Back to Our Roots: Chicken Pot Pie & Fennel Salad

Seasonal root veggies take center stage in this soul-satisfying chicken pot pie.

Chicken pot pie
(Quentin Bacon)

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I love summer produce, but the arrival of root vegetables and hearty greens at the farmers markets conjures up welcome memories of chilly autumn nights and hearty homecooked meals.

Last year, everyone was looking for comfort, and pot pie — the quintessential comfort food — became a staple in our house. In fact, a version of this Chicken Pot Pie with Winter Root Vegetables recipe was the most requested takeout item at my restaurant Gwen. I don’t think I’ve ever made so many pot pies in my life.

Anything can go into a pot pie, but I have found that root vegetables hold up well during baking. Use what you like from carrots, celery, and parsnips to sweet potatoes and cauliflower. I always use fresh vegetables, but frozen is fine in a pinch. Make sure your veggies and meat are all precooked. Vegetarian in the house? Just replace the chicken with more of your favorite veggies.

A convenient alternative to homemade crust, store-bought frozen puff pastry is an excellent and timesaving shortcut — just drape it over the top of your pie (no bottom crust required!). Another option is to sprinkle breadcrumbs over the filling instead. Fresh, dried, or panko breadcrumbs will lend a crispy topping that contrasts nicely with the filling.

The Shaved Fennel Salad with Lemon, Parsley, and Chives is a great companion to the flaky crust and creamy, rich interiors of a pot pie.

Pot Pie with Winter Root Vegetables

(Makes 8 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 turnip (about 8 ounces), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme or tarragon
  • 1 pound roasted chicken, torn into large bite-size pieces
 (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry (about 8 ounces),  thawed but still well-chilled

Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt butter in a 12-inch cast-iron or other heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, turnips, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until root vegetables are almost tender.    Sprinkle in flour and stir well for about 1 minute to cook flour, without browning. Raise heat to medium-high and stir in broth, followed by 1 ½ cups milk and thyme.

Bring to simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and stir in chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly, then remove and discard thyme stems.

In small bowl, mix egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon milk with fork to combine. On lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry into a 13-inch square.

Brush some of egg mixture over edges of the skillet. Lay pastry over the pan and gently press overhanging edges of pastry so they adhere to sides of pan. Lightly brush more of egg mixture over pastry and sprinkle with salt. Transfer to oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until pastry is deep golden brown and puffed. Cool slightly and serve.

Make-Ahead: Chicken and vegetable filling can be made 6 hours ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated.


Per serving

  • Calories: 216
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Sodium: 226 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 21 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 lean meat, 0.5 vegetable, 1 fat

Shaved Fennel Salad with Lemon, Parsley, and Chives

Shaved Fennel Salad
(Ray Kachatorian)

(Makes 4 servings)

  • 3 fennel bulbs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Using mandoline or vegetable slicer, cut fennel into paper-thin slices. In large bowl, toss fennel, chives, and parsley. Finely grate lemon zest over fennel mixture. Into small bowl, squeeze lemon juice. Slowly add oil while whisking to blend. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Toss fennel mixture with vinaigrette to coat, and season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Mound salad onto center of 4 plates and serve immediately.


Per serving:

  • Calories: 106
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Sodium: 92 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 14 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat

Hungry for more? Get a taste of Curtis Stone’s Acorn Squash Roasted with Thyme at

Excerpted from What’s For Dinner? by Curtis Stone. Copyright © 2015 by Curtis Stone. Excerpted with permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

This article is featured in the September/October 2021 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

Recipes © Curtis Stone

Featured image: Photo by Quentin Bacon

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