This week, New Orleans is enjoying spring-like weather. But a meat pie is a comfort food for the weary even if they haven’t been shoveling snow. For me, just sitting on the couch watching all that snow and ice in Sochi brings on enough fatigue to appreciate the healing effects of pie.
For years, I made chicken pot pie with VEG-ALL and Cream of Potato soup. Remember that recipe on the can? It was good—better than a frozen pie—but it had the lingering taste of canned soup, not to mention canned vegetables.
In recent years, I began to make the pie from scratch. I adapted my grandmother’s white sauce recipe for the base, added chopped baked chicken breasts and vegetables, poured this filling into a crust and baked.
If you use store-bought pie crust (which I often do), it’s an impressive meal for relatively little effort.
This makes a double-crust 9-inch pie.
1 package Pillsbury Pie Crust (contains 2 roll-out crusts, in the dairy case)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 ¾ cup chicken broth
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 ¼ cups cooked, chopped chicken (about two chicken breasts)
1 cup cooked, cubed red bliss potato
1 cup cooked, chopped carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
STEP BY STEP:
1. Boil a medium red bliss potato until soft. Boil carrots until soft. Chop up vegetables. Chop cooked chicken and set aside.
2. Cut up onion and celery and set aside.
3. Position rack in center of the oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
4. In a double-boiler or heavy frying pan, stir butter and flour together. You’re essentially making a roux, but don’t let it brown. Gradually stir in chicken broth (Grandmere’s recipe used milk) Stir constantly until it boils. Reduce heat, add onions and celery and cook until vegetables are soft and sauce thickens.
5. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, mix sauce, chicken, potatoes, carrots and frozen peas.
6. Add spices.
7. Gently unroll and press one pie crust in ungreased pie pan and pour in filling.
8. Top with second crust, press edges together to seal. Cut a few slits in top.
9. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 20 to 35 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling through slits.