Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie is another one of those recipes that I really don’t have a recipe for. I just use up whatever veggies I have on hand, cook up some chicken and make it all into a pie.

I was trying to be conscientious of what step I was using while I was making this, but since I just toss stuff in, there really aren’t too many specific measurements.

I had taken out 2 large boneless chicken breasts from the freezer the night before. I seasoned them up nicely and baked them until the juices ran clear. After I let them cool, I torn the meat into chunks and set it aside.

In my fridge I had asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms & carrots. I always have frozen peas in the freezer so I knew I would throw some of those in later.

I started by steaming the broccoli (crowns only), carrots & asparagus. Make sure you cut all of these into bite size pieces, and don’t steam them to death, remember they will all be going back into the oven to cook. After they had streamed I removed them from the pan.

I put approximately a tablespoon of olive oil back into the same pan and added a small chopped onion. I let the onion get tender and then I threw the mushrooms in. I used one package of baby bellas. I cut all the mushrooms in half. Once the mushrooms had cooked down I added them to the other veggie mixture.

Now I transferred the veggie mixture and the chicken mixture into a large bowl. I added in about a half a cup full of frozen baby peas. You can just throw them in frozen, they defrost really fast.

The next step was a can of cream of mushroom soup. You can use any of the “cream of’s” that you like, but I find the cream of chicken is too chickeny for this recipe and the cream of celery really doesn’t do anything for it. I suppose that cream of potato may work well, but I’m sticking with the mushroom for this recipe. Pour the soup into the bowl with your chicken & veggies. Mix well, and pour into a prepared pie pan.

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until pie is hot and bubbly. You might want to put a baking sheet on the rack under the pie in case of drips. If you find the edges are getting too dark, cover them with a crust saver or some tin foil. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes before you cut into it or you will have a goopy mess.

I used the Cooks Illustrated Foolproof Pie Dough recipe for this pie. I did make a top and a bottom crust. In the past I have just poured the mixture into the pie pan without a bottom. You certainly can bake it that way, but since the dough recipe made 2 crusts, I used them both. I did bake the bottom crust for about 8 minutes so it wouldn’t get soggy in the oven. Poke some holes in the bottom crust with a fork and weigh it down with some large dried beans to keep the crust from shrinking too much while its baking.

The pie crust worked perfect with this. It was moist and flakey at the same time. A keeper for sure.
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