Sunday Supper: Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie– creamy sauce, a buttery crust, chunks of chicken and veggies– it doesn’t really get any better than that on a (cold?) Sunday night in January. (What is with this weather? No complaints here.) Also, putting it together is easier than you think, especially if you use store-bought crust. Though if you have some extra time, I highly recommend making the crust from scratch. As luck would have it, last night I perfected my usual go-to recipe for crust and the result made this pot pie (and all the future pies I make) 100 times better. Then I went the extra extra mile and made the pies in individual gratins, but now that I think about it that probably made it easier; I perfected my crust recipe but I’ve yet to perfect my stay-together-in-one-piece-big-enough-to-cover-my-pie-dish technique. Practice makes perfect, right? Guess I’ll be in the kitchen making more pies– not such a bad thing.

Chicken Pot Pie
(Adapted from AllRecipes)
Makes 4-6 servings

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup carrots, cut into small chunks
1 cup frozen green peas
1 small russet potato, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups chicken broth, plus more for boiling (usually an additional 5 cups or so)
1 cup milk
1 egg white, beaten
2 9-inch unbaked pie crusts (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and potatoes. Add 5 cups of chicken broth to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly stir in the 2 cups of chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Add chicken and vegetable mixture and gently stir to combine.

Place one pie crust in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan (or, divide crust into four 13 oz. oven-safe dishes.) Brush the crust with egg white and use a fork to prick it in several places. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and pour the sauce and chicken mixture into the baked crust.

Cover the pie with the other pie crust, seal edges, and cut away any excess dough. Brush with the remaining egg white, and make several small slits in the top of the crust to allow steam to escape. Place the pie dish on top of a baking sheet lined with foil to catch any sauce that may overflow. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Pie Crust
Makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2/3 cup butter, chilled
Ice water

Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in the cold shortening and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of ice water over the flour. Toss the mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the dough comes together.

Gently gather the dough and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes to rest.

Divide the dough into two. Roll one piece out and press into a pie plate. If baking a bottom crust only, bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Otherwise, follow the baking instructions in your pie recipe. Enjoy!


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