It’s always a little bit strange when people talk about food coming back into fashion, and I hadn’t realized that the dish was out of fashion at any point to begin with. Case in point: chicken pot pie. You hear words like “retro” and “nostalgia food” being used to describe it, but in many kitchens throughout the land, including mine, we never stopped making them.
The thing that stands between me and pies much of the time is the crust. I have made homemade crusts, but I’m not brilliant at them, and I’m usually in too much of a hurry to get to the filling. I love refrigerated pie crusts and frozen puff pastry for this reason, and I am a proud prepared pastry fan.
Speaking of shortcuts, this pie also leans on a can of cream of mushroom soup. The can of soup does a few things here: it adds creaminess, without dairy; it adds flavor; it thickens the pie filling; and it saves you time, since instead of making a mushroom stock you reach for the can opener. I’ve come to think of quite a few ways that a can of soup can give me a running head start to dinner, and this is one of them.
This chicken pot pie is like a cross section of real life. The cooked chicken can be homemade, or from a purchased rotisserie chicken. Some of the vegetables are fresh, others can come from the freezer aisle. The rosemary can be fresh or dried. The crust is store-bought. And the resulting pot pie is all yours.
So, for those of you who are happy that chicken pot pie is back in style, and for those of you who never realized it was ever out of vogue, make one of these and see how this “old school” favorite goes over with your family.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and chopped
- 1 cup peeled and sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup fresh, or frozen and defrosted, peas
- 1 cup frozen and defrosted peeled pearl onions
- 3 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 sheet puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or similar sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat. Sauté the garlic and leeks for 5 minutes, until tender. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and rosemary, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 8 minutes, until the mushrooms are turning brown (they may release liquid as they begin to cook; keep sautéing the vegetable mixture until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables start to caramelize.) Then stir in the flour, and continue to stir and cook for another 2 minutes until the flour gets a bit toasted. Add the cream of mushroom soup and water, stir, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened a bit. Add the peas, pearl onions and chicken, and return the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the parsley.
- Turn the mixture into the pie pan. Roll out the puff pastry dough slightly on a lightly floured surface.
- Place the puff pastry over the filling, and trim off the corners if they hang below the bottom of the pan. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and use a sharp knife to make several slits in the crust so steam can escape. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown and everything is bubbly.
What the Kids Can Do:
Peel carrots, slice mushrooms, measure ingredients, shred chicken, roll the puff pastry, place it on the pie, and cut slits in it.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||68 g|
|Saturated Fat||21 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||19 g|
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|