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Freezing Chicken Pot Pie?

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For my best friend's Christmas present, I'm giving her at least 5 casserole/ soup type dishes and snacks that will be frozen for her to bake off whenever she's ready for them. (She has an 18-month old and one on the way in early January, hence the need for the meals!) One of her favorite comfort foods is chicken pot pie so I was hoping to make this for her. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to freezing anything. I think I could probably make the filling without a bottom crust, freeze that, and then add the top crust and freeze again. My concern is that the crust will get soggy once I have her defrost it in the fridge. Can I or should I just tell her to bake from frozen or do you think it will work to defrost overnight in the fridge and then bake it? I have to provide her very specific instructions because she's a very basic cook. Thanks for any help or advice!

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  1. The ones that are sold are not baked, you just add a few holes for steam and then bake for 35-40 minutes.

    I've too have made plenty of chicken pot pies but always baked them off, but why wouldn't it work???

    1. To freeze it, assemble the whole thing, (I never use a bottom crust anyway, just a top) wrap it in foil, then again in plastic wrap. Foil prevents freezer burn, plastic keeps the odors out.

      You can bake it frozen - just go for a lower temperature for most of the time, and crank it up a little to brown the crust (if it needs it) at the end.

      I do this all the time - I've got 2 turkey pot pies in the freezer right now (thanks, thanksgiving!)

      1. I freeze the potpie all assembled and later bake from frozen.

        If you are freezing a potpie, be sure not to put potatoes in the filling. The texture of potatoes that have been frozen is not good.

        3 Replies
        1. re: browniebaker

          Ooh... thanks for that tip! I for sure would have used potatoes!

          1. re: browniebaker

            good point - I usually don't, but the one time I did - disaster.

            1. re: bobbyperu

              Starchy potatoes (bakers) will turn to a slushy mess. Waxy (boiling) potatoes don't. To avoid mushy 'taters, use the small red ones, or other 'new' potatoes. Fingerlings would work well also.

              To avoid soggy crust, you can use an egg wash as a moisture barrier between the crust and filling. Just beat up a couple egg yolks to lemon yellow, and paint this on the side of the crust that faces the filling. A little on the outside as a glaze is nice too, if you like that look.

              My experience with baking my own frozen pies is it's better to bake from frozen than to thaw first. I just put them in a cold (not preheated) oven, set for the normal temp. It takes a little longer, but turns out much better.

          2. Though this is only loosely considered a pot pie, I make Moravian Chicken Pies (pastry crust, no veggies; just chicken and gravy) regularly and give them as gifts. I assemble the pies completely (with top & bottom crust) and freeze the whole thing. I bake them for an hour or so at roughly the same temp I would as fresh ones. After the top crust is on, I do score at least 6 vent slits in the top. Right before I put them in the oven frozen, I'll re-score.

            1. Forgot to mention that I bake them frozen. I think letting them defrost would definitely ruin the pastry.

              1. I guess I should probably test one out then before I give it to her, because I know I really need to give her specific instructions or it's bound to be disastrous!