Sunday, February 28, 2016

Three Little Words: Chicken Pot Pie

An easy answer to the favorite "What's for dinner?" question

It seems that the men in my life like to utter the same three, little words: "What's for dinner?" When I was a harried mom of a school-age child, rushing to meet writing deadlines, driving carpool, attending committee meetings, the innocent question  would send my blood pressure rising. I often had no idea what I would put on the table.  Later, when I asked my ex-husband why he liked to utter those three little words, he sheepishly admitted, "It gives me something to look forward to."

I always try to remember that when the current love of my life asks the same question. Sometimes, I'll reply with the description of an elaborate meal. Often, I'll offer a choice. But other times, when I'm feeling just as harried as when I was driving car pool, all I need to say are three little words in reply: chicken pot pie.
Five extra pies ready for the freezer

I make a giant batch and bake five extra pies for the freezer. So when I have no idea what's for dinner, I can pull one out. With a side of roasted vegetables and a glass of red wine, it's a satisfying answer to that age-old question.

Recipe (This makes enough for 12 servings, either two pies, or six two-person portions. The recipe can easily be cut in half)

Chicken Pot Pie

2 cups cooked chicken (about 2 whole breasts)
2 cups diced par-boiled potatoes
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups chopped onion 
1 large shallot diced
1 1/2 C frozen peas
1 T olive oil
4 T butter
1/2 C flour
3-4 C chicken broth
3/4 C half and half
2 T fresh herbs (sage or thyme)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
2 refrigerated pie crusts (I like Trader Joe's)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

- Peel and dice two medium potatoes and parboil. Potatoes should be slightly cooked, but still firm. They will continue to cook in the pot and oven. 
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a large, nonstick skillet or a dutch oven. 
- Add the onion, shallots and carrots. Saute for about three minutes or until translucent. 
- Add the flour and stir for about one minute. 
- Pour in the chicken broth and continue to stir for about three minutes. 
- Add in the potatoes and diced chicken.
- Pour in 3/4 C half and half and continue to stir until desired consistency is reached. 
- Add the frozen peas. 
- Season with salt, pepper, turmeric and fresh herbs, such as sage or thyme. If using dried herbs, reduce amount to 1 tsp. 
- Use a ladle to scoop the mixture into two pie plates or, as I do, in six rectangular aluminum containers. Top with crusts and cut a few slashes for venting. 
- If using the rectangular tins, simply use the tin as a template to cut the pie dough. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

To reheat frozen pies, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

NOTES: You can use roasted chicken or poached chicken breasts. After Thanksgiving, I didn't have enough leftover turkey, so I used turkey plus one poached chicken breast. 

2 comments: said...

Oh yum! My daughter just posted a picture of a DuPar's chicken pot pie, and I'm now craving this. Thanks, Susan!

Susan C said...

Oh, DuPar's has the best pot pie!