Whitney Miller’s Inside-Out Chicken Pot Pies

March 14 is Pi Day (3.14 — get it?), which originated in 1988 and has really caught on in recent years. It was even the subject of a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressional recognition is great — but at the risk of being irrational (ahem), what better way to celebrate pi than with a pie?

When it comes to pie, you can’t go wrong — from savory to sweet and baked to fried, they are all incredibly comforting and delicious.

Working your hands into the flour and finding yourself covered from head to toe is what pie making is all about, right?

Well, as much fun as that sounds, I have an easier way for you to enjoy your pie. My Inside-Out Chicken Pot Pies are effortless to make. My recipe skips the pie dough altogether and uses puff pastry instead. For the pie, a made-from-scratch creamy lemon pepper chicken “filling” is spooned over a flaky puff pastry bowl.

After diving in to my version of a chicken pot pie, you’ll want to celebrate Pi Day every day!

Inside-Out Chicken Pot Pies

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 5 cups cubed (½-inch) red potatoes
  • 3 cups carrots (quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces)
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 ear)
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken in an 8×8 inch glass baking dish. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken. Sprinkle with the lemon pepper. Add 1 tablespoon water. Cover tightly with foil and bake until chicken is cooked through but still juicy (an instant-read thermometer registers 155 degrees F in the thickest part), 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a plate. When cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred the chicken.

Combine the potatoes, carrots and water to cover in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 12 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the celery and onion, and cook until vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic and thyme, and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the stock and heavy cream. Add the potatoes, carrots, corn and peas. Gently simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes to meld the flavors and reduce the liquid; stir often to prevent the cream from sticking. Stir occasionally. Stir in the Parmesan, salt, pepper and shredded chicken. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon zest, cover and remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry into four squares. Turn a muffin tin upside down and coat the cups with cooking spray. Place the puff pastry squares over the prepared muffin cups. Poke about 10 holes in the puff pastry with the tip of a knife. Bake until pastry is crisp and golden brown (about 13 minutes). Remove the puff pastry from the muffin tin and let cool slightly on a rack.

Place each puff pastry bowl on a plate. Divide the creamy Parmesan chicken and vegetable mixture among the bowls. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

Whitney MillerWhen she was just 22, Whitney Miller won the first U.S. season of the Fox show MasterChef. She is the author of Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm. While working on her second cookbook, she frequently travels around the U.S. and as far away as China to conduct cooking demonstrations and culinary classes. For more, visit whitneymiller.net, connect with Whitney MillerH on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @whitneymillerH.