It’s 5 o’clock and I’m staring the fridge, hoping for a revelation as to what to make for dinner. I’ve got left over chicken thighs. Every other protein source is froze solid. So, I thought, what to do with you? The kids can’t stand chicken salad. So, I decided to make Chicken Pot Pie. There were a variety of old recipes that involved the entire chicken being in the pot and covered with crust. That seemed a little, um, rustic.
I remembered the pies of my childhood. You know the ones in the box of the freezer section. Crust, bits of chicken and random veggies with a creamy broth in a pie shape. As a kid, these things are amazing. As an adult, well, here’s the ingredients for Swanson’s Chicken Pot Pie:
Water, Flour Enriched (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1),Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB)) , Chicken Cooked (Chicken Meat Dark, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Carrageenan, Food Starch Modified, Sodium Phosphate, Spice(s) Extract) ,Carrot(s), Potato(es), Sodium Pyrophosphate, Shortening (Lard, Lard Hydrogenated,Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated) , Chicken Cooked Mechanically Separated, Food Starch Modified, Chicken Base (Wheat Flour Bleached Enriched [Barley Malted Flour,Potassium Bromate, Niacin, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)] , Salt, Maltodextrin, Whey Powder, Whey Protein Concentrate, Garlic Powder, Soy Lecithin, Yeast Extract, Onion(s) Powder, Annatto, Spice(s), Turmeric Extract, Xanthan Gum) ,Contains 22% or less Peas, Chicken Fat, Dextrose, Flavor(s) Natural and Artificial Chicken(Salt, Chicken Powder, Chicken Fat, Yeast Extract Autolyzed, Water, Flavor(s) Natural & Artificial, Sugar Invert, Chicken Broth, Onion(s) Powder, Flavor(s) Grill [Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Cottonseed Oil Partially Hydrogenated] , Cottonseed Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Soybean(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Tocopherols) , Salt, Dough Conditioner(s) (Sodium Aluminosilicate, Salt, Wheat Gluten Vital, Enzyme(s), Soy Protein Flour,Ammonium Sulfate, Fumaric Acid) , Caramel Color, Annatto for color retention
So, I gathered my ingredients on hand and transformed tired leftovers into something that used to be quite common place, but is now very exotic: a chicken pot pie. The kids were amazed at the transformation of such humdrum ingredients. In going through the historic cookbooks, “pot pies” were rather common place. I find them to be an efficient use of leftovers!! I’ll put measurements on here, but really, it’s all about what you have on hand.
Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 recipe Pie Crust, or a 9 inch pie crust
1/4 cup high heat tolerant cooking fat (lard, bacon drippings, vegetable oil)
3 carrots, sliced thin
3 celery stalks, sliced thin
1 medium onion, small dice
1 8 ounce container of mushrooms, sliced
1-2 pounds cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
Place the cooking fat in a sauté pan over medium heat. When heated, add the carrots, celery, onion and mushroom. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the carrots and celery are soft (or the texture you like them), about 15-20 minutes.
Add the chicken, sage and thyme, cook until fragrant. Add the flour and cook for a bit until the raw flour taste is cooked out.
Add the heavy cream and cook. The sauce will thicken. You want the sauce to continue to thicken as it cooks, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Place the mixture in a oven proof pan (I used a large soufflé dish) and smooth the top.
Roll out the pie crust and drape over the top of the baking dish. Pinch the crust over the top of the dish to hold the crust firm.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together and brush on pie crust.
Cut a vent slit in the crust, and place the dish on a cookie sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.