Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie

Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie | All Purpose Flour Child

We are now in full-blown Fall so it’s time for all the cozy, comforting meals and sweaters and crisp walks amongst crunchy leaves and yada yada you get it. One of our favorite family meals growing up was my mom’s classic chicken pot pie. It doesn’t get much cozier than that. I wanted to create my own Fall twist on it and thought squash would be so good in it. When I first ran this by my mom and sister, they were both like “eh, squash? really?” but really! It’s not too different from the typical carrots in a pot pie and the sweetness pairs really nicely with the smoky bacon and earthy sage, my absolute favorite Fall herb. Just breathing in it’s fragrance immediately transports me to the Thanksgiving table. Just the perfect Fall dinner.

I had planned to shoot this on Saturday morning along with this tart I made for Jojotastic and then to send my sister home with the leftovers because she came over to hang and have a sleepover. I always send her home with food because she’s a college kid and I can’t help but mother her a bit because she’s my little sis. And also, her roomies have caught on about this pattern and always ask what she’ll be bringing home whenever they hear she’s coming over to my house. Haha. But after I shot the tart (and my sister devoured a piece for breakfast), I ditched the pot pie and we ended up traipsing around Ballard and getting Frankie & Jo’s and watching Ernest Scared Stupid instead because that’s what you do on an October evening, ya? So I shot the pie on Sunday instead. No complaints here.

It’s not the quickest recipe but it is very simple. It’s a great thing to bake on a Sunday and have for meals throughout the week or a perfect dinner for family along with a simple green salad. And while you know I love making my own pie crust, if you didn’t want to bother, feel free to sub in frozen puff pastry or pie dough! This is a flaky pie dough so puff pastry would be a little closer to the real thing but you could certainly use pre-made pie dough also. And then it’s nothing more than cooking up the chicken and vegetables and making a bit of a béchamel (fancy name for cream sauce) to pull the filling together then you just assemble and bake! And wait until you smell this perfuming your kitchen. Heaven.

Hot tip: fully assembled and unbaked pot pies freeze beautifully so they make a wonderful gift for someone in need of a dinner! A friend who just had a baby! Someone really busy with work or kids or life. Your grandma who you want to show some love to! Your new neighbor! Whenever my mom makes her classic chicken pot pie, she always always doubles it and makes one to take to my grandma.

Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie

serves 8

pie crust*
2 2/3 c all purpose flour
1 t Himalayan pink salt
1 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed (2 sticks)
1 T apple cider vinegar
6-8 T ice water

5 oz bacon (about 4 slices), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large yellow or white onion, diced
3 c butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 all-purpose flour
2 c whole milk
1 c chicken stock
1 t Himalayan pink salt
1/2 t ground pepper
15-20 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped (or 1t ground sage)
1 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water
flaky salt (Jacobsen is my favorite)

make the crust

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Cut in the butter with the flour mixture using a pastry blender (or a food processor) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the vinegar and ice water and stir until the dough just comes together.  Divide dough in half, pat into two disks, cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge at least two hours or overnight, ideally.  

make the filling
In a large cast-iron dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add in the bacon and allow to cook until fat has rendered and bacon is crispy, flipping as necessary, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer bacon from pot to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add in the chicken in a single layer and allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the bottom then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or so until cooked through. Remove chicken and add to a large bowl. Add in the onion, adding in a little drizzle of olive oil if necessary if there isn’t much bacon fat left. Sauté for a few minutes until onions begin to caramelize. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and add them to the bowl with the chicken. Add in the squash and cook for about 10 minutes, until squash is tender and just cooked through and caramelized on the outside. A knife or fork should be able to easily pierce through them. Transfer squash to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.

In the same pot add in the butter. After the butter melts, add in the flour and whisk to combine, until a paste forms. Continue cooking for a minute or so, whisking constantly, until the mixture smells nutty and the flour taste has been cooked out of the paste. Slowly add in the milk and chicken stock while whisking constantly. Continue to whisk the mixture, allowing it to thicken slightly until it just coats the back of a spoon and you can run your finger down the back and have the line stay in place. Add in the salt, pepper, thyme, and sage and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add the vegetables, chicken, and bacon back in to the sauce, stirring to combine everything and coat everything in the sauce. Set aside while you roll out the crust.

assemble the pie
Preheat oven to 400 °F. Remove one of the dough disks from the fridge and roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into a 10.5 x 8 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thickness. I used this 10.75 x 7.5 inch baking dish but you could also use a 9 x 13 inch or a 9 inch deep dish pie dish. Add in the filling then top with top layer of crust and crimp edges however you’d like. I attempted a lattice crust (and made the stupid mistake of trying to weave it on top of hot filling like an idiot) but you do not need to get this fancy. You can just pop the top crust on, crimp it with the bottom crust, and poke a few holes in the top for steam to escape. Brush crust lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with flaky salt. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note: Crust recipe slightly adapted from Yossy Arefi

Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie | All Purpose Flour Child
Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie | All Purpose Flour Child
Butternut Squash, Sage, + Bacon Chicken Pot Pie | All Purpose Flour Child