Perfect Pot Pie

By: Karen Dybis | December 20, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Firebird Tavern.

Just like chicken noodle soup, something about a chicken pot pie fills the belly as well as the spirit with comfort and warmth. Breaking through the well-baked crust, the pot pie rewards your efforts with an array of root vegetables and chicken, which should be tender and satisfying 

You may think chicken pot pie is a relatively new invention, like something out of the 1950s that moms around the nation served as a wintertime dinner. But its history dates back much further. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, these kinds of savory pastries have been around since the Roman Empire.

Meat pies became “trendy” again, the magazine notes, when the good people of England started making pies fit for lunch or supper with a pastry serving as the container. Add a rich gravy, lots of meat like a fattened chicken as well as what veggies you have on hand, and you’ve created a meal that keeps you fed for hours to come.

 Locally, many mom-and-pop diners and restaurants proudly include a pot pie on their menus. Some go with the straight recipe; others have added their own touches. For example, Ackroyd’s Scottish Bakery in Redford recently “transformed” its chicken pot pie by using its flaky pie shells as the buttery container for the dish’s savory ingredients. 

“The double crust is what many expect from a pot pie and we believe our pie shells are quite good,” said Megan Ackroyd, who is transforming this 70-year-old bakery into a local favorite. “Now our chicken pot pies can take their rightful place as proper comfort food.”

Here are some locations around Metro Detroit where you can find a fine chicken pot pie.

Firebird Tavern 

This Greektown mainstay recently introduced a chicken pot pie on its Winter Dinner menu. It is wrapped in puff pastry, creating a textural element to the gravy and chicken held within the shell. It also includes tender peas and carrots in a white-wine-and-herb-cream sauce. It comes with a side of mixed greens, which offer some crunch relief to the main dish. 

Apple Annie’s Kitchen & Bakery 

This beloved home-style bakery and restaurant has two locations in Roseville and Clinton Township. Its Chicken Pot Pie is made with braised chicken mixed with a savory stew of peas and carrots then topped with a golden crust. It comes in two sizes: Small and large. We’d guess the large is the better choice when you need something warm and hearty to stave off a Michigan winter. 

Ackroyd’s Bakery 

What makes this Scottish bakery so great is its adherence to tradition – think meat pies and sausage rolls – along with updated favorites. You can get its pot pies in the store as well as through the mail by ordering them online. They also come in an eight pack, and that sounds like an easy winner for a comfort-food dinner party around the holidays. 

Grand Traverse 

Now, you will be tempted to eat an entire pie from this sweet spot in Troy for your lunch or dinner. But resist that urge. The pot pies, quiches and other hearty meals are worth your investment and effort. The chicken pot pie here comes with a veggie selection bar none, including carrots, celery, corn, peas and green beans. You’ll get all of your vitamins, minerals and protein in one dish, making your mom proud. 

The Avenue 

This Royal Oak favorite has a large menu full of comfort items, but chicken pot pie is a clear winner. Its chicken pot pie goes for full flavor and substance by adding potatoes, peppers, onions and celery to its gravy. It also comes with great side dishes such as salad or coleslaw to give you something cool alongside.