We all have our comfort foods. You know the ones- those foods you turn to when you're sick, feeling blue, or simply needing that something special on a gloomy day. For some of us, it's soup. Some like sweets. Mine is chicken pot pie! I have loved it for as long as I can remember.
Those frozen things you pick up at the store do not hold a candle to a real, homemade chicken pot pie. I've had the ones made with canned biscuits too, but they aren't the same, either. When I need the comfort of chicken pot pie, I want the real deal!
I've got this great cookbook I found at our local antique store called "The Betty Furness Westinghouse Cook Book." Imagine my delight when I found a simple, yet divine recipe for chicken pot pie while thumbing through. This beauty was published in 1954, and I just love it. I've made several recipes from this book, but the chicken pot pie is my favorite.
So, is it difficult? Not at all! Does it take many ingredients? Nope. Will the kids eat it? Yep. Most of them at least. We've got one picky little girl that won't eat this, even though she eats all the things in it separately. Don't ask me why, that's kids for ya, right? This dish comes together in about an hour, and it's so easy to "tweak" to make it work for you.
I use store-bought refrigerated pie crusts. I have made crusts from scratch, but I think the store-bought version taste just as good, and it's less work, making this dish even easier. You can use any pre-cooked chicken. I've used a leftover rotisserie chicken. Most often I use chicken tenderloins and just cook them right before I make the pie. You could even use canned chicken if you wanted to. I like to cook my chicken tenderloins with a little oil, salt, and pepper in a skillet. It's quick and they stay moist. I boil the potatoes, peas, and carrots together at the same time the chicken is cooking so everything is ready to go.
If you're ready to get cooking, let's jump right in!
Ingredients you'll need:
A package of 2 premade pie crusts (or 2 homemade crusts if you're feeling so inclined)
2 cups of cooked diced or shredded chicken
2 tablespoons of finely minced onion
3 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of chicken stock
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 cup of diced potatoes (this usually only takes one potato)
1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots (boiled together with the potatoes for about 8 minutes)
Note: my chicken and veggies are already cooked when I begin my pie-making process. You have to figure that this recipe, being written in 1954, was likely intended to utilize leftovers, and thus assumes all the food was already cooked. I don't know that the cooking time would be sufficient if the veggies were uncooked or frozen, so I precook them to avoid any mishaps.
Before starting, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. You'll want to have your ingredients ready to go. I like to pre-measure everything because this comes together quickly.
First, take one of your pie crusts and press it gently into a pie plate or other suitable dish. Work carefully so as not to poke holes in the crust. You want it to retain all that gravy goodness.
Next, fill the crust with the diced chicken, the minced onion, and the potato mixture. Stir it gently to combine and spread it evenly within the pie plate. Set it aside.
Your next step is to make the gravy. Add the butter to a skillet heated over medium heat. I use the same skillet I cooked the chicken in earlier. Melt the butter, then whisk in the flour to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and mix well with a whisk. Allow that to simmer until the mixture thickens. Whisk occasionally to keep it from sticking. To your gravy, add salt and black pepper to taste, and any other spices you might like.
Once your mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it over your chicken and veggie mixture in the pie plate. Gently stir it all together and make sure it's spread evenly (picture on the left below).
Open your second pie crust and place it carefully over the top of the pie plate to cover the chicken mixture. With your fingers, carefully crimp the top and bottom crusts together to enclose all that delicious goodness in your pie (center picture below). Cut several small slits in the top with a small knife to allow steam to escape while the pie bakes (picture at right below).
Cook in a 425-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow the pie to stand for five to ten minutes after baking for the gravy to thicken. Serve and enjoy!
I like to serve this with a salad, green beans, lima beans, or something similar. Since it's got some veggies in it, you could eat it alone, but it's nice to have a side to accompany it.
This is such an easy and affordable meal. If you use all leftovers, you could easily feed everyone for around $5.00. Maybe less, if you make your own pie crusts. If you've got a big family to feed, this is a wonderful dinner option, and we always have leftovers.
Do you love chicken pot pie as much as I do? Do you use a similar recipe? I'd love to hear about your experiences!