This time of year, there's nothing like a warm hearty meal to fill your belly when it's chilly outside and you want to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and your special someone. I love chicken pot pie but I really try to avoid the recipes using canned soups, sorry Paula Deen. I do use canned soups in some recipes but I wanted to learn how to make this the 'right' way. Here's my adaptation of several recipes and a few years of tweaking. I sometimes will make my own crust or use Pillsbury's refrigerated crust that you can roll out. It just depends on how much time I have and how much motivation. I will post the crust recipe at a later date. One tip though...if you use a refrigerated pie crust, sprinkle some flour and roll it out with a rolling pin. It keeps the crust from being too thick and is more like a homemade crust. It makes it a little more flaky..not as flaky as a crust from scratch, but definitely an improvement. One caveat here...I made this on a whim and didn't have all the fresh veggies on hand...so I had to resort to using some canned. (Definitely not as delicious, but still good).
1 1/2 lb. chicken breast OR 1 lb. already cooked chicken breast
1 cup sliced carrots
1 c frozen peas
2 T. butter plus 2 T. bacon drippings OR 4 T. butter
1 small onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 c milk
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon or 1/2 tsp. chicken bouillon
**Note** May substitute 2 cups of your favorite veggies for the carrots and peas: fresh, frozen, or canned (i.e. carrots, peas, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, etc.) I don't like to use canned unless I'm in a pinch. They're definitely not as good.
1. First, if you don't already have cooked chicken, salt and pepper the cut up chicken breasts and saute in vegetable oil. Cook on both sides until cooked through. Remove to cool slightly and cut up into bite-sized pieces. If you have leftover chicken, then skip this step.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the veggies if they need to be cooked. You can boil them or steam them. Whichever method you prefer. I sometimes get the steam in bag peas. Today, I just used canned because it's all I had at the time.
2. Over medium- medium/high heat saute onion and celery in 2 T. butter and 2 T. bacon drippings until translucent. I save my bacon drippings in a mason jar and use it in several recipes like my Chicken n Dumplins. Just refrigerate. Add the garlic now so it doesn't burn.
3. Add flour to onions and celery and cook for a few minutes stirring so the flour doesn't burn.
4. Slowly add chicken stock and milk and stir with a whisk. Add the better than bouillon and seasonings. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
5. Roll out the pie crust and place bottom crust in pie plate.
6. In a large bowl combine chicken and any other veggies you may be adding. You can add frozen veggies here, or canned, or fresh depending on what you are cooking. I would recommend potatoes to be slightly cooked before.
7. Pour chicken and vegetables in the pie crust in a mound. It will settle as the pie cooks. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken.
8. Carefully place top pie crust on the pot pie. Cut a few slits in the top to let steam escape during cooking. Crimp the edges fancy like this :)...that's some pretty crimping...lol or press with a fork to seal the edges.
9. Bake in a preheated oven 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes.
That looks so pretty...and delicious!