Larry and I are boomers. Frozen chicken pot pies were awesome eats in our formative years. They were cheap, salty, fatty, easy, high-cal pots o’ tasty stuff a kid, teen, babysitter, college student happily ate. Now, as conscientious grownups (buzz kill), we’d probably STILL eat those bombshells of bad nutrition if not for the consequences. In my photo (above), that entire salt shaker probably has less sodium than one commercially packaged pot pie. Time for homemade.
I don’t claim this to be a “diet” meal (thanks, pie crust), but it’s definitely wholesome. To punch up flavor with less salt, I used a big tablespoon of Herbes de Provence, an organic blend that includes lavender. The Spice Hunter sells it.
Using an oval shaped casserole dish produced scraps of leftover crust dough, and you can see it was hard to resist putting little chickies on the pie. The baking vessel is your choice: a deep casserole dish, shallow pie pan or several individual soufflé dishes. That’s because the contents are cooked on the stovetop, then you bake just for the top crust. This recipe has NO bottom crust as (1) it saves a bunch of calories and (2) the potential for a soggy bottom crust always bugs me. Don’t be put off by the appearance of a long list of ingredients: it’s pretty much veggies, chicken, broth, herbs and crust.
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 large (or 2 small) boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 scallions, ends trimmed, whites and greens cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 Idaho russet potato, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, cut into 1/2 inch coins (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups chicken broth (I used homemade chicken stock)
- 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence seasoning blend
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Dough for one 9-inch pie crust (try making an all butter crust)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken breast and sear 4 minutes on each side, remove from skillet (it will not be fully cooked, that is OK). Add scallions, potato, celery and carrots along with 1/2 cup chicken stock, reduce heat and simmer until carrots and potatoes are just barely fork-tender, around 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice chicken into one-inch cubes. When vegetables are cooked, add chicken back to skillet along with remaining broth and heat the chicken until pink has disappeared. Add mushrooms and peas, blend in. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Then, mix flour into 1/2 cup water, stir until blended, pour into the skillet and mix. Continue cooking a minute or two until the broth thickens.
Pour all contents into a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish, or several single-serving ovenproof dishes. Smooth contents to level. Top with the pie crust dough, crimp edges and trim any overlap. Poke a few holes in the top to help vent steam. Brush with egg wash. If you wish, roll out dough scraps and using cookie cutters, cut a few decorative shapes. Add to the top without blocking vent holes. Brush decor with egg wash.
Bake on a cookie sheet (for drips) 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Makes 4 generous portions.