Table for One

A Personal Chicken Pot Pie You Can Cook & Eat in One Pan

Weekend cooking for one.

by:
May 10, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis.

Table for One is a column by Senior Editor Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms.


This easy chicken pot pie recipe first started out in a six-ounce ramekin. It was cute and pixie but, like my appetite for solitude, left me hungry for more.

Then it grew into an oven-safe cereal bowl (a dingy Bed Bath & Beyond purchase I made when I first moved to New York City 10 years ago). But that was too deep, so the filling didn't reduce enough as it baked. Plus, it was still a measly amount of food, especially for supper.

Finally, after a few more tries in a shallower baking dish, I sent the finished recipe off to our test kitchen for photographing. Food stylist and cookbook writer Samantha Seneviratne—who's notoriously great at troubleshooting serving sizes—suggested to me that day, "I think you should double this."

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Top Comment:
“My late wife's idea of being loved was me making a chicken pot pie for her. The recipe I used was a mash up of 3 or 4 recipes, it was tedious to make, it always seemed insipidly bland, she insisted she could not eat pie crust so I had to do a potato-y topper instead so by the time I put the thing together and got it to the table, the last thing I wanted to do was eat any of it. I have not made or eaten a pot pie since 2008 but lately, I've been craving one. There was no way a frozen thing was going to pass through my doorway, though. Thanks to you and the magic of the internet-here is my Saturday dinner. Mine is going to have asparagus, tiny mushrooms, cipollini onions as well as the radishes. I am going to buy a crisp, dry white wine and shall toast you with my first sip of wine as I curl my toes in pleasure supping this singleton dish. <3”
— Whiteantlers
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Double what I've already doubled? I thought.

But she was right. The recipe had to be doubled in order to feel substantial enough as a meal on its own.

Even more, we chatted with our prop stylist Amanda Widis about the right pan for the job—and she picked out a gorgeous eight-inch cast-iron skillet. I thought: Great. I can make the filling, top it with pastry, and bake it all in one pan. I can even eat out of the same vessel, which means fewer dishes.

Win, win.

An empty wine bottle is the best rolling pin for pie dough. Photo by Rocky Luten

My version of chicken pot pie takes advantage of spring radishes and peas (albeit frozen peas, but let's be real: Those taste better than fresh 90 percent of the time, no?). I love the way the two colors bounce off each other, the bright green and electric pink, like Kermit and Miss Piggy.

There's something so underrated about cooked radishes. Korean cuisine relies on radishes for their raw crunch, but also for their cooked, aromatic softness. Once stewed or roasted or baked, radishes lose their bitter edge and gain an immeasurable sweetness.

Mostly, this chicken pot pie recipe is a reminder that comfort food doesn't have to mean heavy. Bright vegetables and a light Thai curry and coconut chicken filling takes the winter favorite and makes it fit for these warm and rainy days of spring. In the same way that I adore Better Than Bouillon chicken concentrate, store-bought red curry paste is a great shortcut for lazy weekends in, when you're looking for maximal flavor (here in the form of Thai red chiles, garlic, and lemongrass) but with minimal effort.

Speaking of minimal effort, the pie crust is homemade, with the idea in mind that making one single portion of dough feels somehow more manageable than a large one. Relaxing even, at least for me. (But hey, I won't be mad if you decide to use store-bought puff pastry; that stuff is delicious, too.)

Oh, and the best part? Just one pan to clean.


Easy Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Pie Crust

  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt

Filling

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1/2 pound), cut into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (one of those mini 5.46–fluid ounce cans), well mixed (or if you want a more classically creamy filling, 2/3 cup heavy cream plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock)
  • 1 cup radishes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 pinch sugar
A personal chicken pot pie is a comforting way to ease into the weekend. Photo by Rocky Luten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. For the pie crust: In a small bowl using the tips of your fingers, press the flour into the butter until you have small, flat pieces (and most of the flour is touching butter in some way). Add the ice water and salt and form dough into a ball. Wrap and chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

  3. For the filling: In a small 8-inch, oven-safe skillet, melt the butter and sauté the shallot for 1 to 2 minutes, just until fragrant. Add the chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer, and keep cooking until reduced slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. (If you've decided to use heavy cream and chicken stock instead of coconut milk, then skip this step and add them in the next.)

