HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Chicken Pot Pie - pre-bake crust?

Im going to be making a couple of fairly large chicken pot pies next week. Should the bottom crust be pre-baked? Any other tips? Lest I mislead anyone I will be using boneless skinless chicken thighs and frozen chopped vegetables. I can use either cream of ____ soup, make the sauce, or some combination thereof, although probably the filling will be pre-made the day before and poured into the pie shells before baking.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. A blank bake would be fine on the bottom crust. No need on the top.

    1. I have never prebaked a pie shell when making cpp. I would definitely make a sauce using a roux, chicken stock and finished with a bit of cream. I always use a little sherry, garlic and thyme and finish it with lemon juice and parsley.

      1. I've always thought that a traditional, home-made chicken pot-pie has only a top crust -- so no prebaking of the crust.

        I typically make a veloute sauce, rather than cream sauce for ccp -- i.e., using chicken broth, thickened with a roux, no milk or cream.

        3 Replies
        1. re: masha

          Oh, I never do it without a bottom crust - it's one of the best parts for me. So for me, yes, pre-bake the bottom. But of course many feel more like masha and don't care about a bottom crust, and in that case as she says certainly no need to prebake that.

          1. re: masha

            A two-crust pie creates an enormous dumpling in the form of the bottom crust.

          2. I love the 2-crust style of pot pie. But I've never pre-baked the bottom crust, nor is there any real need to do so. A light roux based gravy is a must, but if I'm pre-making pies that are freezer bound, I'll use some modified cornstarch in the gravy as well, since modified starch doesn't break down and turn watery over time the way a flour thickened gravy inecitably will.

            1. I like double crust better but I love pie crust. Trader Joe's has a great frozen pie crust if you have one near you. I think it's better when you prebake the bottom (absorbs the sauce better) but then you run into the problem of getting the the top and bottom stick together when you put the top on so I rarely do. Make a white sauce/gravy instead of the cream soup. Frozen veggies are the best way to go, imo, for cpp.

              If you want to get fancier, poach chicken thighs w/ bones. Remove when done. Throw the bones back in w/ seasoning, veggies like onions, celery, carrots and simmer for a few hours. Strain and you have chicken stock to make the pie. It's simple but takes time (although the simmer part can be done in the crock pot). Anyway, hope that didn't complicate your question. If you want quick and easy, just poach the boneless chicken thighs and use box stock.

              1. I've never pre-baked the crusts for Chicken Pot Pie, and they turn out really yummy! Poking the bottoms with a fork helps assure that they don't rise into your filling as you bake.

                I've been craving soup today, but now I'm thinking about those Chicken Pot Pies....sounds really good.


                1. FWIW, here's my method for pot pies, which allows me to have them on BZ weekday nights:

                  I pre-make a batch of innards and freeze them. When it comes time to make them, I thaw and put the innards into a baking dish, then make a single crust and roll it into a rough circle, then put it onto a baking sheet. I put both into the oven at the same time. By the time the crust is done, the innards are heated. I float the crust on top and voila! Weeknight pot pie.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Erika L

                    I do basically the same thing but using biscuits

                  2. I appreciate all your suggestions. I am a crust fan, so if i were making this for me, I'd be doing a bottom crust, but right now everyone is on a pre-holiday diet, so I think I'll skip that step and just do a top crust. I'll do a traditional crust, but serve biscuits (and being Hawaii rice as well) That way people can determine their own carb consumption (cheddar biscuits based on a bisquick/yogurt recipe) I think the idea of a veloute (pronounced vel-oh-tay?, veh-lute?) is good. Love the richness of a cream base, but again calorie counting . . . also on the side I plan to serve some variation of that apple/beet salad that's been on chow lately. Since we have a business meeting right after, I won't be serving wine (and more's the shame) but there will be something white in the sauce.

                    2 Replies
                    1. and in the process i found this thread as well. don't know why it didn't show up the first time. Oh, because i used the chow search engine of course. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/873877

                      1. If anyone is still checking . . .

                        ok, i crock potted the chicken pieces today in chicken broth. the chicken has been shredded and is stiing (covered) in the fridge. The broth is chilling too so I can skim off the fat. There is a layer of tiny bits and pieces that are laying on the bottom of the pot. Im guessing these will add flavor to the pie once everything is mixed, and they can be stirred in. Or is this stuff bad and should be tossed? I'm sure its partly small bits of chicken, and bits of congealed juices, etc.

                        1. the pie/casseroles turned out well. i used a mix of veloute and canned cream of soup. I cooked the chicken (boneless skinless thighs) in low sodium chicken broth with some added vegetables that had been in the fridge a bit too long (carrots, green onion, japanese radish "daikon") and used the resulting 'enhanced broth' for my veloute. I went with a biscuit crust as mentioned before.

                          pretty much everyone went back for seconds. thanks for all the input.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            Nice! I find it a fool proof dish and you can play w/ so many variations. I also love cornbread crust. Super easy.

                            1. re: chowser

                              I was tempted by that too. i decided to go the middle route between a 'true' crust and something 'exotic'. it was also something the ones really watching carbs didn't feel too guilty about only eating a bit of and leaving the rest. Thanks chowser