The weather this Spring has been crazy. For most of the month of March I was in shorts and flip-flops, now it’s the middle of April and I’m back to my winter jacket and scraping ice off of my windshield in the morning. In March I was enjoying cocktails on the deck and grilling out, now I’m longing for soul-warming comfort food.
Chicken Pot Pie is one of those great comfort foods I remember from my childhood. Unfortunately, they often came frozen, from a small blue box, you remember the ones. I can remember my Mom making a number of different “chicken topped with some kind of pastry” casseroles, but I don’t ever remember her making actual Chicken Pot Pie. Too bad for me, because I imagine if she had set her mind to making a chicken pot pie it would have been a pretty good one.
Chicken Pot Pie is not difficult to make, especially if you already have pie dough on hand, or if you do like I did and bought a package of the premade stuff. Sorry to dissappoint some of you, but yes, I do often buy premade pie dough, although not always. I am of the opinion that there are 2 types of people out there, those that can make great pie dough and those that can’t, no matter how often they try. Unfortunately, I fall into that latter category. Sure, I can make a decent pie dough by hand, but it’s not great, certainly not that much better than the store bought stuff so I often cheat. I admit it. I guess I’ll just have to keep practicing. If you have any surefire tips for making great pie dough please let me know.
Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or boneless skinless chicken thighs)
5 Tbl. butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 each carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 Tbl. fresh sage, minced (if using dried sage use only 1 tsp.)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peas (either frozen or if using fresh, blanched briefly in boiling water)
pie dough for a double crust pie, rolled out for use in a 10″ pie plate
In a medium sized pot bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Add the chicken breasts and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the breasts are just barely cooked through. Remove the breasts and allow to cool to the point where they can be handles. Reserve the chicken broth. Cut into 1/4-1/2″ chunks and set aside.
Pre heat the oven to 400°F. In a larger pot, over medium high heat melt the butter. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until soft and the onion is starting to turn transparent. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute longer. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until all the butter is absorbed. Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Add the reserved chicken broth and stir to fully incorporate the flour into the broth. Add the milk and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to thicken. It should be quite thick. Add the peas and the diced chicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Line a 10″ pie plate with pie dough, allowing the dough to hand over the edges. Fill with the chicken and gravy mixture.
At this point you need to work quickly as the mixture is still warm and can make working the pie dough difficult. Place the second sheet of pie dough over the filling and crimp or twist the edges of the dough together to seal the pie. Cut a couple of steam vents into the top crust and place in the oven.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Cut into sixths.