On Pot Pies, Chicken in Particular, and Comfort Food

 

“There’s nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen 

 

 

If I had to pick my favorite comfort food it would probably be a slice of old fashioned chicken pot pie. Braised beef stew bubbling in wine would be a close second, and traditional ketchup glazed meatloaf over mashed potatoes third, but there’s just something about a big piece of savory pie that speaks so much warmth to my soul. I have been making a variation of this pot pie recipe for years, mostly of what I have on hand, and it always fills the bill. And while rarely write my methods down and am more of a from-memory cook, this time was an exception!

Let me tell you something, don’t not make a pie just because you are intimated by its crust! Depending on the day and what it holds for me, I waver from homemade to store-bought crusts. They are both good options, just different. This one was store-bought and was delicious, however if you have the time and energy to make your own crust I suggest giving it a try. Getting your hands all doughy and floury can be a really meditating process, much like mowing the yard or doing the dishes. It’s only a chore if you let it be!

 

Ingredients:

the meat from 1 small 3-4 lb. chicken (a rotisserie bird works wonders) or 3-4 lb. of cooked turkey meat
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 medium sized yellow onion chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4 inch slices
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup portobello or button mushrooms, brushed and quartered
4 tbsp. salted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stock or bone broth
1/2 sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
pie pastry – one for top and one for bottom
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. milk

To prepare, start by chopping the onions, carrots and celery. Add to 2 tablespoon of butter in a hot sauté pan, and cook until they become soft and starting turning translucent, for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat.

While that’s cooking away, make your roux by mixing 2 tbsp all-purpose flour with 2 tablespoons of softened butter in a glass jar. It will form a paste, and you will use this to thicken the sauce for your pot pie. When they veggies are nearly done, toss in the quartered mushrooms and about 1 tablespoon of both fresh parsley and thyme. When the mushrooms are soft and have cooked through, add the minced garlic and stir for one minute, letting the aroma fill your kitchen.

After a minute or so of stirring, add the roux (butter/flour mixture) to the pan and stir constantly for 3 minutes, pouring in the stock little by little as you go. After 3 minutes are up, take the pan off the heat and add the sour cream, heavy cream, frozen peas and the cooked meat from your bird of choice. Stir well until everything is mixed together, and taste for seasoning. Now is a good time to add extra salt or pepper if it needs it.

To prepare the crust head here to read and make my favorite pastry recipe, or simply use your favorite store-bought variety. Your pie pie filling will keep for a few days in the fridge at this point, so this makes a wonderful make-ahead dish.

To assemble your pie, line a 9″ pie pan with poked pastry, fill to the top with the pot pie mixture, and cover the with top with the more rolled out pastry. You can crimp edges however you prefer, even braid them you fancy, but be sure to cut a vent in top so steam can release, and then brush with an egg wash before baking. To make the egg wash, mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon of milk together and brush on top. Bake the pie uncovered for 15 minutes at 425° and then reduce the heat to 350° – continuing to bake the crust until it has browned for an additional 30-40 minutes.

This pie serves 4-6 depending how hungry you are, and goes well with a side salad and a nice glass of wine. What’s your favorite comfort food? Any trustee or family recipes you’d be willing to share? I am going to make curry beef hand pies tonight, and depending on how those turn out I’ll share them with you! I need to get to the store for some mint and cilantro, always running out of fresh herbs here! On a side note, do any of you have good luck growing herbs indoors? I haven’t had much luck, but would love to if possible.

xx Amanda

 

 

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  • Erin

    Oh this feels like the silliest of comments on a post about comfort food (which looks absolutely soul warming) but here I am wondering where you got your hanging bells from. Can you tell me where you found them? My mother would adore something like that. Thanks Amanda.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Erin, not silly! I ordered these on Etsy several years ago – they are called cow bells, I believe! I bet you can find lots of vendors who sell them there 🙂 x AmandaReplyCancel

    • Heather

      I recently bought some like that at my local fair trade shop. That’s another option if you have something like that where you are! Happy Holidays!ReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline Beach

    This sounds right up my alley. I wish my boys liked pot pie as much as I do! There’s a place in Baltimore called Dangerously Delicious Pies and they have some amazing savory (and sweet, of course) options. Last time there I tried S.M.O.G. and it was to die for. Steak, mushrooms, onions, gruyere. Might you like to try coming up with that recipe?! 😉
    I like to try so many recipes that my husband jokes about how I have no dinner “rotation.” However, the whole family enjoys a delicious dish from the cookbook Keepers called Japanese Meat and Potatoes. It reminds me of a comfort food dish my Korean mom made when I was young. Basically ground beef with onions, carrots, potatoes in a plate licking-good soy, brown sugar, garlic, ginger sauce. I’m sure you can find the recipe online or check out the great family-friendly cookbook if you haven’t already! XoReplyCancel

  • Jacqueline Beach

    Oh, and you have to serve the above dish with steamed sticky white rice, of course!
    I also make a heavenly butternut squash lasagne – Giada’s recipe, but I simply cut the squash in half, coat with oil s+p and roast cut sides down in a 400dg oven til tender, then blend up. I also omit the cookies bc I don’t think they’re needed. It’s sooo good!
    Re: indoor herbs, I haven’t had too much luck either. I even have a little mini greenhouse; should try again!ReplyCancel

  • Alexandra

    Yum! This sounds similar to my pot pie except I’ve never added the sour cream. That’s an interesting idea I’ll need to try. I also usually put a pinch of fresh nutmeg in mine.
    I’m planning to make chicken pot pie for Boxing Day (planning – fingers crossed- to get the crusts done and in the freezer this weekend.
    Happy baking!ReplyCancel

  • Agape

    Hi Amanda, I just have to tell you that I am a follow Kansas City-ite and I stumbled across your blog some weeks ago while searching for “home rhythms” online. How happy I am about finding your little piece of the online world. I actually made this pot pie last week and, though I’ve made many others in the past, this was absolutely the most delicious. I omitted the mushrooms as some in the house are averse, but that notwithstanding, such a delicious meal. Thank you for sharing! It has earned its place amongst my regular rotation. Merry Christmas to you and yours!ReplyCancel

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