Baby It’s Cold Outside: Chicken Pot Pie

crust...mmm

Comfort food! Comfort food. I spend months – months! – each year paying my dues eating salads and turkey sandwiches all so I have permission when the weather gets cold to really chow down. I live for the cozies, you guys. There’s nothing I appreciate more than curling up on the couch with a plate of something warm and hearty knowing it’s nippy outside. I try not to think about the bathrooms that need cleaning and the dust that needs…dusting. STOP BOTHERING ME WHILE SUPERNANNY IS ON.

Chicken Pot Pie is a favorite around here and I’ve learned a few things in the 204,000 (give or take) times I’ve made it. The first is that shortcuts make it taste better, if you believe it. Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store? Tastier than anything I can make. Frozen roll-out pie crust? WHY DO PEOPLE MAKE THEIR OWN PIE DOUGH? It’s one of life’s great mysteries.

If you’re looking for something wholesome, hearty, and perfect for leftovers, try my simplified Chicken Pot Pie. Nom nom.


CHICKEN POT PIE

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, meat picked off (best if you remove the skin) then chopped into 1″ chunks
1 box (2 rolls) roll-out pie crust (I use Pillsbury but store brand is fine), thawed to room temp
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 whole carrot, diced to 1/2″ pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped potatoes (I used adorable baby potatoes!)
1/2 onion, diced
2 whole garlic cloves
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup AP flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half or cream (can substitute with more milk instead)
salt
pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray bottom of deep-dish pie pan then roll in the first pie crust. Try to make sure the edges come up over the sides of your dish or the whole crust will shrink when you cook it. (Note: I made rolled my pie crust into a rectangle to use a casserole dish but this was a hassle – the pie crust comes circular. A pie dish is fine, just note this recipe may make more filling than you need.) Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork a few times to vent then bake for about 10 minutes, until just getting golden. Remove and let cool.

2. Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a saucepan or dutch oven then add carrots, celery, onions and potatoes – season with salt and pepper. Cook about 8 minutes on medium meat until browned and onions are translucent. Add in 1/2 cup chicken stock then simmer for 5 minutes more.

pot pie

3. Add remaining butter to the vegetable and stock mixture and allow to melt. Now add the flour to the stock you haven’t yet added and whisk until smooth – this will prevent lumps. Add flour-stock mixture to vegetable mix then bring back to a simmer. Stir in milk and cream/half-and-half – add more salt and pepper if desired.

4. Bring back to a simmer over medium heat (don’t boil!) and let cook about 10-15 minutes or until it thickens slightly. The mixture should coat your spoon but shouldn’t quite be the consistency of pudding. You don’t want it to be too goopy but if it seems thin simply add about a tbsp. of cornstarch dissolved in hot water to the mix. If it’s too thick just add more milk.

5. Remove the pot from heat and add peas and chopped chicken. Let sit about 2 minutes to set. Pour mixture into pie dish then cover with the second pie crust, careful to press the top crust down over the sides of the dish fully. Slit crust a few times to vent then brush with extra cream, melted butter or a beaten egg, whatever’s easiest.

IMG_2502

6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust is fully browned. Remember, the insides are cooked so you’re going for color here. Remo
ve from oven and let sit at least 8-10 minutes so filling can set a bit before you serve.

***Sometimes I like to line a large muffin tin with pie crusts to make little mini-pot pies. It’s a big more hassle but they’re great for dinner parties and for easy leftovers. You get more crust than filling this way but for me pot pie is just a crust-delivery method anyway…

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