Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

I don't cook much these days. About five years ago when our last child scooted off to college my husband gave me an excuse to never set foot in a kitchen again. By then I had cooked about 32,000 meals for our family of nine. He told me I'd done my time. It's one of the many reasons I love that man. Since then I dabble in the kitchen whenever the mood strikes. It struck a few days ago...

Chicken Pot Pie isn't a recipe you hear much about these days, but it's a favorite of mine. There's something down-home and delicious about a pastry filled with creamy chicken and veggies. Over the years I've tweaked the recipe a bit and come up with one that I love, so I thought I'd share. This is one of the easiest recipes there is to make -- especially the way I make it. It takes about 15 minutes to put together and another 40 to bake. I often pair it with a spinach salad and my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

I often make Chicken Pot Pie when I deliver a dinner to a brand new mother or someone who hasn't been feeling well. It's easy on the tummy, and I can easily double the recipe and leave one pie at home and take the other to someone in need. To save time you can buy an already-cooked rotisserie chicken in the grocery store instead of cooking your own. Most often I buy two large chicken breasts and bake them in some water in the oven beforehand. You can then use the liquid they were baked in as the "chicken broth." If you don't have cream on hand, you can always substitute milk and add a little more flour for thickening. (I prefer using light cream.) I also cut corners by using a ready-made refrigerated pie crust -- which comes two crusts to a package.

Chicken Pot Pie

Pastry enough for one 9 inch two-crust pie (or 1 box Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust)
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 Tbsp. flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 large chicken breasts - cooked and diced
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup light cream
1 - 12 oz. bag of frozen peas and carrots - cooked and drained
4  green onions - sliced small

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make your own pie crust or if you bought a ready-made refrigerated pie crust take them out of the refrigerator and out of the box to warm to room temperature while you are making the filling.

Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in chicken broth and cream. Heat till boiling, whisking constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute, take off heat, and put aside. 

Add the already cooked and diced chicken to a mixing bowl along with the already cooked and drained veggies and sliced green onions. Fold cream sauce into chicken and veggies. Set aside.

Roll out dough for the bottom crust and fit into a regular (not deep-dish) 9 inch pie pan. Fill crust with creamed chicken and veggie  mixture. Top with the second crust. I usually brush a little cream that I have left over on top of the pie crust. To protect the crust from excessive browning or burning I cover the edges of the crust with strips of aluminum foil before placing the pie in the oven. Then I remove the foil for the last 10-15 minutes of baking. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

About 6 - 8 servings.