Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Worth the effort, for sure! These mini pot pies put a smile on everyone’s face, every time!

Ingredients: Makes 4 mini pies

  • 4 disposable mini pie tins or similarly sized ceramic ramekins
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into coins
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 refrigerated pie crusts

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep skillet melt the butter over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and carrots and cook until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the flour and mix well.
  3. Begin adding small amounts of milk and stock, alternating between the two and stirring constantly. Mixture will begin to thicken, reduce heat to low.
  4. Add the peas and the chicken, and mix to combine.
  5. Add the salt, pepper and thyme.
  6. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings if needed and let cool.IMG_6286
  7. Meanwhile, roll out a pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Using a pie tin or ramekin as a template, cut a circle from the dough that is approximately one inch wider than the dish; this will be the bottom of the pie. Cut another circle that is the same size as the dish for the top of the pie. You may need to use a rolling pin to re-roll the dough or combine scraps with a new crust.
  8. Place the larger circle in the bottom of a pie tin or ramekin. Fill to the top with the cooled pot pie filling. Top with the smaller piece and crimp the edge with a fork to seal it. Carefully poke a few small holes in the top of the pie to create vents.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 to make 3 more mini pies.
  10. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 additional minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Let stand five minutes before serving, contents will be hot!

Notes:

  • Instead of rotisserie chicken, I often use baked, bone-in chicken breast which I cube after cooling. Two large breasts produce enough chicken for 4 pies.
  • Recipe doubles easily!
  • Pot pies can be frozen prior to cooking; cover completely with foil and freeze for up to 2 months. To bake from frozen, bake at 400 for 30 minutes covered, then remove foil and bake an additional 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

*Adapted from the Today Show, Freeze and Bake Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Shepherds Pies

These tiny treasures were a big hit at our St. Patty’s Day party yesterday!  I took some time saving short cuts because I was busy making several other dishes from scratch, but none of my guests were the wiser!  Do your self a favor and don’t wait until next St. Patty’s Day to make them!

Ingredients: Makes 24 appetizer size pies

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 85% lean)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1, 14 oz jar beef gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots mixed
  • 1, 8 oz family size package instant mashed potatoes (I used roasted garlic flavored)
  • 3 thawed pre-made pie crusts at room temperature
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Brown your ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, adding the garlic and onion powder as well as the thyme as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Once browned, add the frozen peas and carrots and stir to incorporate.  Add the jar of gravy and mix well.  Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes then cover and set aside off the heat.
  3. Prepare the instant mashed potatoes as directed on the package.  Set aside, covered.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. On a floured surface, unwrap, unroll and roll out pie crust dough using a rolling pin.  Take care not to press too firmly or to roll the dough out to thin.
  6. Generously spray two standard sized 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray. Using a jar or glass with a diameter that is larger than that of your muffin cups, cut out circles or “rounds” from the dough.  I can get about 8 from each pie crust, if I re-roll the “scraps” into a new sheet of dough.
  7. Gently press each pie round into a grease muffin cup.  They will not come up the sides completely and that is ok.  Bake for 6-8 minutes until they begin to brown.
  8. Remove mini pie crusts from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.  Uncover the meat mixture and the potatoes.  Everything will still be warm so take care while building each mini pie.
  9. Carefully remove each mini pie crust using your fingers and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Fill each with approximately 1 – 2 tbsp of the meat mixture.  Follow by topping each with 1 – 2 tbsp of mashed potatoes.  Pop the cookie sheet into the oven for 6 – 8 minutes allowing the crust to finish baking and the potatoes to develop a slight crust.
  10. Let cool only a few minutes before serving, as these are best served warm!

Suggestions:

  • Use left over gravy or make your own using beef stock.
  • Same goes with the potatoes… I’d say you need approximately 2 lbs worth.
  • I had left over meat and potatoes after this recipe and probably could have made another 8 – 12 mimi pies (if I had defrosted another pie crust), but I wasn’t prepared!  So instead, I assembled a small shepherds pie sans crust in a casserole dish which I froze for another time!
  • Lastly, I made these ahead of time, stored them at room temp and then popped them in a warm over for 5 minutes when my guests arrived to heat them back up.  worked like a charm!