Editorial Note: This recipe was originally published in 2009 but I’ve updated the photography for it in December 2013. It is still a family favorite and we use the filling for chicken and biscuits as well as the phyllo pie version! Enjoy!
I love chicken pot pie. It is the absolute definition of comfort food. Well, maybe homemade mac and cheese would win that title, but pot pie sure comes close. In the past year or so, I’ve become a hardcore freezer stocker and from-the-pantry cook. Generally, chicken pot pie would not fall in either of those categories unless we’re talking frozen Swanson’s dinner.
I’d like to introduce my solution to that puzzle. The beauty of this particular pot pie is that it is basically a pantry/freezer staple except for the chicken. Pick yourself up a rotisserie chicken and you’ll be all set. Shred and freeze a rotisserie chicken for later and this does officially become a pantry-only recipe.
I found the basis of this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine, a publication I cannot recommend highly enough. I don’t think I’ve missed a single issue since it started printing. Martha’s version requires a little more fresh produce than fair to be considered a “pantry recipe”. Over the last couple years, I’ve dumbed it down enough so that I can get it in the oven in 10 minutes flat.
The most surprising part is the use of phyllo dough instead of traditional pie crust. It looks like it would be so difficult and in fact is far easier. If you follow my recommendation of using an 8 x 11 baking dish, the phyllo sheets will fit perfectly across the top without trimming. Phyllo is only tricky when you have to cut it and mold it. Here, you just lay it right down and move on. The use of cooking spray even prevents the frustration of a pastry brush tearing the delicate sheets.
Of course Martha would have you trimming a perfect circle or oval. Pft. Skip the paring knife altogether and just pop that top right on.
Lighter Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 rotisserie chicken: Shred and use both breasts or mix equivalent amount of light and dark meats
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (My favorite mix has carrots, peas, and green beans)
- 6 phyllo sheets, thawed
- Cooking spray
- Tools Note: for this recipe, a rectangular shaped 8×11 baking dish works the best.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onion and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until onions are translucent and soft. Add flour, cook 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
3. Remove from heat; stir in chicken and thawed frozen vegetables. Pour filling into a 8×11 baking dish (a 2 qt pan).
4. Working quickly, place 2 sheets of phyllo dough across the top of the filling. Spray an even coat of cooking spray. Add another 2 sheets of dough, spray. Place the final 2 sheets of dough and brush evenly with just a bit of real olive oil for better taste and browning, or go easy and use more spray.
5. Bake until golden and bubbling, 20 – 25 minutes.