I’m not a pot-pie person, but the Mr. just loves them. While flipping through my FB newsfeed, I came across a Bon Appétit post highlighting a Chicken Pot Pie with Acorn Squash. It was intriguing enough to entice me to take a peek. Turns out: It ain’t hard, but it does require that you add a new skill to your arsenal—making the the optimally flaky, thin dough stretched across the top of the skillet stew. Nope, I’d never done that—until now.
Believe it or not, a bit of sauerkraut was their new secret flavoring weapon. According to BA, it added a little bit of acid and funk, proving there was another use for it other than a hot dog topping, or the traditional pork and sauerkraut dinner. Plus I adored the idea of including some acorn squash in the creamy interior.
OK, I might be a little hard-pressed to call this a quick and easy weeknight meal, but on the other hand, it’s not an all-afternoon project either. Perhaps making a homemade crust seems intimidating? Certainly my first thought. To ease your trepidation, you could use 1 sheet of puff pastry and a store-bought rotisserie chicken (or how about some of that leftover T-Day turkey?), which will shave off 30 minutes. But if you’re feeling ambitious (and would rather not shell out for the pre-made dough, which can be pricey), attempt the crust; it’s a skill worth learning. Yes it was!
You can do Steps 8-11 ahead of time. I made my crust the day prior using a dough cutter as opposed to my fingers to massage the flour and butter. The dough is quite dry when you are kneading it, but it does finally come together. To keep overnight, lay it on parchment on an unrimmed cookie sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. Take out of the fridge the next day about an hour ahead of time to come to room temp.
Of course I added quite a bit more ingredients to the filling, using 1 3/4 pounds chicken, an entire baby acorn squash, the whole onion, and added a 1/2 cup peas. As always, to amp up flavor I replaced the water with 1 cup of homemade chicken stock. Because of the increases, I wished I’d doubled the sauerkraut too… next time…
My cast iron skillet was 10″ at the bottom but flared out to 11″ at the top. Even though I tried to stretch the crust beyond 10″, it was a bit shy of covering the top completely, and even shrunk a tad in the cooking process. Serves 4 as written below; 5-6 with all of the added ingredients.
Um, yes, I think I might now be a fan of pot pies—at least this one…
Chicken Pot Pie with Acorn Squash
½ cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into ¾-inch pieces
¾ medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
¼ cup sauerkraut
¼ acorn squash, seeds removed, peeled, cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup all-purpose flour; plus more for surface
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade (use instead of water)
1 large egg yolk
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, 5–6 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon.
- Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and celery, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan (the good stuff), until vegetables are beginning to soften, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Add sauerkraut and cook until liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Add squash and cook, tossing occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. (It took 10 minutes for my squash.)
- Return chicken and any accumulated juices, and add peas to skillet and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. flour; toss to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 1 minute.
- Stir in 1 cup milk and 1 cup chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut remaining 5 Tbsp. butter into small pieces (it should be cold). Whisk 1 cup flour, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Toss butter in flour mixture to evenly coat.
- Working quickly, rub butter into flour with your fingertips (or use a dough cutter) to create large, shaggy pieces of dough (the idea is to smash the butter into the flour, creating a mix of flat and thin pieces).
- Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. milk over and knead until dough starts to come together, pressing to incorporate shaggy edges (it will still look a little dry).
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or foil. Roll out to a 10″ circle, trimming any shaggy edges.
- Using parchment to help you, carefully invert dough over filling in skillet, covering it completely.
- Beat egg yolk and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl just to blend—congratulations, you just made egg wash. Cut 4 slits in dough to allow steam to escape and brush with egg wash.
- Bake pot pie until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling around the edges, 14-17 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Slice through crust with a sharp knife and use a large spoon to ladle the contents into shallow bowls.
Do Ahead: Dough can be made 3 days ahead; keep chilled, or freeze up to 1 month.
Adapted from a recipe by Elyssa Goldberg of Bon Appétit