Sparkle Kitchen
Sparkle Kitchen: Halloween Special - A Jack-o'-Lantern Crust Topped Chicken Mini-Potpie

Sparkle Kitchen: Halloween Special - A Jack-o'-Lantern Crust Topped Chicken Mini-Potpie

Have you ever wondered how the first jack-o'-lantern was created? The So Many Fairies story “The Jack-O'-Lantern” is a tale of baker’s son named Garrith, who — with the help of a magic seed and an enterprising fire sprite named Jack — transformed a simple orange squash into a sparkling, magical lantern that charmed an entire town.

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For this week's recipe, I've done something like the opposite — I've taken Garrith's jack-o'-lantern idea and turned it into something that a more typical baker might create: a chicken pot pie. But these pot pies have a little something extra. In a nod to the season, each one has a smiling jack-o'-lantern face grinning from the top of the crust.

Like most comfort foods, these pies are fine if they sit for a day to let their flavors meld. We made and baked ours one Sunday afternoon, then reheated them Monday night for a quick weeknight dinner. If you plan ahead like that, these would make a wonderful, hearty meal to begin or end a night of trick-or-treating.

Jack-O'-Lantern Pot Pies

(makes eight 3½ inch pies)


4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)

3 cups chicken stock (reserved from cooking the chicken thighs)

6 tablespoons butter, divided, plus extra for brushing the crusts

¼ cup flour

½ cup cream

1 tablespoon cornstarch

½ cup each diced celery, onion, and carrots

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup potatoes, diced

1 cup frozen broccoli florets

salt and pepper, to taste

4 standard-sized pie crusts


Put the chicken thighs into a large pot and cover with water. Boil until the chicken is cooked, then shred the chicken. Reserve 3 cups of the chicken stock.

In a small bowl, use a fork to mash together 4 tablespoons of butter with the flour. Separately — in a mason jar or tupperware container with a lid — mix the cream and cornstarch, shaking the container hard to mix the two. Set both the flour and cream mixtures aside.

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In a large skillet with high sides, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic, and saute them all together for about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and the chicken stock. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables together for 10 minutes or until the potatoes just barely start to soften.

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Add the flour and butter mixture, stirring well to incorporate it. Next, add the cream mixture and stir it in thoroughly as well. Bring the ingredients to a gentle boil, stirring the entire time. Once the mixture has bubbled for a minute or two, turn off the heat. Add the shredded chicken and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Let the filling mixture cool while you attend to the pie crusts. Roll the crusts out on a floured cutting board and cut them to fit your ramekins. You'll need 8 tops and 8 bottoms. (If you're using 3½ inch ramekins, like I did, the bottoms will need to be about 7 inches and the tops will need to be about 4 inches.)

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Press the bottom crusts down into the ramekins with your fingers and spoon in some filling.

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Then, use a sharp knife to “carve” a jack-o'-lantern face into each top crust before you lay it on top of the filling. Use a fork or your fingers to pinch the crust together, and use scissors to snip off any excess. Cover each pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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When you're ready to bake these pies, brush the tops with butter and cook them for 30-35 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

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Serve them right inside the ramekins, but warn littles to be careful — they'll be piping hot.


Print the recipe HERE.

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About the Author

Meryl Carver-Allmond

Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger

The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.

Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.

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