Chicken is one of our family’s favorite sources of protein and no matter how many different ways I cook it (just take a look at our main dish recipe index and you’ll get an idea!), we don’t grow tired of it – probably because it’s adaptable to so many types of recipes.
Which is why partnering with Foster Farms again to bring you guys a new chicken dish was a no-brainer. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a loyal Foster Farms chicken fan for a long time once I learned that their chickens are American Humane Certified and raised on ranches in Oregon and Washington and delivered to local grocery stores in the Pacific Northwest within 48 hours (versus chicken that has to be trucked cross-country).
Since we love chicken so much I have a lot of ideas for recipes using it, but now that the weather has turned cooler, baked dishes are calling to me – and this bacon dijon chicken pot pie makes a perfect warm, comfort food dinner. October is also our “sweet and savory pie recipe” month on the blog, so a pie using chicken seems pretty much perfect, right?
But I didn’t want to share just any pot pie recipe with you – I wanted to shake up the traditional chicken pot pie ingredients and make it easier – you can always trust me to find the easiest way to do things! So I added bacon, dijon mustard, garlic and vegetables like cabbage and sweet pepper to go along with the chicken and onion. Made the white sauce right in with the vegetables. And then topped it with a crust made with good-for-you ingredients that you simply shape with your hands.
I don’t know if I’ll ever make a traditional chicken pot pie again! My family LOVED it.
These are the fresh, real food, filling ingredients, many of which came from my own garden. Since I can’t get chickens from my yard, I purchased Foster Farms Simply Raised (without antibiotics), one of two locally grown products in the Pacific Northwest (the other being Fresh & Natural) that come from 32 family farmers in Oregon and Washington that raise locally grown chicken – many of whom have been working with Foster Farms for years.
If you grow any of your own food, you know that feeding your family quality foods is one of the reasons to garden and preserve. I’ve found that when you invest in that, then it becomes important that all our food be as local as possible for two reasons: freshness and minimal shipping costs to the environment. Of course, you know me and that has to be balanced with what’s possible with our food budget. While I’m happy to pay a bit more for quality and local, I can’t pay huge prices and so I appreciate that Foster Farms makes it possible to fit a locally grown option into our budget.
For this out-of-the-box pot pie recipe, the chicken, bacon and mustard provide flavor and protein while cabbage and sweet peppers make a nice change from peas and carrots. I always encourage you guys to use whatever you have on hand, however. Kale, chard or spinach would be fantastic, I think, as well as mushrooms, diced zucchini, or corn (okay, and yes, if you have peas and carrots go ahead and use them!).
Infusing the filling with bacon flavor only takes a few slices, cooked first, drained, and then… you can you guess what I did, right? Yep, cooked the chicken and onion right in all the bacon drippings. And then threw in the vegetables to saute in the bacon goodness, just for good measure.
In order to make this dish possible for weeknights, making a separate white sauce just wasn’t going to cut it – instead I made the sauce right in the pot by simply sprinkling the flour over the sautéing vegetables and stirring as the milk is added. It will thicken as it cooks (alternately, if you wanted to use cornstarch or potato starch, mix it into cold milk first and then pour slowly into the hot vegetables).
After stirring in the seasonings, mustard and cooked bacon, transfer the filling to individual ramekins or into a deep dish pie plate. I really like using ramekins for pies like this, as well as fruit crisps, since it makes them so easy to serve.
And if making a crust is why you shy away from making pot pies, then you will love this recipe! All the crispy, browned crust goodness with only about 5 minutes work.
The crust is the same basic press-in-the-pan oil crust from our sausage corn tart using only four ingredients (flour, salt, oil and milk) – except this time it uses 100% whole wheat pastry flour, is divided into pieces and simply shaped by hand into rounds. Use a spatula to scoop each ramekin-sized crust up and flip it onto the top of the filling. (Or to make it for one large pie, shape the entire dough onto a piece of parchment the size of your pie plate top and flip it over the top, peeling the parchment back after you do.)
You’ll want to set either the individual ramekins or single pie plate onto a cookie sheet before placing it in the oven to catch any drips from the filling while it bakes into lovely golden deliciousness.
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2-3 lbs. Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken breasts or thighs, skinned, boned & chopped
- 1 lg. onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 sweet red pepper, chopped
- ½ small head cabbage, cored & chopped
- ¼ c. flour*
- 2 c. milk
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
- Crust Ingredients:
- 1-3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour**
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ c. oil (olive, expeller-pressed sunflower, melted coconut)
- ¼ c. milk
- 1 egg (optional to wash the crusts- it helps them brown nicely)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 1-cup ramekins (or one deep dish pie plate) on a small baking sheet.
- Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; remove to a towel lined plate to drain.
- Add chicken pieces to bacon drippings and cook until browned no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook another couple minutes until onion is softened.
- Stir in cabbage and red pepper, stirring and cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle vegetables with flour* and mix well.
- Slowly pour in the milk, add the Dijon and seasonings and cook over med-high heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in reserved bacon.
- Divide filling between ramekins (or spoon into pie plate).
- Make crust:
- Mix flour and salt in a medium bowl.
- Stir together oil and milk and pour over flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until mixed completely.
- Shape/flatten dough into an oval and divide into 6 even pieces for ramekins. Shape each piece on a cutting board with your hands to fit the ramekin opening, use a spatula to transfer to ramekin, flipping dough onto filling top. (For single pie, press all the dough out onto a piece of parchment, flatten and shape to fit, then flip onto filling, peeling parchment off.)
- Brush crust tops with beaten egg wash, if desired for browning.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
**You can use unbleached or regular all-purpose, if you prefer, but if you use regular whole wheat (instead of pastry) the dough will be tougher and heavier.
This post is sponsored by Foster Farms®, the chicken I’ve bought for years since it’s grown locally. The opinions, as always, are all mine. For more info, read our entire disclosure page here.