If you like chicken pot pie but have been too intimidated to make it at home from scratch you will love this recipe. It has a simple twist, or two, on the traditional recipe. Phyllo Chicken and Root Vegetable Pot Pie is the 2015 Milk Calendar recipe for November. The name of this recipe gives away the two twists—phyllo and root vegetables.

Phyllo

Although phyllo can be tricky to work with, it is much easier than making pie crust from scratch—in my opinion (having failed at numerous “no-fail” pie crust recipes).

Phyllo is a very thin sheet of unleavened dough that is stacked in layers to give a flakey, tender pastry. You can find it in the frozen food section of your local grocery store. When you are ready to use it, make sure to allow several hours for defrosting, or put it in the fridge overnight, but don’t take it out of the package until you are ready to work with it. Preparing the phyllo is the last step in this recipe. Check out the recipe video if you are confused by the instructions, as I was. Here are a couple of helpful tips for working with phyllo in this recipe:

  1. When brushing the phyllo sheet with butter, it’s easiest to brush the outside edges first.
  2. A pizza cutter works really well to cut the dough.
  3. Make sure to keep the extra pieces covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out—they can’t be recovered if they dry out.

Root Vegetables

This recipe takes advantage of the fall harvest and includes parsnips in addition to the other traditional root vegetables in chicken pot pie, potato and carrots. It also includes butternut squash—a winter squash, which is harvested in the fall but lasts well through the cold winter months. The flavour combination is sweet and earthy.

So there you have it—there is no reason not to make chicken pot pie at home from scratch when this recipe with two simple twists makes it so easy to do, and, results in a delicious, hearty dish that is perfect for the fall and winter.

Classic Chicken Pot Pie
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Yields
6 - 8 servings

Ingredients

2 carrots, diced
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
3 tbsp (45 ml) butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp (2 ml) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) pepper
3 tbsp (45 ml) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
1 cup (250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard
1 lb (500 g) cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 cup (250 ml) peas
1/2 pkg (397 g pkg) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 (large) egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook carrots and potato for 4 to 5 minutes or until almost tender-crisp; drain well.
  3. In 9-inch (23 cm) cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat; cook onion, garlic and celery for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add carrots, potato, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with flour; cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, chicken broth and mustard; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in chicken and peas until incorporated.
  5. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a 10-inch (25 cm) square. Place pastry over filling, pressing edges to adhere to side of skillet. Brush egg over top of pastry.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.