Monday, March 30, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie - My Way

I've been behind in everything these days. I'm behind in blogging. I'm behind in keeping up with everyone else's blogs. On the good side, I finally added some long-needed new links to my blogstalking list. If you're not reading these blogs, you should be! I think part of the reason I haven't posted much lately is I haven't been cooking anything interesting. I need some new inspiration. Perhaps the new fruits and veggies of spring will inspire me.

I had been hoping to make a brand new recipe that I had never made before with ingredients I had never used. I found a recipe for Millet Cakes in Eating Well Magazine. I was reluctant to eat birdseed for dinner, but I need to expand my palate a bit, so I decided to try it. Well, it was another recipe failure. These cakes were not the least bit cohesive and I ended up ordering Chinese food for dinner. Since I've been stuck at home recovering from the flu, having someone else cook was the best thing for me. Also, hot and sour soup is great for the sinuses.

As a food blogger, I have to start cooking again at some point. People will stop reading my blog if I stop providing entries and I certainly don't want that to happen. On Friday I was finally feeling a bit better, so I opted to cook some old-fashioned comfort food.

Chicken pot pie is a classic comfort food and there are as many ways to make it as there are people who love it. Some people make it as a soup. Some people make it into a full pie. Some cooks prefer to just lay a crust over the top. I like chicken pot pie in theory because chicken in a creamy sauce covered in a crust is a yummy idea, but there is always one problem with it. All too often it's made with vegetables I hate, particularly peas. I don't eat much chicken pot pie because I hate having to do the big pea pick-out.

This nasty illness has me craving comfort food though and I thought chicken pot pie sounded like a wonderful remedy for the soul. There is one way to solve the yucky vegetable dilemma. I would make it myself and only use vegetables I like.

For my chicken base I used broccoli, onions, and mushrooms in a while sauce flavored with sherry. I didn't bake it in a full crust, but baked it in a dish covered with homemade biscuit dough. Sir Pickypants and I both love our biscuits!

Nice, thick, puffy crust. Mmmmm. Too puffy perhaps? That should be everyone's problem!

When I first served it, I said that my pot pie was a little unorthodox. Sir Pickypants knew exactly what that meant. He said, "No peas." Well, yeah. Sorry about that.

My pot pie might not be as colorful as your typical pea-and-carrot-studded number, but I think it looked very attractive in its own way and it tasted even better. Hubby's comment was that is was delicious and I ought to make it more often. Best of all he said it was "Better than any Swanson pot pie I ever had." Remember, this is a man who loves peas.

The Short (dis)Order Cook's Chicken Pot Pie


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter


Oil for sauteeing
1-2 onions, finely diced*
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced**
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 10-oz package frozen broccoli cuts, thawed***
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Pinch nutmeg
2 Tbl dry sherry.****
2-3 cups diced cooked chicken (I used the meat of two roasted breasts)

To make the filling saute the onions in a little olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and keep cooking until they give off their liquid. Remove from pan. You can mix them together with the thawed broccoli at this point.

Melt butter in the pan and whisk in flour. Cook until it loses some of that raw flour taste. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat until thick (this should happen pretty quickly). Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste, adjusting amounts as you see fit. Add the veggies and chicken to the sauce and then mix in the sherry. Pour into a baking dish and cover with the crust.

Now make your crust. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients. Cut butter into flour using pastry blender, your hands, or a food processor (my preferred method). Gently stir in buttermilk until ingredients are moistened.

Place the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead, no more than 10 times. Roll out to the length needed to cover your filling in the dish. Lay gently over the filling. It doesn't have to look perfect and even (at least I keep telling myself that). Slice some ventilation holes in the top. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until crust is nice and golden.

*Depending on size or how much you like onions

**Depending on size of cloves or how much you like garlic

***Yes, I said frozen. If you're that big of a purist, chop up some fresh broccoli and cook it ahead of time. But I don't think there is anything wrong with frozen vegetables. Look, I said frozen, not canned, sheesh!

****Made you look! Ha ha!


Maria said...

My hubby keeps begging to make chicken pot pie, maybe I will give in:)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

The great thing about pot pies is that you can put whatever you want in them. I saw one the other day with brocolli AND peppers. I love the biscuit top.

Sara said...

I love chicken pot pie, I haven't made it in ages! I usually do a phyllo topping, will have to try your version next time.

Stacey Snacks said...

I only make this the day after Thanksgiving, but the recipe is similar, I used puff pastry last yr and loved it!

noble pig said...

OMG I love the old corningware dish! And those biscuits on top! Wow!

