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Cast Iron Chicken Pot Pie

Why This Recipe Works

The preparations required for chicken pot pie have largely relegated it to a Sunday treat, but moving this dish to a cast-iron skillet sped up the process and also improved the results. We started by parbaking the crust separately, which kept it from becoming soggy and ensured that it was done at the same time as the filling. Sautéing the vegetables and aromatics and adding broth created a rich, caramelized base in which we then poached the chicken. Next we shredded the meat and then stirred it back in with heavy cream, peas, parsley, and dry sherry. We slipped on the parbaked crust and baked the dish for a short time to bring it all together.

Ingredients

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1 recipe Single-Crust Pie Dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dry sherry

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Instructions

Serves 4 to 6

1. Roll dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into 11-inch circle. Remove top parchment sheet. Fold in outer 1/2 inch of dough to make 10-inch circle. Using index finger of one hand and thumb and index finger of other hand, crimp edge of dough to make attractive fluted rim. Using paring knife, cut 4 oval-shaped vents, each about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide, in center of dough. Transfer dough, still on parchment, to baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush dough with egg mixture and bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer crust, still on sheet, to wire rack and let cool; do not turn off oven.

3. Heat 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Melt butter in skillet. Add carrots, celery, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps, and bring to simmer.

4. Pound thicker ends of chicken breasts as needed to create even thickness. Nestle chicken into skillet. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover, and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees and sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through.

5. Transfer chicken to carving board, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces using 2 forks. Stir shredded chicken, peas, cream, parsley, and sherry into skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Place parbaked pie crust on top of filling, transfer skillet to oven, and bake until crust is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Let pot pie cool for 10 minutes before serving.