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Chicken pot pie - what herbs/spices do you add?

My standard chicken pot pie recipe needs some "umph". I make the standard filling but use a cornbread batter on top (instead of a pastry dough). Any recs on what types of herbs or spices I could use to jazz up the flavor of the filling? TIA

(I want to stay with my recipe since husband loves it, though I wish it had more flavor).

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  1. I put some tabasco and some thyme in mine

    1 Reply
    1. re: smartie

      I tried the tabasco and fresh thyme last night. It was pretty good and you felt the heat at the back of the tongue, but I think it needs a bit more "freshness".

    2. Thyme, rosemary, sage, standard poultry seasonings. I think using good home made stock gives it the best flavor and texture. I like the corn bread batter topping, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        I agree about the spices. Thyme and sage are a given for poultry dishes, and I also add a little chopped parsley and 2-3 cloves of lightly sauteed chopped garlic per pie.

        1. Summer savory and/or thyme is all I usually put in. If I made the stock for the sauce, it's already going to have bay leaf, garlic and other botanicals. I think it'd be a hoot to get a little medieval and use some sweet spices, like nutmeg or mace, or curry as ipse suggests. Then use onion, apple and raisins, chopped egg, maybe coconut milk in the sauce...

          1. Thyme is nice, but I like tarragon better- but be careful, you can easily over-do it with that herb.

            2 Replies
            1. re: TongoRad

              if i use tarragon (sparingly), i also use finely sliced leeks in the pie, along with just a dash of lemon. i like the combo of those three.

              depending, sometimes a dash or two of paprika can add a "je ne sais quois" twist.

              1. re: Emme

                I made it with thyme and tabasco last night, but will try tarragon/lemon/paprika next time.

            2. I add a little teaxas Pete to my pot pie and my dumplins....it gives them that little umph

              1. I recently messed around with a chicken & dumplings recipe by adding nopalitos (jarred, drained) and some diced fresh jalapenos, and cilantro in the dumplings. (These aren't traditional Southern dumplings to start with - but a fluffy flour/corn meal/cheese type.)

                If that's way too off the beaten path, try stirring in a glug of sherry (good, bad or indifferent to the quality in this - cooking sherry is terrible stuff, but the roux here should hold up to the salt, no problem) and parmesan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shanagain

                  Thanks for the sherry reminder. That mentally hit the spot.

                2. I love herbes de provence, and or thyme and I completely agree with the summer savory. I love white pepper instead of black, and fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsely chopped very fine added to the sauce at the end of cooking. Of course mushroom isn't an herb, but I love the earthiness mushrooms impart, especially dried porcini or shitake first hydrated in warm to hot water and then soaked in a bit of sherry. Sherry is a nice touch (not too much) to chicken with a cream sauce. The dried mushrooms and sherry are exotic with a bit of smokiness, then the freshness of the parsley on the finish picks it up.
                  Yes a couple of good grinds of fresh nutmeg is good too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Nice! I love a little sherry and fresh nutmeg, too.

                  2. I always simmer a little bay leaf in with the sauce/filling. I find bay leaf and lots of black pepper is all it needs to be really rich tasting. If you add cream, a few little swipes of fresh nutmeg is nice, but I go for the simple and classic with pot pie! :)

                    1. I second Chef's/Chowser's recommendation of some sherry and nutmeg. I would also add, if you have it, a mere dash of fish sauce.