As a child, Saturday supper was always a special treat for me and my mother. My dad owned a service station in a tiny town nearby and Saturday night in those days was go-to-town night for everyone, so he ate supper at the cafe in town and stayed open till 9:00. His regular customers came in, after their chores were finished, for a never-ending game of Rattle. Mom and I had the evening free of his preferred fare of red meat and potatoes. She was not an especially innovative cook, except for desserts (yeah, I inherited that gene), but Saturday nights were when I learned about spaghetti and chow mein and chili…and pot pie. I loved those little frozen, individual pot pies.
We are much more adventurous around here these days. Even my 16-year-old has creative suggestions. Pot pie is one of his favorite meals. I make it in a deep dish 10″ glass pie plate so there’ll be enough for my husband and I after Andrew has his share, usually about half of it. There has never been a written recipe until now. You will find that it’s easy to adapt to whatever you have on hand, and especially fitting to use all locally available ingredients. My friend Jackie at Auburn Meadow Farm will be posting her version of it on her blog later this week. Since she lives in western Pennsylvania and I’m in South Dakota, you’ll likely see some differences in how we handle it. Give both versions a try and let us know what you think.
A few things to consider — shortcuts. If you’re short on time or patience by all means take advantage of supermarket pie crust, pre-cut, frozen or canned veggies, ready-made stock, even rotisserie chicken, turkey, pork or ham. It won’t be quite the same but it will still be far superior to those little frozen pies I used to like so much. We smoke chickens from the farmers market, so there’s usually some of that in my freezer, along with canned or frozen vegetables, homemade stock (see BONE BROTH), and Greek yogurt. And of course there are always onions and garlic. Use your favorite pie crust recipe, preferably all butter. We’ll get into that in another blog. There are so many variations it deserves its own post.
Joan, 4 January 2016
CHICKEN POT PIE
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup green beans
- 1/2 cup corn
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1½-2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Melt the butter in a large pan and sauté the onion, carrots, celery and potatoes till slightly softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook till fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the flour, tossing well to coat the vegetables evenly. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1½ cups of the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it simmer for a few minutes till it begins to thicken. Add some or all of the remaining 1/2 cup of stock if mixture seems very thick. Set aside to cool while you prepare the crust.
Roll out the bottom crust and refrigerate till the filling has cooled to room temperature, about 1 hour. Prepare the top crust. A lattice top looks beautiful and allows some of the moisture to escape, but a vented whole top works too.
Finish the filling by stirring in the green beans, corn, chicken, thyme and yogurt. Transfer it into the prepared bottom crust and cover with top crust. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush the top of the pie with a mixture of half milk, half cream. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till top is golden and filling is bubbly. Let the cooked pie set for 15 minutes before cutting.