Chicken Pot Pie is an old tradition in my family; in the years I’ve been on my own, though, I’ve changed it a bit. My mom always made it with two crusts (usually courtesy of the Pillsbury company); I make it either with one crust (homemade) or with biscuits. I like making it with drop biscuits because it’s fairly quick and easy, but I really prefer the pie crust. Now that I have a full-size food processor, I’m much less resistant to making those crusts by hand. The days of over-mixed, over-rolled crusts are over (as are the days of throwing those crusts across the room. It’s been known to happen). Anyway, yesterday was cold and rainy here, a perfect day for Chicken Pot Pie.
Now my mom uses a whole bird, or sometimes the leftover bird from a previous dinner’s roasting. I rarely roast a whole chicken, so I used chicken breasts I had handy. You could also use chicken thighs. Boneless and skinless chicken pieces make my life much easier.
Here’s the recipe:
1 pie crust
Two chicken breast halves
Two or three carrots, peeled and chopped
Two good-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium to big onion
6 T flour
1 c. milk
s & p
Put chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook, about ten minutes. Add veggies. Cook another ten minutes or until various things are done. Toss in a handful of frozen peas near the end. Drain over a bowl, keeping the broth. Shred chicken.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
In the meantime, make a roux. Melt butter in a saucepan, and add flour. Whisk constantly, letting the flour brown a bit. This will only take about 3 minutes. Add milk, and whisk, whisk, whisk. Add a couple of ladles of your broth. Whisk, whisk. Add salt and pepper and about 1/8 tsp of dried thyme. Let the mixture come to a simmer, whisking in all those floury bits, until the mixture starts to thicken. Once it’s simmering, let it go a minute or so and take off the heat. It will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick, you can always add more broth, but if you add too much broth right away, you’re out of luck.
Combine chicken and veggies in a bowl, or if you’re really skilled, into the pie plate. Add your sauce and mix together (this is why the bowl is easier). Cover with crust. Brush with milk. Cut air slits. Bake for 35 minutes, and allow to sit about 10 minutes before serving so you don’t burn yourself. Voila. Pie.