Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie Plated

Chicken Pot Pie is one of those simple, homey, Sunday-dinner-at-Grandma’s-house kind of foods. The kind of comfort food that sounds great on a chilly day when Mother Nature seems to have forgotten about spring. Chicken pot pie wasn’t something I ate while growing up (I preferred my vegetables raw and my foods not touching!) However, I grew to like the frozen pot pies from M&M Meat Shops while in university. Once I was out on my own, I dug out my trusty Joy of Cooking and tackled it from scratch.

Chicken Pot Pie is the kind of dish that requires several steps, but none of them are particularly complicated. If making the whole thing from scratch seems intimidating or you’re short on time, feel free to take shortcuts. Use refrigerated biscuits or pie crust, crack open a can of cream of chicken soup for the sauce, or use frozen mixed vegetables rather than dicing your own. I’m not going totally from the ground up here, I use chicken broth from a carton and I often make this with grocery store rotisserie chicken.

That said, the totally homemade version really can’t be beat. I’ll walk you through all of the steps. Start with an empty sink or dishwasher though, I’ve yet to find a way to make pot pie without dirtying most of my dishes!

This recipe is for a small-ish pot pie that makes 3 or 4 servings. The recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Start with the veggies. Onion, carrot and celery are classic, but you can throw in whatever’s in the fridge. I often add red bell pepper and mushrooms as well. Dice them up.

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Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a large skillet. Add the vegetables and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are starting to soften, about 10 minutes. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat and set aside.

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For the sauce, you’ll need butter or olive oil, flour, chicken broth, milk, poultry seasoning, thyme, salt (or seasoned salt) and pepper. The sauce is equally good with dairy, rice or soy milk, but if you’re using a non-dairy milk, be sure that it’s unsweetened and unflavoured – you don’t want vanilla pot pie! I imagine almond milk would work fine as well.

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To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until combined to make a roux. Cook the roux for 2-3 minutes, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon, until it starts to get a golden color.

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Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly pour in the broth, whisking constantly. The slower you pour, the smoother the sauce will be and the quicker it will thicken, so take your time. Whisk in the milk.

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Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently and breaking up any lumps. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Especially if you’re using rotisserie chicken, go easy on the salt to start, you can always add more.

Add the chicken to the pot of sauce. I usually use leftover roast or rotisserie chicken, and I like a mix of light and dark meat. This is a great way to use up the little bits of chicken you picked off the bones that no one will eat on their own. If you’re cooking chicken specifically for the recipe, you’ll need about ½ pound of boneless chicken. I usually cook a breast and a couple of thighs.

If your leftover chicken is in a container in the fridge, make sure you take out the container full of chicken – not the one full of steel cut oats! This is what I opened up when I was preparing to add the chicken!

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There’s the chicken!

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Add frozen corn and peas to the sauce, along with the sauted veggies. You’ll see that there are only a few peas in mine – they were frozen in a big lump in the bag and I don’t like them very much anyway!

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It’s not very photogenic, but it sure is tasty!

Stick a lid on the sauce to keep it warm and preheat the oven to 400°.

Now for the biscuits. As I’ve mentioned, feel free to use store-bought biscuits if that’s what sounds appealing to you. You could also top the pot pie with homemade or pre-made pie crust. Biscuits are definitely the preferred topping around here, so that’s what I went with. Sometimes I go fancy-pants with frozen butter buttermilk biscuits, but here I just did a simple shortening biscuit.

You’ll need flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, shortening and milk. That is indeed sugar and not buckwheat flour – I forgot to re-label my jars.

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Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the milk and stir until just combined.

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Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 6 – 8 times or until smooth.

Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick.

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Now you need to pick and prep your pan. I have this http://lecreuset.ca/product/oval-dish/ Le Creuset dish (it was a wedding gift and I love it) which holds 1.7 L. Any pan that holds 1.5 – 2 L should work fine. I frequently use an ancient 6 x 10 inch Pyrex pan (I think it came with my university apartment) or a 9 inch pie plate. Spray it with cooking spray and pour in the filling.

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Here you can get creative with the topping. Sometimes I just cut out one giant biscuit the size and the shape of my pan. Sometimes I make a drop biscuit and just drop them on top of the filling. Here I cut out separate biscuits and laid them on top of the filling because I thought it would look pretty.

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You’ll have some biscuit dough left, just cut biscuits out of the rest and bake them up for another occasion (10-12 minutes at 400°.) If you want to make a double batch of pie, one recipe of dough should give you enough biscuits to cover it.

Use the additional ½ tablespoon milk to brush over the tops of the biscuits.

Bake the pie for 25 – 30 minutes until the biscuits are brown and the filling is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Pot Pie

Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Print

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

Ingredients:

Vegetables:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup frozen peas

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup milk (dairy, rice or soy)
  • ¼ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon seasoned salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups cooked diced chicken

Biscuits:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 7/8 cup milk (dairy, rice or soy)
  • ½ tablespoon milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°.

Vegetables:

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a large skillet. Add the vegetables and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are starting to soften, about 10 minutes. When the vegetables are done, remove from heat and set aside.

Sauce:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until combined to make a roux. Cook the roux for 2-3 minutes, stirring with a whisk or wooden spoon, until it starts to get a golden color.

Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly pour in the broth, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk.

Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently and breaking up any lumps. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add poultry seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

Add the chicken, sautéed vegetables, corn and peas to the sauce.

Biscuits:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the milk and stir until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 6 – 8 times or until smooth.

Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thick. Cut enough biscuits to cover the surface of the baking dish.

Assembly:

Spray a 1.5 – 2 L dish with cooking spray. Pour in the filling and top with biscuits. Brush tops of biscuits with additional milk.

Bake the pie for 25 – 30 minutes until the biscuits are brown and the filling is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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