Browning the chicken adds another layer of flavor to this hearty stew. Cook it in two batches to ensure that the chicken browns properly and doesn't steam. The caramelization on the chicken and on the bottom of the pan is what flavors the stew.
How to Make (and Freeze!) Individual Chicken Pot Pies - I use Pioneer Woman's recipe and these instructions on freezing. I'd make sure the filling isn't super liquidy, otherwise it gets soupy when you cook it.