Handheld Chicken Pot Pies Recipe

Slow-cook a whole chicken until super tender, then use it to make a sumptuous pot pie filling wrapped up in flaky paratha for the perfect on-the-go snack.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin 

Makes 15 or 16
Prep time: 1 ½ hours
Total time: 4 hours


for the Big Zesty Buttermilk Dressing:
½ cup|110 grams mayo (Duke’s or bust)
½ cup|120 grams sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or more if you like
2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean chile flakes) or other red chile flakes
2 teaspoons Zatarain’s Creole Seasoning
½ teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal or about half as much Morton), or more if you like
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 


for the filling:
one (4-to 4½-pound|1815-2040-gram) whole chicken (preferably one that had hobbies)
1½ tablespoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal or about half as much Morton), or more if you like 
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions; 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely diced
2 large carrots; 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely diced
4 celery stalks; 2 roughly chopped, 2 finely diced
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons granulated chicken bouillon (preferably Totole brand, optional but optimal)
¼ cup rendered chicken fat (ideally) or unsalted butter
¼ cup|30 grams all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons Huy Fong Foods Sriracha
1 tablespoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar 

for the pies:
15 or 16 frozen roti paratha
2 large eggs
chicken salt or kosher salt
1 cup Big Zesty Buttermilk Dressing
two 2-ounce clamshells tarragon, finely chopped (about ½ cup|8 grams)


  1. Make the Big Zesty Buttermilk Dressing: Mix all the ingredients together well. If you want, add more salt and lemon. It keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days.
  2. Make the filling: Get your oven to 375°F. Spatchcock the chicken (if you don’t know, google it). Season it all over with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the pepper. Get 1 tablespoon of the oil hot in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the chicken (if it won’t fit, cut that sucker in half and sear in batches) on both sides until it looks like Kramer in that episode of Seinfeld when he butters himself and falls asleep in the sun. Throw the backbone in there, too, because why not.
  3. Put the chicken on a plate, then cook the roughly chopped onion, carrot, and celery plus the garlic for a couple of minutes, scraping up any browned bits. Add 1 cup|250 ml water, scrape some more, then add the chicken bouillon and another 5 cups|1182 ml water. Add the bird, cover with a tight lid or foil, and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours. It’s done when you try to pick the chicken up by the leg and the leg comes off.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the diced onion, carrot, and celery with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent. Scrape them into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Now get the chicken fat hot in that same skillet over medium-high heat, then sprinkle in the flour and immediately get whisking until the flour smell dissipates and the resulting roux turns the barely golden color of a McDonald’s french fry, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape it into a little bowl and set aside.
  5. When the chicken’s done, move it to a plate and let it cool. Use a mesh skimmer or spider to scoop out and discard the solids in the Dutch oven, leaving the liquid behind. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 2 cups|500 ml, 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of that roux (but keep the rest handy) plus the thyme and rosemary. Let it boil again and cook for a few minutes, until it’s as thick as Texas queso. Whisk in more roux, if necessary. Set this gravy aside.
  6. Ditch the skin from the cooled chicken (or treat your dog), then pick the meat into bite-size pieces and put it in the large mixing bowl with the reserved vegetables. Stir in the gravy, sriracha, hot sauce, sherry vinegar, and remaining ½ tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Add more salt until you’re happy. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for an hour or so (up to 3 days). Filling the pies is easier when it’s cooled down.
  7. To assemble those pies: Take the roti paratha packages out of the freezer and let them thaw for 5 to 10 minutes, so they’re pliable. You can separate them to speed this up. If they get too soft, pop them back in the freezer for a bit. For each potpie, scoop a slightly generous ⅓ cup|90 grams of the filling in the center of a roti paratha. Gently fold the roti paratha over the filling so the edges touch, gently pinch them together with your fingers, and then use a fork to crimp the edges to seal the dough. Get your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Put the pies on the baking sheet with an inch or so between them.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with 2 tablespoons water until solid yellow. Brush or rub the mixture on the tops and edges of the pies, then liberally and evenly sprinkle with the chicken salt. Bake until they’re ice-cream-cone brown and hot in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes.
  9. Mix the buttermilk dressing and tarragon in a bowl. Dip the potpies. Eat them. 

Reprinted with permission from Turkey and the Wolf by Mason Hereford with JJ Goode, copyright © 2022. Published by TenSpeed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. 

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.