Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

We’ve already talked about how much I love store bought puff pastry for its short cutting ways in the kitchen.  And I’d like you to know I feel very much the same way about store bought rotisserie chicken.  I’m unashamed to admit that I can’t walk into a Costco without buying one of their rotisserie chickens.  It’s just one of those things that makes cooking at home so much easier sometimes. 

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

So is it any wonder I’m in love with these chicken and vegetable hand pies that incorporate both of my favorite kitchen short cuts?  No, it is not 🙂

These hand pies are kind of like mini chicken pot pies – savory, flaky, and with a rich, creamy sauce.  The difference is instead of using celery and peas in the filling, I opted for carrots and parsnips.  Parsnips are an underrated root vegetable, in my opinion.  They’re sweet like carrots but have a spicier and nuttier flavor that I really like.  Parsnips also contain more starch, so they thicken up the sauce like a potato would. 

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

What are hand pies anyway? 

Hand pies are exactly what they sound like – little mini pies that can be sweet or savory.  You could make them with typical pie crust or you could short cut like I did and use puff pastry instead.  The puff pastry isn’t as sturdy as regular pie crust, but in this case it’s faster (and flakier and more buttery too).     

How do I serve these guys?

I happily ate these chicken and vegetable hand pies for dinner with my husband.  I’d like to tell you we ate it with a salad to round out the meal, but we didn’t.  Nothin’ but hand pies for us.  

BUT, if we weren’t so excited about eating these right away, I think they would be an excellent party food.  You can make them ahead and refrigerate them, then pop them into the oven when guests arrive.  Who wouldn’t want an individual little pie at a party?!  

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped, about 1 cup in total
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped parsnips
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium or homemade chicken stock
  • ½ cup milk, 2%
  • 1 large bunch thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg, beaten
Rotisserie Chicken for Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies
Tell me that store bought rotisserie chicken doesn’t look like a masterpiece

Start by shredding chicken and chopping the onions, carrots, and parsnips.  I like to use the dark meat from the rotisserie chicken because I find it stays moist better than the white meat.  I also personally prefer the white meat over dark meat cold in salads, which is how I tend to use up rotisserie chicken when I buy it.  

Carrots, Onion, and Bay Leaf for Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

In a large saute pan, melt ½ tbsp butter and ½ tbsp olive oil.  Add the onions, bay leaf, and ½  tsp kosher salt, then saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, add the carrots and parsnips and saute and additional 5-7 minutes.  

Add the remaining 2 ½ tbsp butter to the pan along with the garlic.  Stir until the butter is melted, then add the flour and stir well to coat everything.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  The flour should form a kind of paste with the butter around the vegetables.  

Filling for Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

After the raw flour taste has been cooked out, add the chicken stock and milk to the pan.  Start with about half the liquid incorporating it well, then add the rest.  Add the thyme leaves.  Simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.  

The photo above shows the consistency of the sauce after simmering for 15 minutes but before adding the chicken. 

Filling for Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

After simmering for 15 minutes, remove the mixture from heat, and remove the bay leaf and thyme leaves.  Season with salt and pepper.  The amount of salt and pepper you’ll use will depend on how salty your chicken broth was.  My advice is to be generous here.  I used homemade, unsalted chicken stock so I need a full heaping teaspoon of kosher salt.  You might need more or less – just go with what tastes right!

Finally, add in the cooked rotisserie chicken and your hand pie filling is complete. 

 

Cutting Dough for Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

While the filling cools, prep the dough for the hand pies.  Roll out each sheet of puff pastry in a 12×12 inch square, and use the opening of a drinking glass to cut circles in the puff pastry.  I used a glass that had an opening of about 3.5 inches.

You’ll have some dough leftover from the edges.  Combine the leftovers and roll them out onto a floured surface to stretch the number of rounds you’re able to make.  2 sheets of puff pastry made 28 rounds, which gave me 14 adorable little hand pies when all was said and done.  

Assembling Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

As you’re making the rounds, place them on a lightly floured baking sheet and keep what you’re not actively working on in the fridge.  This will keep the dough from getting too soft.  

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease a large baking sheet.  Place individual rounds on the baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd them.  Brush the egg wash onto the edges of the rounds so that they seal when you place the top rounds on.  Top each with a large heap of the pie filling. 

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies Ready for the Oven

Add the top rounds over each pie and press the edges sealed.  You might need to stretch the top pieces a bit by hand so they fit overtop of the filling.  Use a fork to crimp the edges and brush the tops with the remaining egg so they get nice and golden when baked in the oven. 

Before baking, let the hand pies chill in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.  This allows the butter in dough to firm up so the pies are flaky when baked.  After they chill, bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

Let the hand pies cool slightly before serving them.  I sprinkled mine with some fresh thyme leaves and kosher salt while they were still hot, but that’s completely optional. 

I’m experimenting with freezing the pies after they’re assembled instead of baking them right away.  I’ll update you here to let you know how that turned out. 

 Bon appétit!  

Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies

These Chicken and Vegetable Hand Pies are perfect mini appetizers perfect for a large gathering! 

Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 14 pies

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion chopped about 1 cup in total
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped parsnips
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium or homemade chicken stock
  • ½ cup milk 2%
  • 1 large bunch thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 sheets puff pastry thawed
  • 1 large egg beaten

Instructions

  1. Start by shredding chicken and chopping the onions, carrots, and parsnips, and in a large saute pan, melt ½ tbsp butter and ½ tbsp olive oil.

  2. Add the onions, bay leaf, and ½ tsp kosher salt to the pan, then saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add the onion and parsnips and saute and additional 5-7 minutes.

  3. Add the remaining 2 ½ tbsp butter to the pan along with the garlic. Stir until the butter is melted, then add the flour and stir well to coat everything. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken stock and milk to the pan. Start with about half the liquid incorporating it well, then add the rest. Add the thyme leaves. Simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Remove the mixture from heat, and remove the bay leaf and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. The amount of salt and pepper you'll use will depend on how salty your chicken broth was.
  6. While the filling cools, prep the dough for the hand pies. Roll out each sheet of puff pastry in a 12x12 inch square, and use the opening of a drinking glass to cut circles in the puff pastry
  7. Combine the leftovers dough from the edges and roll it out onto a floured surface to stretch the number of rounds you're able to make. 2 sheets of puff pastry made 28 rounds

  8. Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease two large baking sheets. Place individual rounds on the baking sheets, being careful not to overcrowd them. 

  9. Brush the egg wash onto the edges of the rounds so that they seal when you place the top rounds on. Top each with a large heap of the pie filling.

  10. Add the top rounds over each pie and press the edges sealed.  Use a fork to crimp the edges and brush the tops with the remaining egg so they get nice and golden when baked in the oven.

  11. Before baking, let the hand pies chill in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. After they chill, bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.


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