Sue said...

That looks soooooooo good. That is a great biscuit recipe. YUM!

I have to admit millet cakes sound pretty uncompelling. I took a look at that recipe and there is nothing to hold them together. How about an egg or even a squirt of ketchup? It might be okay, though, as a grain recipe on its own, without trying to make it into cakes. Could you at least feed it to the birds or ducks or someone? I'm sure the Chinese food was a lot more satisfying.

Bunny said...

Don't feel bad about getting behind in blog reading, it happens to me too and I feel so unorgainized when it happens but sometimes work just drains me. I hate it when making a living interfers with my blog reading !! LOL!! Your chicken pot pie is to die for, I'm a crust person so this recipe is fantastic! I'm so glad you made the cherry bars and they were a hit!!

Bellini Valli said...

I have always loved chicken pot pie, it is one of those favourite things:D

Anonymous said...

I hope you do cook more, because I so enjoy reading your posts! and you make me laugh, too.
too bad about the millet cake. it sounded very interesting. actually, I wish you HAD posted about it...I'm sure it would have been a humorous post about the cake failure.
hoping to read more of your interesting adventures!

Lo said...

Trust me, I think we've all been there. In that rut where we're just short on inspiration and blogging seems a chore. That said, I'm prepared to see you through it, Woman. So, keep on plugging along!

This pot pie looks so good... I think it's JUST EXACTLY what I need to get through this nasty viral thing that I've got. Funny how those cravings go when you're sick... I can relate there too!!

Emily said...

I think it looks delicious! A gourmet pot pie. Who needs peas, anyway?

I like the puffy biscuit top.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Maria - Make your hubby a pot pie pronto! You could even do a non-chicken pot pie here. Use beans and more veggies.

SGCC - I like the anything-you-want attitude! I'm just so used to seeing the same veggies in every pot pie recipe. I felt like a blasphemer doing otherwise.

Sara and Stacey - Both of those toppings are awesome.

Noble - Ha ha. I inherited that dish from my grandmother. I think every woman in my family has one. No holiday is ever without one dish being served in an old Corningware dish.

Sue - Thanks for the feedback on the biscuit recipe. It was one I sort of adapted and I wasn't sure how it would come out, but I think it may be my new official biscuit recipe.

I actually tried to see if an egg would hold those cakes togehter and it didn't work. I probably would have just salvaged the stuff as as side dish, but it had really been cooked to too much of a mush for that. I might adapt the recipe for that later. But Wendesday night was totally meant for Chinese food.

Bunny - I totally agree. How dare people try to curtail my blog reading time with unimportant things like my job?

Val - thanks

B&S - Thanks for stopping by. I'm not brave enough to post failures yet. I have posted the occasional disappointemt. Perhaps I will get brave enough to post at least one failed recipe. As it is in my last post I refused to take a photo of a cake with a piece that broke off. ;-)

Lo - Thanks for the encouragement. I will blog again! Hope you're feeling better by the time you read this. I hope you don't have what I had (and am still recovering from). That is blowing like wildfire through my whole family right now.

Em - I'm right there with you. Who needs peas? That's my kind of statement.

Jeff said...

Chicken pot pie brings back great memories of grandma's house. Going to have to give your a shot.

jesse said...

Hahahaa, I love your ****... yep, you made me look alright. The chicken pot pie... ahhh!!! That biscuit top! YUMMM!!!

Anonymous said...

Chicken pot, chicken pot, chicken pot piiieeeee. The biscuit top is great....much more crust to eat. :0

The Blonde Duck said...

This looks so good. I've got to try it! I am a chicken pot pie fanatic!

melissa said...

****Made you look! Ha ha!

You stinker! :P

Chicken pot pie. Haven't made it in a while, I'm overdue. I DO like peas in mine, it's one of my favorite things. But one of my best friends made her own, no recipe, just winging it and used broccoli and mushrooms like you did and said it was fantastic. Love the double reinforcement there, I may have to try it.

Also, hot and sour soup does work wonders, but pho is even better at banishing any sickness!

Peter M said...

Oh My had the same Corelle casseroles with that design!

This meal always takes me back to being a kind, watching 70's tv, having to get up to change a channel and then settling back on the sofa to eat my chicken pot pie and watch TV.

Complaint Department Manager said...

OH MAN! I knew I should have took some pictures of the last pot pie I made. It was the she-it for real! The gravy was so thick that if you cut out a piece, the rest of the gravy didn't spill out. I mean you could eat the damn thing like it was a cookie or something, plus it tasted great. I am intrigued by the use of Sherry in this, hmmmm.