Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sharing the Love: Chicken Pot Pie

Alternate Title:  Longest Recipe Post Ever

This might be my all-time favorite recipe.  It's not super simple, so it's not generally my style.  But there are definitely ways to cut down the prep time, which I have listed at the end.  I also wrote down a whole bunch of miscellaneous suggestions for your culinary convenience.  The first time I made this, it took me an entire afternoon.  But today, from idea to oven, it took 50 minutes!

This is the BEST meal to make for someone who is sick, or had a baby, or is going through a hard time.  It's comfort food, it's a one-dish meal, you can make it ahead and they can refrigerate it or freeze it, and it's delicious.  I strongly suggest you use my crust recipe, but if you have to use a frozen premade one, please use Trader Joes. 

I hate this photo.  I shouldn't even post one.
Corn.  I'm sure.  You have to use peas and carrots.


Here you are, my mother's Chicken Pot Pie:

CHICKEN POT PIE:

Filling:
1/3 c flour
1/3 c butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1 - 2 chicken breasts, cooked, cubed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 3/4 c chicken broth
5 oz peas and carrots
2 small cooked potatoes, cubed
2/3 c milk

Melt butter. Add onion, cook for a minute or two. Add flour gradually until cooked together. Remove from heat. Add broth & milk. Bring to a boil until it starts to thicken, stir pretty constantly, or milk will burn. Season with salt & pepper. Stir in vegetables and chicken.

Crust:
3 c flour
1 c shortening (Crisco)
1 tsp salt
1 egg
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp vinegar

Blend flour, shortening and salt until crumbly. Add egg, water, and vinegar. Mix together (I use my hands!). Roll out with rolling pin. I use 2/3 for bottom crust and 1/3 for top crust.

Place bottom crust in greased 9x9 pan (or 9" pie pan). Leave some hanging over the edges. Scoop filling into pan until about 3/4 full (or a little more, just don't fill all the way to the top). Lay top crust over entire pan. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together to seal. I then take a fork and push with prongs all the way around the edges to complete the seal. Poke holes in the top of the crust either with a fork or knife to allow it to breathe while cooking. 

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.
(If frozen, bake at 400 for 50 minutes)
ENJOY!

Tips and suggestions:
- To make in a 9 x 13 pan, triple the crust and double the filling

- I sometimes buy the disposable mini loaf pans at the grocery store and make individual pot pies. They're putzy, but then I can freeze them and make them one at a time. Or I give them for gifts to my friends!

- I never use more than 10 oz of peas and carrots, even when I triple the filling. Just add the amount to your liking.  Today, as you'll see from my photo, I used frozen corn because I didn't happen to have peas and carrots.  Also, frozen are way better.  Canned will do in a pinch, but they don't look very colorful after you cook them for half an hour.

- To speed things up, you can bake the chicken the day before or buy a rotiserrie chicken at the grocery store.

- If you're making this for a weeknight, you could always prepare it on Sunday and store it in the fridge overnight and cook it the next night. If it's going to be longer than one day, though, freeze it so the crust doesn't get soggy. Or you can make the filling on the weekend and put that in the fridge for up to a few days and make the crust on the day of.

- If your crust seems too "wet" and doesn't handle well, just slowly add more flour until it's easy to handle and rolls out well. I always have to flour my counter surface and my rolling pin. To make consistently good, flaky crust, you need to follow these measurements exactly.  I learned the hard way that estimating does not a good crust yield.

If you have any questions, please call or email me anytime.  I'd be happy to walk you through it.

1 comment:

Kathleen H said...

Leanne, do you freeze your pies with the dough raw? I have always used Doroyht R. Recipe, which is pretty much the same but she uses no milk, so I stuck with that, but I'm using your crust today and it handled very well. I doubled the crust and had top,bottom for a 9x13, then a top for a 9x9, and a bottom crust for a banana cream pie I'm thinking! Thanks! It's fun to read your blog...even tho I don't know u so well something in the way things are conveyed, I just have that feeling " oh yeah, we're related"!