Chicken “Pot Pie”

Ok, I admit it: this is really shepherd’s pie with chicken instead of lamb. But if wheat is not a problem for you just replace the mashed potatoes with a pie crust. What really matters is the filling anyway. This is a classic example of building up a dish an ingredient or two at a time. Make sure to start with a large enough skillet; I had to change from a 10-inch to a 12-inch one halfway through.


Chicken breast or thigh meat, cubed

12 ounces


as needed, about 3 tablespoons

Potatoes, peeled and diced

12 ounces

Bacon, diced

2 ounces


1 tablespoon

Onion, chopped

8 ounces

Mushrooms, quartered

2 ounces

Dry sherry (optional)

2 tablespoons

Chicken stock or water

about 1 cup

Dried thyme

½ teaspoon

Dried tarragon

¼ teaspoon

Fresh or frozen peas

6 ounces


¼ cup

Cheddar, shredded

2 ounces

Salt and pepper

to taste


Preheat oven to 375°F (350°F for convection). Dry the chicken cubes and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside. Bring a pot of water to boil, add salt and the potatoes. Cook until they are soft enough to piece easily with a small knife. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy. Add the onion and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue sautéing until they give off their liquid and become fragrant, another 3 or 4 minutes. Finally, add the chicken and brown for about 3 minutes. Pour in the sherry, if using, and begin to deglaze the pan with it. Then add the stock a bit at a time, allowing it to come to a boil between additions so you can judge how thick the gravy is becoming. When it has reached a nice consistency, stir in the thyme, tarragon, and peas. Cover and cook for a few minutes to thaw the peas. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn the contents of the skillet into a suitable pie pan or small soufflé pan.

Mash the potatoes with the milk and salt to taste.  Add the cheese and combine well. Spread the potatoes over the pie filling. Bake in the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Serve piping hot in shallow bowls.


3 responses to “Chicken “Pot Pie”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 3, 2011 at 20:40

    This is such a classic. I love it both ways, crust or tater top!

  2. Rachel Bethe November 18, 2011 at 22:54

    What a great dish — real comfort food. I used fresh thyme and went a little too heavy on the tarragon. I was a little short on peas so I put in a finely diced carrot which gave some crunch to the finished dish. Definitely a keeper

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