Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie for Company


Sometimes we have company over who I know go out to eat all the time. These are friends who travel a lot for business, or maybe they’re just really busy with their careers so they go out to eat all the time. For them, a steak, a nice roast or even Mexican food isn’t as much of a treat. They already eat that a lot at restaurants. What’s appealing to them is “home-style” food.

That’s why, for some guests, I’ll make up a chicken pot pie (or two) to serve to them. Add a nice tossed salad and maybe some homemade dinner rolls and a bottle of wine and you have a tasty, fairly easy and well-balanced meal. (I am guessing a lot of you reading this might think it’s the bottle of wine that makes this a “well-balanced” meal, right?!!)

What follows is the recipe I use for Chicken Pot Pie, which is the same recipe my mom used to make for company. I just made this for tonight’s dinner:


Pastry for double-crust pie (recipe below)
½ cup butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 ¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cut into small cubes
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen peas and carrots

Over low heat, cook onion in butter in large sauté pan about 5 minutes—until onion is cooked and translucent. Stir in flour, salt and pepper, broth and milk and cook several minutes more, stirring constantly—until mixture is thickened. Stir in chicken breast and vegetables. Spoon into bottom of pie plate, and add top crust, and seal the edges of crust together. Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Buttery Pie Crust

2 1/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter (straight out of the fridge so it's very cold)
2/3 cup Crisco (frozen)
5-6 T. cold water

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, cut in butter and Crisco until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If there are some pea-sized pieces of Crisco or butter in the mixture, that is fine.) Sprinkle water on top of flour and salt mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time. After each sprinkling of water, gently mix in the water drops with some of the dry mixture. After 5 tablespoons of water has been sprinkled in, the mixture should hold together in a ball. If it doesn't, sprinkle one more tablespoon worth of water onto the dough. Shape dough into two equal-sized balls. Roll one ball into a bottom crust and fit it into a 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch pie plate. Roll the other ball into an 11” flat circle for top crust.

Here’s a photo of my pot pie before adding the top crust:

Here’s the pie ready to go into the oven:

If you make one of these pot pies, I am sure you and your company will enjoy it. It’s a tasty “down-home” dinner!