Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grandma's Chicken Pot Pie

If you've ever had really good pot pie like a grandma would make, something that in no way resembles those rock hard little things from a mini pie tin in the freezer section, then you know this is a dish good enough to serve to company and have them ask for it again.
Printable Recipe

My long time favorite recipe for Chicken Pot Pie can be prepped in about 30 minutes and baked in another 20-30. And today, for one special price I'm going to share that recipe and throw in a completely FREE bonus recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Cream Soup, and I mean cheesy in a good way.
Start by getting the vegetables ready for the pot. Chop 1 lg onion, 1 lg carrot, 1 lg potato, 2-3 ribs celery1 cup baby peas just need a quick run under hot water to thaw them out, unless you are so lucky that you have fresh ones on hand. I like to take the carrot down to fairly small rough dice with my food chopper (generic version from Ikea, seen in the background next to the oh-so-not-generic chunk of black granite mortar-n-pestle). These smaller carrot pieces cook more evenly with the rest of the vegetables. Usually I cut the potato into small dice as well but these were gold fingerlings and just looked so nice in these little half moons.  

Melt 5 Tbs butter over med heat till foamy and drop in everything but the peas. Saute and occasionally stir for 5-8 minutes until vegetables soften some and onions are translucent. While the vegetables cook measure up the rest of the ingredients and warm the milk for about two minutes in the microwave.

That's 2 cups Chicken Stock, 2 cups Whole Milk, 1 Tbs Chicken Soup Base, 1/3 Cup flour.

Now the next step is going to seem messy and not right, but just keep stirring and it will all work out. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and keep everything moving steadily, scraping the bottom of the pot, for just a few minutes until the flour smells nutty instead of like raw flour. It will brown quickly and really only take 2 or 3 minutes.

The pan will look sticky and brown at this point; before it goes any further, pour the warm milk in all at once and turn the heat up a little; keep stirring and it will start to thicken almost immediately. Don't do this with cold milk or you'll have a lumpy mess instead of a velvety smooth sauce.  Whisk the soup base into the broth for extra flavor and add that to the pot in a steady stream as you continue stirring. Let is lightly bubble over med heat and cook for another 10 minutes or so, giving it the occasional stir to be sure it isn't sticking to the bottom. If it starts to bubble hard and fast, lower the heat and keep an eye on it. You just want a nice gentle simmer. Now is the time to taste for seasonings. It shouldn't need anything but a good shake of pepper, probably no salt necessary because the soup base and broth are usually both quite salty.

**STOP RIGHT THERE. The longer you simmer this the more it thickens, so for that bonus recipe, stop now and add a handful or two of good sharp cheddar cheese and dish it up for a perfect cream of vegetable soup to go with a crunchy green salad or maybe a hammy panini sammy. That's silly cook talk for ham panini sandwich, ya'll. **

Back to our Pot Pie - when the filling has bubbled along over low to med heat about 15-20 minutes and is nice and thick, remove from heat and add the peas and 2 cups Chopped Cooked Chicken.  You'll note that I am taking the easy route and using Pillsbury All Ready Pie Crust, but you feel free to whip up a homemade one if you are more virtuous than I.

This one took a little extra rolling because I'm using an oval dish.

If you need to roll the crust out a little larger, do it on top of a piece of wax paper, then flip it over, gently peel off the paper, and fold in half to move onto the pie so that it doesn't tear. It will need plenty of small vents made with a sharp knife to let the the steam out as it cooks in a 375 oven just until the crust browns, usually 20-30 minutes. Beautiful and ready to serve!

Oven Ready!

THE SHOPPING LIST                       
5 Tbs Butter
1 lg Onion
1 lg Carrot
1 lg Potato
2-3 ribs Celery
1 Cup Baby Peas
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Whole Milk
1-2 Tbs Chicken Soup Base
("Minors" is the best or "Better Than Bouillon")
1/3 Cup flour
1 Pie Pastry

It's time for the Comfort Food Feast on the Food Network's FN Dish blog! You'll find me there all winter and today you can check out these other great pot pie ideas:
Made by Michelle: Chicken and Biscuits in a Pot
The Lemon Bowl: Chicken Pot Pie With Phyllo (Dairy-Free)
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie With Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Biscuits
Red or Green?: Bean and Green Chile Pot Pie With Cornmeal Biscuits
FN Dish: Post-Holiday Pot Pies

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