Thursday, February 21, 2013

Remembering the PIE- Chicken Pot Pie

Did your mama make chicken pot pie when you were growing up?  I can still smell my mama's pie, hear the light crunch of her flaky crust as she cut into the pie and taste the rich creamy sauce, tender morsels of chicken and vegetables.  Can you feel it?  Everyone loves chicken pot pie.  It's well worth the effort of making it from scratch... You'll never ever look at those frozen supermarket wannabes again.

I tend to make my pot pies individually instead of using a casserole dish.  When the kids were growing up, I preferred to have the single pies in the freezer ready for my teenagers to cook "on demand".  It worked for us!

I usually only top my pot pies with pie dough, but sometimes use pastry top and bottom. Either makes a delicious dish.  You can always use puff pastry as a topping - it works well and looks great.

This recipe makes six individual pot pies or, if you prefer to use a casserole dish, serve six to eight (13 x 9-inch baking dish).

6     tbsps butter (3/4 stick)
2     onions, minced
3     celery ribs, 1/4-inch slices
3/4  cup all-purpose flour
3/4  cup vermouth or white wine (or use more chicken broth)
4     cups chicken broth
1     cup heavy cream
2     tsps minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
3     lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2     cups frozen mixed peas and carrots, not thawed
1     cup russet (baking) potatoes, diced small.
salt and pepper to taste
Pie dough

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in the onions, celery and about 1 tsp of salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, five to seven minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about one minute.

Gradually whisk in the vermouth or white wine (if using) and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds.  Slowly whisk in the broth, cream and thyme.  Add the chicken, partially cover, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low, cover completely and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat.  Remove the chicken and set aside to cool, then shred it into bite-sized pieces.  Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce along with the potatoes, frozen peas and carrots and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or individual pie plates.  Fit the pie dough over the baking dish and crimp the edges tightly to seal.

Place the pot pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the filling is hot and the crust is golden , about 30-40 minutes (if frozen, approx. 1 1/2 hours).  Individual pies should take approximately 30 minutes to cook (if frozen, approx. one hour).


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