My mom often made chicken pot pie on Sunday nights and it is one of the dishes I grew up with that I’ve adapted to suit my in-laws. You can make your own pie crust or use something pre-made. Filo dough also works as a crust. I make mine in a lasagna pan and use only a top crust. This particular recipe feeds 6-8 hungry folks.
1 small bag frozen peas and carrots
1 small bag frozen pearl onions
1 roast chicken (feel free to buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery)
1 T. curry powder or a Singapore spice mix
1 t. dijon mustard
juice of one lemon
1 stick butter
2/3 cup flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 chicken boullion cube
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 box premade pie crust or make crust for a top and bottom layer pie.
Preheat your oven to 350. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and toss in a bowl with the frozen veg. (If you’re going to cook this now, let the veg thaw a bit first.)
Now you’re going to make a variation on a bechamel. In a large saucepan, melt butter on the stove over medium heat. Toss in the spices to let them infuse the butter for about 30 seconds, then pour in the flour and whisk together into a fairly thick paste called a roux. Let it cook until the roux starts to take on a faint tan color, then pour in the stock and milk, whisking constantly to ensure that there are no lumps in your sauce. Toss in the boullion cube and the dijon mustard, as well as at least 1 t. of pepper. The boullion might provide enough salt for the dish, but you can add more later if you want.
Stir the sauce with a wooden spoon over medium heat until you can feel it thicken and it coats the back of a spoon. You want the sauce to be fairly thick, a bit thinner than the consistency of a cream soup when it first comes out of a can. When the sauce is as thick as you like, take it off the stove, stir in the lemon juice and let the sauce cool a little bit. Salt and pepper to taste. When the pot isn’t steaming anymore, pour it over the meat and veg and toss together. Pour this mixture into a casserole dish.
Cover the mixture in the casserole dish with pie crust, just out of the fridge. I cut mine into strips and do a lattice, but you can just lay the sheets over the mix and cut some slits to let out the steam. When I use a box of premade circular pie crusts and a rectangular pan, I cut the crusts into quarters and place the angles of the crust near the edges of the pan.
At this point you can put the pot pie in the fridge or freezer to cook later. If you’re cooking now, put it in the 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes until the crust browns and the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot.
Variations: I’ve occasionally bought disposable cake pans and used this recipe to make two casseroles to freeze and send home with nieces and nephews to cook. You can also cook chicken strips/pieces rather than use a pre-cooked chicken. If you do this, cook the chicken pieces in olive oil with one chopped onion and use half the spice mix to flavor the chicken as it cooks, then follow the recipe.
This also works fine with ground turkey, makes use of, post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey, and can be adjusted for fish lovers by using bay scallops or firm whitefish.