place in pie dish. Then add the filling. Roll out the top crust in the same manner as the bottom.
  5. Cut and trim sides of excess crust. Brush the top with egg white and place in fridge for an hour.
  6. Bake at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Then, turn down to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes. When the crust is brown, take out and leave to cool. Serve when ready.

Editors' Recommendations

Hunter Lu
Hunter Lu is a New York-based food and features writer, editor, and NYU graduate. His fiction has appeared in The Line…
How to make butterscotch sauce for all of your favorite fall desserts
Butterscotch sauce can be a delightful topping for so many things
Homemade butterscotch cupcakes with caramel syrup and cream cheese frosting

Depending on a few factors - mainly your age - butterscotch is one of those flavors that's automatically associated with one of two things. Either warm and spiced comforting fall treats, enjoyed by the fire after an afternoon of jumping in crisp leaves. Or, linty gold-wrapped candies stuck to old coins in the bottom of our grandmothers' handbags. Unfortunately, the latter - somehow always loudly and lengthily unwrapped during a reverently hushed church service - is too often how we think of this beautiful fall flavor. It's time to change that.
What is butterscotch?
There's often a bit of confusion as to the difference between butterscotch and its more popular cousin, caramel. While there are a number of factors that can be discussed here, from flavor additions to texture, the core difference is in the sugar. Caramel is made from granulated (white) sugar, while butterscotch is made from brown sugar. Both confections are made by cooking sugar down and adding cream, but butterscotch has a characteristic spiced flavor that caramel doesn't. That flavor comes from the molasses in brown sugar, and makes butterscotch far richer and more complex on its own. Unlike caramel, whose subtle flavor pairs more easily with a wide array of ingredients.
How to make butterscotch
The beauty behind butterscotch (and caramel, for that matter) is also what can make it a bit intimidating or confusing to the home cook. Just a few simple ingredients can magically transform into anything from a light, sugared sauce to a chewy soft candy with only the difference in cooking time and temperature. Admittedly, it can be a finicky process, but if you know what to look for, making your own butterscotch is a relatively simple process.

Perhaps the most simple (and delicious) butterscotch treat is that of this perfectly balanced, sweet and salty, gifted-from-the-gods butterscotch sauce. While not as mainstream as her rival, chocolate sauce, butterscotch sauce is our favorite this time of year for any number of treats. Give your favorite ice cream a generous pour, mix it into all of your favorite fall-themed coffee drinks and cocktails, or simply eat it with a spoon. It's that good. We won't judge.

Read more
Whiskey upgrade: How to fat wash your favorite whiskey or bourbon to add new depths of flavor
Add flavor to whiskey or bourbon with fat-washing
Whiskey glass

If you pay attention to the cocktail or whiskey world, you’ve probably heard the term “fat-washed” at some point. You also might not have any idea what that means. You might assume you should, so you don’t want to ask anyone and seem foolish, right? It sounds like you’re washing whiskey with some kind of fat, whatever that means. If you think that, you’re on the right track. It is a technique to change the flavor of whiskey (and other spirits), but it has nothing to do with your kitchen sink, washing machine, dishwasher, or anything like that.

In the simplest terms, fat washing is a cocktail technique in which some form of fat (like bacon fat, butter, or some other fat) is added to room-temperature whiskey (like in a dish or sealable container, not a bottle). It sits on the counter for a few hours so the fat can separate from the spirit before being put into a refrigerator or freezer until the fat forms a solid crust on top. Scrap it off or strain it through cheesecloth and you have a buttery, fatty, flavorful whiskey to pour back into a bottle to use in your favorite cocktails. Sounds simple enough. To do it right requires a little bit more effort than that. There are steps that need to be taken.

Read more
How to make cold brew coffee (plus, our 3 favorite grounds for cold brew)
Cold brew coffee: Making this popular drink is easier than you think it is
Cold brew ice coffee

I grew up in a house where iced coffee was made by pouring the hours-old leftovers from the coffee pot over a glass of ice. Maybe a little milk was added, or if you were feeling extra fancy, a splash of flavored creamer. Embarrassingly far into adulthood (before Keurig came along and cramped my style), that's how I made my "cold brew." For years, this was how I drank my warm-weather coffee. But oh, did I have it wrong.
But what is cold brew coffee? In case you're unaware, cold brew, real cold brew, is made using an entirely different method than hot coffee. While hot coffee is generally made by running hot water through finely ground coffee beans, cold brew is made more like our grandmothers made sun tea -- set to steep for a while, becoming flavorful and delicious on its own with nothing added but love, water, and time.
The result is a much smoother, silkier, bolder, and more flavorful cup of morning magic. When coffee is steeped this way, much of the bitterness smooths to be much gentler on the palette, allowing you to really taste the flavor of the beans in a whole new way. So how do you make cold brew at home?

How to cold brew coffee
There are plenty of gizmos out there, like cold brew coffee makers, jugs, and infusers, but there's no need for these. Like many needless kitchen tools, these accessories end up being shoved into the back of the pantry, never to be seen again.

Read more