  4. Turn off the heat; add the radishes, peas, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar (plus cream and stock if using); and stir together.

  5. Take the pie dough out of the fridge and, using a wine bottle (the best rolling pin in my book), roll out into a flat 9-inch circle (i.e., large enough so it's about 1 inch larger in diameter than the skillet), about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place over the filling, folding the edge under itself all the way around the pan to seal. Crimp if you have the skills (I don't). Cut four slits on top and transfer skillet to a sheet pan (for insurance, in case the pot pie spills over while cooking).

  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the crust has browned and filling has reduced.

Have you ever made a pie just for yourself? Let us know in the comments below.


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Eric Kim is the Senior Editor and 'Table for One' columnist at Food52. Formerly the Digital Manager of FoodNetwork.com, he writes about food, travel, and culture and lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog.

10 Comments

Kathy K. May 10, 2019
When I was single I reveled in one-pan/pot meals. Even now in a relationship, I look forward to my alone time to revisit the luxury of enjoying a meal that utilizes ONE cooking vessel and a minimum of other kitchen tools and utensils. Something so earthy about it. This recipe takes that concept to a whole new level. Simple and satisfying. Can't wait to try...and yes, wine bottles make excellent pie pins!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. May 11, 2019
Thanks, Kathy! Agreed. Even when one is in a relationship, the joy of quiet, minimalist cooking remains.
 
Whiteantlers May 10, 2019
Oh. My. Goodness.

Eric, this recipe is simply amazing grace. My late wife's idea of being loved was me making a chicken pot pie for her. The recipe I used was a mash up of 3 or 4 recipes, it was tedious to make, it always seemed insipidly bland, she insisted she could not eat pie crust so I had to do a potato-y topper instead so by the time I put the thing together and got it to the table, the last thing I wanted to do was eat any of it. I have not made or eaten a pot pie since 2008 but lately, I've been craving one. There was no way a frozen thing was going to pass through my doorway, though. Thanks to you and the magic of the internet-here is my Saturday dinner.

Mine is going to have asparagus, tiny mushrooms, cipollini onions as well as the radishes. I am going to buy a crisp, dry white wine and shall toast you with my first sip of wine as I curl my toes in pleasure supping this singleton dish. <3
 
Author Comment
Eric K. May 11, 2019
WA- I agree with your late wife; that sounds like love to me. :) Also, were the potatoes mashed or like a scalloped situation? My brain's churning again... Your story speaks to why I developed this recipe in the first place (and kept at it even though it took so many tries): to find that middle ground between frozen TV dinner and laborious all-day cooking. Your version sounds absolutely delicious. Please let me know how it goes and have an incredible weekend, friend. x
 
Whiteantlers May 12, 2019
The potato topping for Patricia's "I love you" pot pies took many forms. A few times I made colcannon as a topping, once I mashed a combo of spuds, a turnip and a rutabaga, another time I covered the top of the pie in tater tots. I did a jazzy piping of decorative mashed potatoes with some goat cheese mixed in for richness, another time I made hash browns and used them as a topper and once I was too p'd off to care so I used puff pastry. She ate it all with no ill effects. One of the last times I cooked a pot pie for her, I had cold, left over mashed potatoes and made them into faux drop biscuits as a lid. Never thought to make scalloped potatoes to top a pot pie. I think all that extra work would have had me eating nothing and only drinking a liquid diet of Manhattans for a week. : P
 
Author Comment
Eric K. May 16, 2019
Manhattans are a great supper for one.
 
Juliebell May 17, 2019
OMG. What a lovely love story. Cheers to a very creative and devoted man and the woman who inspired such creativity and devotion.
 
Eric W. May 10, 2019
Will a printer-friendly version be available at some point? Looks delicious!
 
Author Comment
Eric K. May 10, 2019
Noted! Coming soon.
 
Author Comment
Eric K. May 16, 2019
Here ya go! https://food52.com/recipes/81246-thai-curry-chicken-pot-pie-for-one