Chicken Pot Pie, and I Don’t Care
Be honest. You’re singing that song right now, aren’t you?
Once in awhile I substitute another phrase for “Jimmy Crack Corn.” A few days ago, while scanning the breakfast menu at Nomz (our new favorite Marysville diner), I began quietly singing, “Chicken fried steak, and I don’t care. Chicken fried steak, and I don’t care. Chicken fried steak, and I don’t caaaarrrrre! …” until I looked up and saw Dave watching me with an expression that makes me think he thinks it might be time to put me away somewhere. If I up and disappear, you know what happened.
Here’s a recipe that manages to be comfort food and company food all at the same time. Like all pot pies, it’s completely personalize-able. Don’t like mushrooms or peas? Take them out. Prefer green beans? Add them in. Want to swap beef or turkey for the chicken? Go for it. It’s your tummy.
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken (2 large)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 3 cups peeled potatoes, diced (I use Yukon gold)
- olive oil
- 1 stick butter, divided
- 2 cups celery, diced
- 3 medium shallots (or one large regular onion)
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups frozen petite peas
- pie crust (link to my recipe is in the notes below)
- If making the pie crust I've linked to below, start that at least two hours before you start the filling.
- Cut chicken breasts in half and place in a large soup pot. Cover with the 6 cups of broth and cook over medium high heat, uncovered. Give these about a 15 minute head start on the vegetables.
- While chicken is cooking, dice the carrots and potatoes. When the chicken has cooked 15 minutes, add the vegetables to the pot, cover, and continue cooking for ten minutes more. When the time is up, put the chicken pieces aside to cool, then use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a large bowl. Save the chicken broth.
- In a large skillet, melt 3 TBSP butter and about as much olive oil. Heat until it sizzles, then add the celery, shallots (or onions) and mushrooms. Cook until the onions and celery are translucent and the mushrooms have cooked down, about ten minutes. Add the minced garlic and the seasonings (sage, thyme, salt, pepper and turmeric) and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. Pour this mixture into the bowl holding the carrots and potatoes.
- Check the chicken. If cool enough to handle, begin to dice into bite-sized pieces. Add those to the bowl containing the vegetables.
- In same skillet, make a roux by mixing nearly equal parts butter and flour. If your skillet is large enough, you can cook the remaining 5 TBSP butter with about 5 TBSP flour (or slightly less. You should be able to stir the roux with a whisk, so if it's too dry, add a tiny bit more butter or a little olive oil.) all at once. But if your skillet is small, you will want to make the roux in two batches.
- Cook the roux at least three minutes to "cook out" some of the raw flour taste. Season with a little salt. When roux is slightly browned, begin adding the reserved chicken stock, whisking constantly, until well-incorporated. Add the whipping cream and blend well.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. If you like the white sauce, you'll like the pot pie. If the white sauce is bland, fix it now by bumping up the salt or adding a little more sage or garlic powder.
- Continue cooking and stirring the white sauce until it has thickened a bit. It doesn't have to be as thick as you want the finished product, because the sauce will thicken more while baking, but you also don't want it to be too thin.
- Combine the white sauce with the chicken and vegetables and stir well.
- Add frozen peas and stir.
- To prepare the pie crust for baking, take a fork and make a few piercings in the bottom crust. Bake on lowest oven shelf for 7 minutes @ 400 degrees.
- Pour filling in pie crust, cover with top crust, seal and pinch, decorate (if you like) and bake 45 minutes @ 400 degrees.
Here's a link to my butter crust for pie recipe if you don't already have a favorite pie crust recipe.
Right out of the fridge (which is the only reason all the filling has stayed put).
But a minute or two in the microwave fixes that.
Here are a few pictures of the process:
Chicken stock from Costco