Updated: Sep 15, 2019
I’m pushing the fall vibes my cocina- it’s still hot as hades in South Texas, and maybe I’m a little premature in my efforts, but I’m so ready for autumnal comfort food! I miss my oven! Chicken Pot Pie is front and center in my fall reecipe playbook. I love making many different versions of this classic comfort dish when the weather starts to cool down, but there is something special about my Chicken and Wild Rice Pot Pie with Fillo Crust. It's hearty, cozy, delicious, beautiful, and good for ya! One of my pot pie pet peeves is when you scoop some on your plate and it runs everywhere. I used to solve this problem by serving a portion of wild rice underneath to soak up the sauce and loved the flavor/texture combo that resulted! So I thought, "what if I just put the cooked rice into the pie?" Bingo! If you have never worked with wild rice, don't be intimidated! It's very easy to prepare, but it does take some time to simmer- anywhere from 45-60 minutes. You will know it's done when the grains are chewy but tender and have begun to split apart (they look kind of like little slugs 🤢, but taste delicious). The rice gets folded into a creamy (yet cream-less) sauce perfumed by aromatic veggies, white wine, and thyme... mmm this is definitely pot pie elevated!
I think most people avoid making chicken pot pie at home because they assume it requires a lot of effort (it’s the reason Marie Callendar is so rich lol). I'm here to tell you that you can make healthy, homemade pot pie in under an hour that tastes insanely great! And, you can prep most of the recipe way in advance. I like to make this filling the morning of or even the day before and just chill it wrapped in Saran until I'm ready to top it with the crust and bake. Store bought rotisserie chicken and fillo pastry further simplifies the process. This pot pie is easy to make, but it looks and tastes like you’ve spent hours slaving away in the kitchen. I love to serve it in little individual ramekins- they look so pretty on a plate alongside a big green salad. Portioning the pot pie out also allows me to freeze a couple for future dinners (I like to freeze these without the crust- just thaw the filling completely and continue with the recipe by topping with the fillo). Of course, you can also make one larger pot pie too if that’s your preference! But it may take a little more time in the oven.
Let’s chat for a bit about my favorite part of any pie- the crust. I’ve tried them all- I’ve made my own and used all the store bought versions under the sun. Flaky fillo pastry has been my favorite for this recipe. It’s feather light, shatteringly crisp, and delivers optimal crunchiness. Although delicate, it’s also very easy to work with and quite forgiving. I like the scrunch the butter brushed sheets on top of the filling for a pretty presentation. If you can’t find fillo, puff pastry is my second choice among the store bought options- it can be a little finicky, but it’s buttery and delish. Just remember that it may require 5-10 minutes more cooking time. Happy fall cooking!
prep time: ~30 min. cook time: 25 min. serves: 4
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 tbsp butter, divided
8 oz sliced baby bella or white button mushrooms
2 leeks, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cooked wild rice
2 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
10-12 sheets thawed fillo pastry
Preheat the oven to 375° with the rack positioned in the middle. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside- wipe out the pan.
Heat the second tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter in the same pan. Add the leeks, carrots, and celery, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sweat the vegetables 5-7 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Cook the flour (or roux) about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the white wine and use your spoon to scrape any brown bits off the bottom. Let reduce 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes, until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon (note: take your finger and swipe it through the sauce on the spoon, the line should stay- this means the sauce is ready, or nappe. If it doesn’t stay, simmer the sauce a little longer).
Off the heat, fold the wild rice, chicken, mushrooms, and parsley into the sauce. Divide the filling evenly between 4 oiled ramekins. *The filling can be made up to one day ahead. Chill covered in plastic wrap before continuing with the recipe as written.
Melt the remaining 2 tbsp of butter in a microwave safe bowl. Carefully roll out each sheet of fillo and lightly brush one side with the butter. Scrunch the fillo up and top the filling with the dough, using 2-1/2 to 3 sheets per ramekin (cut the sheets in half if needed). Place the fillo topped pies on a rimmed baking sheet and pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is brown and the filling is hot. If the fillo is getting too dark, lightly lay a sheet of foil over the pies and continue baking (don’t press down or the fillo will shatter). Let the pies cool slightly and serve hot.