Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Chicken Pot Pie
When I think of chicken pot pie, two things come to mind. The invention of the "frozen" chicken pot pie was introduced during my generation's childhood. Some of you remember those little cardboard tasting pies with a smidgen of meat and a few morsels of carrots and peas. Since then I may have tried another well known brand only to be turned off by the saltiness of it. I guess they need to preserve it somehow! A chicken pot pie will never pass this way or my lips again, or so I thought.
The second memory that comes to mind is from the TV sitcom "Just Shoot Me". If you've seen this 90's show with David Spade (Dennis Finch) you'll know where I'm going with this... Elliot, the photographer for the fictitious Blush magazine had a brother who was slow or retarded. (due to a fall from a tree during his childhood) He actually wasn' t slow or retarded but he led everyone to believe this because life was easier for him this way. Donnie, the brother, would arrive at the office occasionally with his caretaker brother, singing "Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot pie". Quite the character.
I've never tried my hand at chicken pot pie from scratch, mainly because of my first encounter. But, I have several cooking "bucket list" items worthy of my attempts. This was one of them. I can safely say, I will make chicken pot pies again. They were amazing!
3 skinless thighs, cut into cubes
1 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (I don't like peas)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion or scallions
1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp herbs de Provence
1/4 tsp garlic powder or fresh
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts. I recommend Trader Joe's brand, excellent!
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chicken, carrots, beans in a saucepan. Cover with water and boil for about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a bowl. In the same saucepan add butter and onions and cook until soft. Stir in the flour and pepper to make a roux. Add the chicken broth and milk and simmer on medium low as it becomes thicker. Remove from heat and set aside while making the crust.
I used 4 small individual serving tins. (1/2 crust each, bottom and top layer). Arrange the bottom crust, fill each one with equal amount of chicken and vegetables. Pour the thickened broth mixture over each to almost full. Cover with a top crust and crimp edges. (You may need to cut away the excess dough so it doesn't flop over the edge.) Make slits in each pie to vent steam. Bake in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving. Delicious!
Don't let all the steps deter you from making these. It's much easier than it sounds and well worth the effort. You could make these ahead and freeze them. Then, finish baking them another time.