The one problem with pot pies, in my opinion, is that there's never enough crust for everyone.
This recipe remedies that by giving each diner their own pie. If you don't have six people sitting down to the table, they freeze great.
You might want to use disposable aluminum pans for those going into the freezer to make reheating easy.
Individual Chicken Pot Pies
Serves 6 pies.
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5½ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped fine
1 celery rib, minced
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 (9-inch) store-bought pie dough rounds
1½ cups frozen peas
6 2-cup disposable aluminum loaf pans
1 large egg, beaten
1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken and cook until well browned, about 2½ minutes per side. Add broth and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, 6-8 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and broth to large bowl.
2. Melt butter with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, celery, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned and softened, 8-10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, thyme, and reserved broth and bring to simmer. Cook, whisking often, until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
3. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces using 2 forks. Off heat, stir in lemon juice and shredded chicken and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer filling to bowl and let cool completely. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well-chilled, about 1 hour.
4. Place two dough rounds on lightly floured counter. Brush surface of each round with water, then place remaining 2 dough rounds on moistened rounds, pressing gently to adhere.
5. Position one inverted pie pan on one layered dough round. Using sharp paring knife, cut out dough using pan as template. Repeat twice more for total of three dough pieces, then repeat process on second layered dough round. Discard excess dough.
6. Stir peas into chilled filling, then evenly divide filling among pans. Top each pan with one dough piece, then use fork to seal edges. Using paring knife, cut three steam vents in each pot pie.
7. At this point, pies may be frozen. To freeze, tightly wrap each pie in two layers of plastic and one layer of aluminum foil, then freeze.
7. To bake, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 F. Brush each pie with egg, bake until filling starts to bubble, about 35 minutes.
8. If frozen, unwrap pot pies and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Brush each pot pie with egg and cover with foil. Bake until filling is starting to bubble, about 40 minutes. Uncover pot pies and bake until crusts are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let pot pies rest for 10 minutes before serving.