Chicken Pot Pie

Every time my mom comes up to visit, I enlist her help to make several chicken pot pies.  These pies are about the most perfect dish.  First of all, you can make them ahead and freeze them.  They are short and stackable, so you can fit several in the freezer if you want.  They’re also very portable, so you can make them for new moms.  Best of all, they are an entire meal in one: meat, bread, veggies.  I could eat about half a pie a day and never get tired of it!

This recipe makes two pies.  

The Filling

You can play around with the filling to custom fit your family.  For instance, you can add potatoes or celery.  You could use turkey instead of chicken – or even try beef (although I never have)!  After Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is a great way to use up leftover turkey.

Ingredients

Purchase bags of frozen peas and carrots to save time on chopping up carrots.  In addition, the smaller cubed frozen carrots will cook faster.

  • 6-8 Chicken Breasts – cooked and cubed
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Method

Brown onions in butter on low heat.  Slowly add salt and flour.  Add chicken broth.  Stir until sauce thickens.  Add meat and vegetables.

The Crust

Hassle Free Crusts

The most time consuming part about the chicken pot pie is rolling out the crust.  Although I think this crust recipe tastes the best, there are some quick alternatives.

  • Use a frozen crust – I like to use a frozen crust for the bottom part of the pie and then roll out the top.  That way I get a little of my homemade crust, but I saved about half the time.  I prefer the frozen Pillsbury crusts that come already in pie shells to the rolled up frozen crusts.
  • Forget the bottom crust entirely – this will save you both time and calories.  It will look like a pie on top, but it will be more of a casserole on the inside.
  • Place the filling in a casserole dish and top with unrolled crescent rolls.  It’s no longer a pie this way, but it will have the same great taste and save a lot of time!  (Just cook through until the crescents are golden brown and the sauce is hot).

Below is the recipe for the double pastry crust (upper and lower crust for one pie).  The pie filling recipe makes two pies, so you will need to double this recipe in order to get at total of four shells.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 5-7 Tbsp. ice cold water, added 1-2 Tbsp. at a time

Method

Mix flour and salt together.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the dough is tiny balls.  Slowly add the ice water, one or two tablespoons at a time, stirring lightly with a fork until the pastry crust is doughy.  Lightly flour a surface.  Form half the dough into a ball and press lightly into the flour.  Turn over.  Roll out until it is large enough for your pie pan.  To transfer to the pie pan, fold into quarters and then move over.  Roll out the other half of the dough for the top of the pie.

Once the bottom of the pie crust is in the pan, add the pie filling.  Use a paring or butter knife to cut away the excess edges.  Cover with the upper crust.  Use a paring or butter knife to cut away the excess edges, leaving about 1/2 – 1 inch of dough hanging over the edge.  Fold the edges of the upper crust over the edges of the lower crust.  Using a fork, press the outer edge together to hold.  Using a fork or other instrument, cut several holes into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.

Repeat for the second pie.

If desired, cover with foil and freeze.  Thaw before cooking or adjust cook time if cooking a frozen pie.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, until upper crust is golden brown.  Place a pan lined with foil underneath to catch any juices boiling over.

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