Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a feast for family or friends.
Can you think of a cozier meal than chicken pot pie to dive into on a cold winter’s evening? Hearty and flavorful, the one-skillet dish needs little more to accompany it than a good glass of wine. And with a green salad on the side, it becomes a meal that easily serves six people—though the price tag on the pie remains low.
This dish is relatively classic in flavor and presentation, with a few updates. It’s made in a skillet (as opposed to a pie plate or casserole dish) that goes directly from the stovetop to the oven, with no soggy bottom crust to worry about. Instead of sweet peas and carrots, you’ll use hearty greens, which add heft and a subtle bitterness to cut through the creamy filling. Tender, store-bought rotisserie chicken provides a shortcut and extra flavor, but any simply cooked chicken you have on hand will do nicely. While many pot pie recipes recommend using a premade pie dough or puff pastry crust to save time, when looking to save money, go homemade, which runs you less than $2. And not for nothing: I think this buttery, black pepper-flecked pie crust is significantly more exciting than store-bought offerings.
Though you’ll need to wait a couple hours for the crust to chill, and another half-hour for the pie to bake, the meal’s active time is just about 30 minutes—an ideal option for winter dinner parties. If you’re thinking ahead, consider making an extra batch or two of the crust for next time: Tightly wrapped, it lasts in the freezer for months. Once the crust and filling are prepared, you’ll just roll out the dough and bake. Tip: If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle!
Speaking of wine, for this dish I’ve gone with a dry, light-bodied white, which works both in the pie’s filling (you’ll need 1/2 cup) and in your glass with the finished dish. I chose Loimer Grüner Veltliner Kamptal Lois 2020 (91 points, $19), a refreshing, zippy Austrian wine made with organic grapes. It has real character, but it’s affordable enough that you won’t miss losing a good glug to the recipe. That said, you should only ever cook with a wine you’d drink. Would any dry white wine work in the pie recipe? Absolutely. Might you prefer to drink a red on a chilly night? Perhaps! In either case, follow your heart: Eat, drink and be cozy.
Rotisserie Chicken and Greens Pot Pie
Pair with a dry, light-bodied white wine such as Loimer Grüner Veltliner Kamptal Lois 2020 (91 points, $19). Brightly acidic, yet a bit savory, Grüner Veltliner is an ideal match for both the pie’s rich crust and bitter greens.
Prep time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Approximate cost: $16
Serves: 4 to 6
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, diced 1/2-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
For the filling and assembly:
- 1 (2-3 pound) rotisserie chicken
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 stalks celery (or 1 small bulb fennel), diced 1/2-inch thick
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1/2-inch thick
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock)
- 2 cups whole milk, plus more for brushing the crust
- 12 to 16 ounces (about 1 bunch) leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, escarole or Swiss chard, washed, stemmed and roughly torn
- Flaky sea salt, for topping (optional)
For the crust:
1. In a medium bowl, use your fingers to combine the flour, pepper and salt. Toss the butter pieces into the bowl to coat in flour, then use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour mixture until it forms crumbs the size of lima beans. Drizzle the 3 tablespoons water over the mixture, then use your fingers to gently knead the mixture together until a shaggy dough forms. (If it seems really dry, add more water by the teaspoonful.)
2. Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and knead it a few more times to form a mass. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap, then press into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).
For the filling and assembly:
1. Pull the meat from the chicken into bite-sized pieces until you have about 3 cups. (The skin can be left on or removed; reserve any leftover meat and the carcass for another use.)
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a 10-inch cast-iron (or another ovenproof) skillet. Add the celery, onion and garlic. Season with a big pinch of salt, lots of black pepper and the red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes.
3. Increase the heat to medium-high, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour starts to darken and stick to the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the wine (or chicken stock) to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet, stirring constantly, until the wine reduces a bit, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk (about 1/4 cup at a time) until combined. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens to the consistency of gravy, about 5 minutes.
4. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in half the greens, ensuring they’re coated in the sauce and start to wilt. Turn off the heat.
5. Stir in the chicken pieces and the remaining greens until evenly coated in the sauce. Season with more salt to taste. Let the filling cool slightly while you roll out the crust. (If making the pie ahead of time, cool the filling for 30 minutes, then remove from the skillet and transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
6. Heat the oven to 425º F and position a rack in the center. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. (This helps prevent the dough from cracking as it’s rolled out.)
7. Dust a clean work surface with flour, unwrap the dough onto the flour and dust the top with a bit more flour. Roll out the crust into an 11-inch round.
8. Place the crust on top of the skillet, then fold the excess edge under itself to evenly fit over the pie. Use a fork to crimp the dough’s edges. Place the skillet on a sheet pan (to catch drips as the pie bakes). Use a pastry brush to brush the crust with a few teaspoons of milk, then use a paring knife to cut a few small slits into the center of the crust. Transfer the sheet pan into the oven and bake until the filling is bubbly and the crust is deeply golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before topping with flaky salt and scooping out servings. Serves 4–6.