Why Carla Hall Puts Crust On The Top And Bottom Of Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie is one of the best comfort foods. It's warm, it has gravy, soft carrots, and chicken encased in a flaky pie crust shell – who could say no? If you have leftover chicken, it's an excellent way to put the carcass to use by creating a flavorful stock as a base for the gravy, not to mention the leftover meat. Of course, it's a versatile dish and could evolve with your personal tastes and what you have available. You could go Tex-Mex à la The Pioneer Woman with cilantro and chipotle peppers or classic with a French twist using Julia Child and Jaques Pepin's recipe on NY Times Cooking, which calls for tarragon and one pie crust laid on top of the gravy and chicken.

Pillsbury's classic recipe calls for a double crust, one on the bottom and another on top. But the gravy mixture goes straight in on top of the raw pie crust before heading into the oven to bake instead of being par-baked first. This could lead to a soggy or underbaked bottom crust, which is definitely not ideal. Enter chef Carla Hall with her "Top Chef" elimination round-winning chicken pot pie.

Blind baking the bottom crust is key to Carla Hall's chicken pot pie recipe

Chef Carla Hall's chicken pot pie recipe is one of her best. It's consistently ranked as one of the best celebrity chicken pot pie recipes out there, as evidenced by The Kitchn, and she told Food52 that she's always revising and improving the recipe. For Hall, the recipe is associated with "happy food memories" from her childhood growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, and she loves peas, crust, chicken, and gravy, and honestly, we totally understand.

The key to Hall's recipe is baking the top and bottom crusts before assembling them. Her recipe instructs home cooks to divide and roll the pie dough into eight discs before brushing with egg wash and baking for around 20 minutes. Then, she places one disc on the bottom of a serving dish and spoons the filling before placing the second disc on top. This, according to Hall, is so that "the crust stays flaky (yum) and doesn't have that gooey raw dough layer (blech)." She also advises home cooks that the secret to flaky, buttery pie crust is practice. Honestly, we can't wait to try it for ourselves.