Cooking Corner

Don’s Chicken Pot Pie

By Bill Dwyer

This month’s column is a tribute to our friend Don Hanks, who died June 24th in San José. Don loved good food and learned how to prepare it, inspired by Julia Child and the experience of growing up in Paris. This is one of Don’s choicest dishes. 


  • 1 ½ chicken breasts, diced
  • ½ package mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, diced
  • 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ package frozen peas
  • 5 cups chicken stock, hot
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • ⅔ cup white wine
  • 1½ sticks butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • 1 pkg frozen puff pastry
  • 1 egg, for egg wash


  1. Sauté the chicken breasts in olive oil. Set aside, and then sauté the mushrooms. Set aside. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven sauté the onions, carrots, celery, thyme and sage over medium heat until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and peas. Mix well. 
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the hot chicken stock and then the wine and cream to the sauce. Simmer over low heat, stirring, until thick. 
  4. Stir in the parsley and combine the sauce with the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Add the chicken and mushrooms and mix well. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  6. Divide the chicken mixture equally among 4 ovenproof bowls. Divide the puff pastry into quarters and roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Brush the outside edges of each bowl with the egg wash, and then place the dough on top. Trim the circle to 1/2-inch larger than the top of the bowl. Crimp the dough to fold over the side, pressing it to make it stick. Brush the dough with egg wash and make 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.