Bring a little rustic charm to the party with sweet and savory Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies! These comforting hand pies are perfect for potlucks, dinner parties, date nights, and even make-ahead weeknight dinners.
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Few things are as comforting as a savory pie enveloped in warm, buttery pastry. Don’t you agree?
Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies are a rustic but lovely main course or welcome addition to any potluck buffet spread. The lightly seasoned chicken filling is mixed with earthy vegetables and rosemary, and coated in a rich apricot sauce. Acidic and spicy elements of apple cider vinegar and mustard combine with the sweetness of the apricot jam, making a filling that is delicious, decadent, and well-balanced. I dare you to eat just one!
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Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies
These delicious Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies are a great make-ahead dinner that can be stored in the freezer for future use. Break out a batch to bring to a potluck as a utensil-free option, or cook a few at a time as a special weeknight dinner when you need one.
I’ve chatted about the potluck-worthy nature of mini picnic pies and hand pies before. Whether savory or sweet, this method for making little hand pies might take a little bit of time on the front end, but is well-worth the effort in the long run.
If you don’t have a few hours, you can easily break the steps of the recipe up over a few days. The pie dough (if not using store-bought) can be made two to three days ahead and kept in the fridge. The chicken filling and accompanying apricot sauce needs to chill for at least an hour, and can easily be made the day before. Once those components are taken care of, the pies just need to be assembled and baked. From there, you can either eat them immediately, or follow the instructions below for freezing and storing.
Easy Pulled Chicken
This recipe for Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies calls for a single pound of pre-cooked, shredded chicken. There are a lot of ways you can achieve this, so while I’ll share my recipe, feel free to use whatever method you prefer. You can even shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken if you want. Super easy.
In my house, we always have a few pounds of pulled chicken in the fridge, so making a big batch is part of my weekly routine. It’s great for lunches and simple dinners. You can throw it on a salad, make super quick tacos, or just eat a bowl with some hot sauce if you’re my husband and want something that’s high in protein and low in calories.
I make this weekly staple overnight in a slow cooker. Start by sprinkling about 2 tablespoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of black pepper in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pile in your chicken (I usually make four to six pounds using this method), and then sprinkle another tablespoon each of salt and pepper across the top. Pour in a scant 1/3 cup of water and cook the chicken for eight hours on low overnight. Once the chicken is done (or as soon as you wake up in the morning), shred the chicken up with forks or these incredibly useful Bear Paws Shredder Claws. Store in the fridge and use within a few days.
Mini Apricot Rosemary Chicken Pies
- 1 pound chicken, pre-cooked and shredded
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- ½ cup fennel, diced
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¾ teaspoon rosemary leaves, diced (see note)
- Double batch of your favorite pie dough (enough to make two double-crusted pies)
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- 8 ounces apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Two regular-sized non-stick muffin tins
- 6- inch round cookie cutter (or template to trace over dough)
- 3- inch round cookie cutter (or template to trace over dough)
Make the chicken pie filling:
- Melt two tablespoons butter in a hot pan over medium heat. Sauté the carrots, celery, and fennel with salt and pepper until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
- Melt the remaining two tablespoons butter with the vegetables and add the rosemary (if using). Add in the chicken, and sprinkle the two tablespoons of flour over top. Stir the mixture to coat and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Make the apricot sauce:
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together the apricot jam, mustard, and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is reduced by a third to one-half of the original volume.
- Return the pan with the chicken mixture to the burner over medium high heat. Stir in the apricot sauce and sauté for about five minutes until the chicken is well coated and heated through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. For best results, chill the filling in the fridge for an hour or overnight, until cool to the touch.
Assemble the chicken pies and bake:
- Heat the oven to 375°F and prepare your muffin tins. Spritz the inside of the muffin molds with non-stick cooking spray and set aside, away from the preheating oven so that they stay room temperature.
- Work with the pie dough in batches, keeping unused portions in the fridge to keep cold. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a cookie cutter or stencil, cut out 6-inch circles from the dough and press them gently into each muffin cup – You should use about two-thirds of the dough for the bottom crusts. The circles don’t have to be perfect, but you should try to have at least a quarter inch of dough overlapping the top of the cups.
- Fill each crust nearly to the top with about 2 spoonful’s of the chilled filling and place the muffin tin back into the fridge to keep cold as you prepare the pastry lids.
- Roll out the remaining third of the pie dough to the same thickness as the bottom crusts and cut out 3-inch circles. Set the pastry lids out on a tray or baking sheet, and cut hashmarks in the centers to allow for steam to vent while cooking.
- Remove the chilled muffin tins from the fridge. Working one at a time, place each pie top over the filling of each pie. Crimp the edges of the pie over the lid, sealing them tightly. Once all the pies are constructed, brush the tops with egg wash.
- Bake the chicken pies for 30-40 minutes, until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven, and let them sit for 10 minutes before gently removing them from the muffin tins. Serve warm, or follow instructions below for cooling and storage.
- Pie Dough Recipes: You can use any double-crust pie dough you like for this recipe (including store bought!). I suggest using one that is all or part butter, like this Part Butter/Part Shortening Easy Pie Dough from Gesine Bullock-Prado.
- To Freeze and Store: Once your pies are cooked, let them come to just about room temperature on a cooling rack. Transfer the pies to a single baking sheet, and freeze individually (about 2 hours). Stack the frozen pies into freezer-safe containers or gallon bags and keep stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat your pies, arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake in a preheated oven set to 375°F for 15-20 minutes.
- Choosing an Apricot Jam: You can use any simple store-bought or homemade apricot jam in this recipe. In one of my tests, I used homemade apricot rosemary jam, and it was so good! If you use a jam with rosemary already in it, you may want to decrease (or omit) the fresh rosemary listed in the recipe so as not to overpower the pies with the herb.