Apr 1, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This could be one of my favorite comfort foods.  It can be doubled on batch cooking day and some put in the freezer.  It's a crowd pleaser.
- Julie

2 - 9x13 pans
3 - 8x8 pans**

2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
mushrooms, optional
1/2 cup butter (one stick or more)
1/2 cup flour
2-4 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream
4+ cups chicken, cooked & chopped
1 cup frozen peas, green beans, or both
1/4 cup or more white wine, optional
thyme, salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions, celery and carrots (and later mushrooms if using) in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until tender.  Add flour and stir until smooth.  Cook one minute, stirring constantly.  Slowly add chicken broth then cream. {{Slowly is the key to keep your dish thick and not soupy.}}  Cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in chicken, peas, salt and pepper.  Add more broth if it is too thick.

Freezing and Cooking
Cool and divide filling in half.  Freeze in one gallon freezer bags.  Keep frozen pie crusts on hand.  

**Generally, I freeze 4 geneous cups for 8x8 pan and 6 generous cups for 9x13 pans.

The Crust
This recipe makes one crust for the top of a 9x13 pan. I usually use just the top crust.

{Keepin' it real:: For YEARS I bought ready made crusts.  If this is your first time making chicken pot pie, extend some grace to yourself and buy a crust.  You can work on perfecting a homemade crust later.}

In a large bowl, cut one stick of butter into course chuncks, about tablespoon size.  Sprinkle over it 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.  Cut flour into butter.  At first I use a knife then graduate to a fork.  When the flour and butter resemble pea sized pieces, pour over it iced water - a tablespoon at a time.  Do not over work the dough.  Flakey crust comes from larger pieces of butter.  When your dough will stick together just enough to form a ball, it is ready to roll out.

When rolling out the dough, I put a sheet of wax paper on my counter then sprinkle it with flour.  The wax paper aids in transferring the crust to your dish.

To serve
Thaw filling if frozen. Shape bottom pie crust/s if using.  Add filling. Cover with top crust.  Pinch the edges of the two crusts together and then flute or crimp.  Make a few slits in the top crust for the steam to escape. I try to make a heart.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 375° or until the crust is golden.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Many nights this is a one-dish wonder.  However, if guests are coming I might ask them to bring (or I would make) mashed potatoes.  Green beans also go well with this.

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